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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
                 Monday, June 16 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterEconomically qualified

The philosophy* l've used most in my writing organizes the whole creation into less than 20 modalities or modes of existence, ranging from the most basic, the quantitative (everything is one or more, or has quantity). to the pistic, or faith mode, the most particularized or advanced mode; only human beings are capable of having faith. (Please bear with me; there won't be much of this.) These modes help to understand and organize everything in existence. In this scheme of all of creation, one mode is grounded or based in, or is qualified by, one or more mode and anticipates or reaches out or points toward another mode or modes higher up on the list. Thus, in my theory of mass communication, journalism is said to be qualified on the linguistic mode (in other words, it's based on "language") and anticipates the social mode (it provides a medium of social communication—newspapers, broadcasting, books, films, and so on).

In terms of last week's discussion of materialism, when it is considered as a way of life or a philosophy, it goes wrong because it qualifies everything economically. Everything has its price, in a sense, but not everyone is willing to pay, or even to sell him or her self or his or her services at any price. For example, many people, apparently, are willing to make pornography—to sell their bodies—for relatively low asking prices. But there are many other people who won't sell their bodies or sexual services at any price. If someone doesn't consider prostitution acceptable but is willing to compromise "for a price," such persons could be said to have a sexual ethic or morality that is "economically qualified."

To take another approach to the idea of things being economically qualified, in my youth my mother generally disapproved of the movies, as many Protestants did at the time; the movies were worldly, spiritually debilitating, and doors to debauchery. But when I had an opportunity to work as an usher at the Capitol Theater for a dollar a night, Mom was torn. First, she wanted me to do the right thing on my own volition (but I didn't share her general attitude about the movies)...and she didn't want to deprive me of an opportunity to become more financially independent. So to some extent, though she was always ambivalent about it, she allowed me to take the job, and her decision was at least partly economically qualified.

If you hate the idea of working underground but are willing to take a job as a miner because the pay is good, as tens of thousands have done, your job choice is economically qualified (the fact that that kind of work was the only kind available at the time doesn't lessen the qualification; if anything, it reinforces it).

Both Marxist communism and capitalism are economically qualified or economically based ways of looking at life. Both are materialistic. But then life itself is materialistic...our bodies are material; the food we eat are material; the clothing we wear and the houses we sleep in are made of materials. Life has many material aspects that can't be denied. But on the other hand, Christianity and most world religions teach that life itself should never be materially or economically qualified. You may need materials, but you should aspire to need spiritual sustenance and growth even more than you want creature comforts and physical growth.

Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism) tend to say material of itself is evil or the source of evil. We must become pure spirit. Monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) say that the material world is created by God and is never going to disappear into pure spirit. But, especially in the Christian teaching of the incarnation, in which God himself—pure spirit—becomes a material, bodily and human being—this is contradicted. And in the teaching on the resurrection of the body, the material is transformed so that it can be spiritually used and its needs can be met spiritually without having to depend any longer on material food and drink. But it's always creaturely, and therefore material, even when it becomes spiritualized matter.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

*Herman Dooyeweerd's Theory of Modal Aspects.

AMISH (computer) VIRUS

You have just received the Amish Virus. Since we do not have electricity nor computers, you are on the honor system. Please delete all of your files..

— Sent by Connie Cox

Thought for today

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

— Herm Albright
Sent by Trudy Myers

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