Showing posts from 2018

“Don’t drink the Kool-Aid!”

Forty years ago, this expression became known as a description of blind obedience.

On November 18, 1978, members of Peoples Temple, a cult group in Guyana, drank Kool-Aid drink laced with cyanide to commit a mass suicide “at the behest of their charismatic but paranoid leader, Jim Jones”. [1] According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “The death toll exceeded 900, including some 300 age 17 and under, making the incident one of the largest mass deaths in American history.” [2] 
What made those people submit to such atrocity?
According to Stella Morabito, a senior contributor to The Federalist online magazine, Peoples Temple is “Exhibit A… [of]  the dangers of the cult mindset or how vulnerable all people are to cult tactics.” [3] She pointed out that, Coercive persuasion has immense power to shape and twist the human mind. …[Jones’] utopian preaching of a humane world in which all lived happily in harmony resonated with the typical recruit, who tended to be idealistic and lonely. [4]In sho…

A Moment

The scores were tied at 107 with 4.5 seconds remaining in Game 1 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors at the NBA Finals. Cavs’ George Hill missed his free throw. JR Smith, his teammate, grabbed the ball in an offensive rebound but, to everyone’s shock, “Instead of going back up with the ball or kicking it out to a teammate to shoot, Smith dribbled the ball out as the shot clock expired.” [1] The Warriors won the game in overtime.
Once in overtime, the Warriors dispatched of the Cavs rather easily, taking a 1-0 series lead with a 124-114 victory Thursday. After the game, Smith told ESPN's Brian Windhorst that he indeed knew the score of the game, and that he dribbled the ball out because he thought the team was calling a timeout. [2]No question, it was a costly mistake. It even generated a lot of online jokes, poking fun and insults at Smith. Surely, that moment would go down in NBA history. I think that for Smith, what was only less than 5 seconds—a mere moment…

Reasonable Faith

During the procession of the Black Nazarene a few days ago, I saw that this quote from Thomas Aquinas got repeatedly posted.
To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.To one without faith, no explanation is possible.They apparently use the quote to make it appear that faith and reason are opposed to each other. It is to justify the apparent fanaticism of the devotees of the Black Nazarene. 

But was that what Aquinas meant in that quote? Dr. Norman Geisler, an expert on Thomist philosophy, disagreed that Aquinas taught that faith and reason are mutually exclusive. He summarized his view on the relationship of faith and reason this way:
[Aquinas] stresses the need for reason both before, during, and after believing. Even the mysteries of faith are not irrational. But true faith in God comes only by the grace of God. Indeed, he believes that faith can never be based on reason. At best it can only be supported by reason. Thus, reason and evidence are never coercive of faith. … For re…