Day: May 18, 2008

How pure is your altruism?

It may be that the only kind of altruism that truly exists is what economists like to call “impure altruism.” Does this mean that human beings are shallow and selfish — that they only give to a cause when it is attractive to them on some level? Will the future produce some sort of “disaster marketing” movement in which aid agencies learn to appeal to potential contributors?

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Martin Marty on when to leave your church

This spring a certain Christian layperson has been criticized for not exiting his local church when he disagreed with something his pastor preached. With tongue firming in his cheek, Martin Marty offers some useful tips on when you should leave your church.

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Prince Caspian

“Prince Caspian,” which is based on Lewis’ “Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia,” published in 1951, features a few inspired touches, and the four principal child and young-adult actors of the earlier picture — just a little older now — reprise their roles here. Yet the human characters come off as afterthoughts, figures that are moved around clumsily in the thicket of the movie’s sprawling narrative.

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Values and teen violence

Aaolescents who valued power (trying to attain social status by controlling and dominating others) reported more violent behavior than their peers. Teenagers who valued universalism (promoting understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protecting the welfare of all people and nature) and those who valued conformity (limiting actions and urges that might violate social expectations and norms) reported less violent behavior than their peers.

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Trinity Sunday reflection

What is god but Creator? What is creating but reaching out? What is reaching out but connecting beyond self? What is connecting beyond self but loving others?

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Three in one

The feast of the Holy Trinity is unique to the Anglican communion. Originating in Spain in the early Middle Ages, spreading through the Gallican church in France, it survived only in England. This festival of the triune God is dedicated not to the commemoration of an event such as Christmas and Easter, nor to a person such as a saint, but to a theological doctrine.

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