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Thankful for Gratitude



Gratitude has become a focus of contemporary psychological research, which clearly demonstrates that gratitude motivates, reciprocates, fulfills, satisfies, overcomes, empowers, supports, protects and relaxes. In that spirit, we thank each other, near and far, ancestors and descendants, mundane and sublime. We feel the gratitude throughout our being and project it into our world. All we thank for the grace of meaning and opportunity, beyond any solitary ability. Thank God. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Cost of Death

Last night, 60 Minutes ran a segment on the cost of dying (thanks to Loyd at Project Mayhem for pointing this out). The segment identifies various economic and social costs associated with the last months of a typical person's life in the United States, and argues that a substantial portion of the cost is frivolous, with "no meaningful impact".

Be that as it may, 60 Minutes has grossly underestimated the cost of dying. The greatest costs are not those associated with the months before death. Far greater are the costs associated with the months, years, decades and centuries AFTER death. Humanity's greatest problems may not be what you think they are. Here is Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom on the cost of death and the cost of less-than-wonderful life.

Church Supports Nondiscrimination Ordinances

During the night, the LDS Church newsroom fixed the broken link to the announcement of Church support for nondiscrimination ordinances in Salt Lake City. This is a welcome announcement. I hope it is just the beginning of improvements in understanding and constructive dialog between the Church and advocates of gay rights. Some may wonder why this issue is of such interest to me. Briefly, it is essential that we work toward ever increasing and expanding respect for persons of diverse types. The differences and challenges between gays and straights are not so great as those that biotechnology will enable in the future.

 
 

Sent to you by Lincoln Cannon via Google Reader:

 
 

via LDS Newsroom RSS Feed on 11/9/09

SALT LAKE CITY | 10 Nov 2009 | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has declared its support of nondiscrimination regulations that would extend protection in matters of housing and employment in Salt Lake City to those with same-sex attraction.

 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Church Supports Nondiscrimination Ordinances

Wow! This is strange. I just received this press release from the LDS Church in my news reader. However, the link is dead, and the article appears to have been removed. What does that mean? Site hacked? Story unapproved? Second thoughts? On at least one occasion, previously, the LDS Church included a statement like this in a press release focused on another matter. However, they hadn't taken steps to reaffirm the statement. Such reaffirmation would, in my estimation, be a constructive and wonderful thing. Bring it on!

Sent to you by Lincoln Cannon via Google Reader:

via LDS Newsroom RSS Feed on 11/9/09
SALT LAKE CITY | 10 Nov 2009 | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has declared its support of nondiscrimination regulations that would extend protection in matters of housing and employment in Salt Lake City to those with same-sex attraction.

Things you can do from here:



By way of update, here's a screenshot of the post, still in the LDS Church newsroom feed . . .




. . . and another update. It appears that this post does in fact reflect an official press release made by the LDS Church. The Deseret News recently released "Text from LDS church regarding Salt Lake City's non-discrimination ordinance". Good news!

The Gift of Mobility



Who would have guessed that the LDS Church has been providing charitable funding for prosthetics? This is a welcome discovery, and indeed a gift, as identified by the LDS Newsroom article.

Dan Dennett and Thoughts for an Atheist Friend



Dan Dennett is among my favorite atheists. I imagine some may not think that much of a compliment, coming from a theist; but, unlike many (perhaps most) theists, I actually don't assume atheists to be evil by default, and even have the fortune of counting some atheists among my friends.

We Should Resurrect the Dead

In Sunday School today, we discussed Mormon ideas and doctrines related to the salvation of the dead. The focus, as usual, was on the contemporary practice of performing religious rituals, such as baptisms, on behalf of dead persons (by proxy, with no corpses involved, of course). The primary value I see in these ideas is that of near term practical consequence for the persons performing the rituals, which tend to open hearts and minds toward expectations of universal salvation, and consequently affect the Mormon community with a more charitable attitude towards persons with different backgrounds.

During such discussions, my thoughts and interest almost always move quickly beyond near term benefits to hope for long term benefits. Will these practices move us, as a people, to support and engage in the work of combatting aging? When those lessons are learned, will the doctrines further move us to support and engage in the work of resurrecting the dead?

Crazy? Maybe. Yet I wonder, and aspire. Is there a hard limit to the historians' project? To the medical doctor's oath? To the engineers' capacity? If not, what are the consequences of these endeavors, taken persistently and indefinitly forward? Is death absolute? Shall we worship that superlative?

Blasphemous? Certainly, for those who worship death. Yet, for those whose God is that of life and the power of love, we hear the call to take on the identity of Christ in every way possible, which is, as Paul the Apostle put it, the great mystery hidden from ages. We are called to be joint heirs in that glory. The Spirit whispers that we are children of God, and must, as all other gods before us, learn how to be gods ourselves. That is the esthetic.

We should resurrect the dead.

Lincoln Cannon
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Thrivous Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement
Thrivous Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement