Over the past month, I have been studying philosophy, and to my surprise, I have grown stronger in the Christian faith.  The whole idea in philosophy is to question everything in search of truth in order to gain wisdom and understanding.  In secular philosophy, the concept of there being a “god,” let alone the one true God, of the Holy Trinity, is preposterous at best.  Since philosophy is a form of science, Alan Lightman describes, “science aims for an impersonal and objective truth, but the search for that truth is a human activity.”  The problem with this view on science is that the very essence of truth is not impersonal or objective, but rather, the complete opposite.  In John 8:31-32, we read, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  What is this teaching that makes disciples?  2 John 6 explains this, “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.  As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”  I can understand the reader picturing a 1970’s scene with everyone walking around with flowers and having rainbows everywhere.  That is not the case I am making at all. 

Time and time again, I see the advice being giving to someone who is having a hard time that “one needs to look out for oneself and disregard everyone else.”  Aristotle emphasized the importance of friendship due to his beliefs that without friends we cannot exercise virtue and that without friends we cannot lead full, flourishing lives.  The following are statements made by Albert Einstein from the book Ideas And Opinions that correctly contradicts such advice:

 “I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves—this ethical basis I call the ideal of an unattractive place. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time, have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.  Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed to me empty.  The trite objects of human efforts—possessions, outward success, luxury, have always seemed to me disgraceful…  The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self…  The individual, if left alone from birth, would remain primitive and beast-like in his thoughts and feelings to a degree that we can hardly conceive.  The individual is what he is and has the significance that he has not so much in virtue of his individuality, but rather as a member of a great human community, which directs his material and spiritual existence from the cradle to the grave.” A man’s value to the community depends primarily on how far his feelings, thoughts, and actions are directed toward promoting the good of his fellows…  Man acquires at birth, through heredity, a biological constitution that we must consider fixed and unalterable, including the natural urges that are characteristic of the human species.  In addition, during his lifetime, he acquires a cultural constitution that he adopts from society through communication, and through many other types of influences.  It is this cultural constitution which, with the passage of time, is subject to change and which determines to a very large extent the relationship between the individual and society.  Modern anthropology has taught us, through comparative investigation of so-called primitive cultures, that the social behavior of human beings may differ greatly, depending upon prevailing cultural patterns and the types of organization that predominate in society.  It is on this that those who are striving to improve the lot of man may ground their hopes:  human beings are not condemned, because of their biological constitution, to annihilate each other or to be at the mercy of a cruel, self-inflicted fate…  The best in man can only flourish when he loses himself in a community.  Hence the moral danger of the person who has lost touch with his own people and is regarded as a foreigner by the people of his acceptance.  Only too often a contemptible and joyless egoism has resulted from such circumstances…  For human community life cannot long endure on a basis of crude force, brutality, terror, and hate.  Only understanding for our neighbors, justice in our dealings, and willingness to help our fellow men can give human society permanence and assure security for the individual.”

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