Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'inclination'.
Found 1 result
Luke_Wilbur posted a topic in ChristianityThe Didache - Introduction "Son, if you look for the good you will find it. If you look for the bad you will find it too." This was the first moral teaching given to me by my father when I was just a boy. Learning the truth of good and bad starts with life experiences with family (mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, guardians etc..) friends, classmates, teachers (pastors, priests, rabbis, professors, councilors, etc), and adversaries. Truth can be further shaped with the knowledge gained from media (internet, television, radio, movies, books, etc ). In this age of Science and Faith it can be difficult is discerning the Truth that comes from a Creative Force of Nature and what is from the teaching of man. I have chosen to research the Didache of the 12 Apostles because it is honored as the 'first catechism' (articles of faith) of the Christian church. The Didache (dee-da-ke, Greek word for teaching) of the 12 Apostles is a timeless moral compass that identifies selfless positive actions that lead to life and prosperity and negative selfish actions that lead to death and destruction. For nonChristians the Didache is a code of conduct without references to angels, prophecy and miracles.The principles of right living by the golden rule apply to everyone regardless of culture or creed. in life. For those in Behavior Sciences and religious naturalist the Didache is a good window to understanding the evolution of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic social morality. Congruent (in harmony) to the Laws give to the Israelites through Moses, the Didache is an instruction manual Jesus gave to the Apostles that further defines how to be righteous (law abiding) Christians. Over time the original Didache was replaced with revised teachings that brought about new catechisms, church schisms, reformations, and the birth of Arianism, Islam, Protestantism, Mormonism and Unitarianism. In humble admiration, I am using President Thomas Jefferson's syllabus method used in his book "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" (also known as the Jefferson Bible) to best present the truth in the Didache of the 12 Apostles. Jefferson's book was made made by cutting out gospel wisdom passages of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject that he thought best to present the philosophical teachings of Jesus without the supernatural. President John Adams understood the magnitude of Jefferson's work. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 14 November 1813 I will follow the same method by adapting the modern technology of copying, cutting, and pasting a reasoned comparison of the Didache's text line by line with my life experiences, media and the Holy Word (Scripture) given by a supernatural Creative Force of Nature that has been witnessed and testified by the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. In addition, I will include other faiths, philosophy, and natural science in context to a particular Apostolic teaching. I propose the Didache to be a great mechanism to create positive neuroplasticity (physical change to the brain) and socioplasticity (cultural change to a society) that should be studied for its benefits to the happiness of our human condition. I ask you the reader to temporarily suspend your preconception or disbelief on whether or not a Creative Force of Nature exists or how an Apostolic teaching can give us an understanding on how the choice of our actions can lead to Life and Happiness or Death and Misery until I am finished presenting testimony of definitions of to you. It is my hope that together you the reader and I the writer strip away the bias of belief and unbelief in our quest for truth to better understanding what it means to have good moral sense in life and share the happiness when we find it. In our pursuit for the truth of happiness I shall begin my essay with a quote from the United States Declaration of Independence. As the primary author of the United States Declaration of Independence , Thomas Jefferson understood the liberty of choice our Creator has given us to pursuit the wisdom of life and prosperity or suffer the evils of death and destruction. The truth of choice that the followers of religion and/or nature, universally agree upon is defined as 'self evident.' Jefferson acquired John Locke's notion how Nature has transcribed into man the understanding of happiness and misery. In the 1689 book, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke writes. Chapter III No Innate Practical Principles An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, ( Chapters 2 -3) John Locke writes that the knowledge of the truths of Nature, Happiness and Misery comes through our senses from acquired experiences that are placed into memory. In infancy sensory development begins with our innate ability to differentiate pain from pleasure, hot from cold, bitter from sweet, stench from perfume, light from dark, loud from quiet, and rough from smooth. Locke notes that as our development continues, our minds begin to acquire general abstract ideas from familiar objects and prior experienced events. Some of the abstract ideas our minds formulate are right (successful) and some are wrong (failure). Our ability to recognize right and wrong ideas is what John Locke calls "the use of reason." Acquired ideas that become more accepted by reason are given names and basic language is formed. Ideas that are shared, understood and accepted by others become undoubted truths are what John Locke defines as "maxims." Many undoubted truths not known to others are reasoned by reflecting on their own unique development experiences. Undoubted truths that are reasoned and accepted before they are known are what John Locke terms "implicit maxims.' Ideas that are shared and not understood to be accepted as true or false, assent or dissent, are considered ignorant. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding John Locke To understand how Thomas Jefferson acquired maxim of the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God we must first review Commentaries on the Laws of England by English judge, Sir William Blackstone published in 1765. The Will of the Creative force of Nature is called Natural Law. It is the explicit Will of Natural Law that binds us to this Universe and each other. It is the implicit Will of Natural Law to protect those who choose to accept and follow what we find to be good and self evident with our life. Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England Introduction Of the Nature of Laws in General. In Jefferson's 1817 letter to John Tyler, our nation's third president acknowledged the use of Blackstone's common laws and the Will of the Creator in forming the the Republic of the United States. But, America's use of English common law was fashioned into a system that was more relevant to a government without a king. It was the Republic's cause of ascension of the rights of citizens over being ruled by a king that made the Declaration of Independence a necessary document. Locke, Blackstone and Jefferson believed that a Creative Force of Nature has given us power over our body and mind to pursue or avoid sensations and reflections of pleasure and pain. John Locke believed that the Creator willed us to follow moral laws of virtue and happiness that preserve our individual selves and society from pain. Locke wrote that mankind will be rewarded if we abide by the given laws and punished if we disobey them. Locke, Blackstone, and Jefferson knew that 50 years before Jesus Christ walked the earth, Cicero, the Roman Philosopher theorized how the moral sense of law bestowed by the Creator enables man to discern by reason what is virtue (good) and what is vice (evil). Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 5 July 1814 In The Political Works of Marcus Tullius Cicero, vol. 2 (Treatise on the Laws). Cicero defined the Law of Nature as the governing power of the Creator. Marcus Cicero believed in a Actively Involved Creator (Divine Providence) over a Do Nothing Creator (Prime Mover) defined by the Greek Philosopher Epicurus that walked this earth 200 years before him. Epicurus taught that pain and death are not evil unto themselves. Cicero believed in the immortality of the soul, and the tranquility of the good after death, and the punishment of the wicked defined by Plato. Epicurus also believed in divine beings, but man cannot be divine and should not expect anything good or bad to come from the gods. Epicurus taught that if one understands that he or she is not immortal, then one can be free of the fear of death and the pain caused from its coming. Epicurus Letter to Menoeceus Marcus Cicero agreed with Epicurus that death and pain are not evil unto themselves. But, he maintained that it was reason that links us to the Creator. It is this Provident Creator that generated man to transcend over the other creatures by reason and thought. And it is the right (successful) reason between the Creator and Man we find self evident, which we call Law. Epicurus believed that circumstance was the Prime Mover and Natural Order of matter. While Cicero maintained that through right reasoning we can take notice of the natural link between our indestructible spirit and our Creator through natural and morally just laws that derive from loving our associates. Epicurus taught that some outcomes happen out of necessity, others by chance, and our own through our own agency (course of action). Epicurus considered Law to be Truth as long as through Prudent Reasoning it is considered to be useful (Natural Justice and Honorable) and successful (pleasurable) to all parties (self evident). The chain of Epicurian reasoning has led us to now consider the infinite outcome reality of quantum self interest over one outcome reality of an outside Creative force of nature watching and interacting with us. It is in only the successful outcome of our decisions that those that believe in either a Provident Creator, a Prime Mover, or No God can agree. 50 years before Epicurus, a sage by the name of Aristotle tutor of Alexander the Great, argued that is through contrary outcomes that we can find Natural Justice. Nicomachean Ethics By Aristotle Another great orator that both born and died the same years as Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) by the name of Demosthenes led a failed revolt against Alexander the Great and took his life rather than being arrested. Demosthenes believed that unjust actions to be wicked and just actions to be good and honest. Demosthenes Against Aristocrates Section 75 Demosthenes argued that those who fail to see and act upon god given opportunities during their lifetime will be judged their denial of the divine good in them. Demosthenes Olynthiac 1 Section 11 Demosthenes and Aristotle would have known Socrates, the Great Greek philosopher that proceeded them. In Joeseph Priestly's work, Socrates and Jesus Compared, Socrates devout religious belief to help citizens and others to be good was greatly admired. He taught the one Law of Nature is to do good in return for good received; or face the penalty of being deserted by your friends in you time of need. Priestly also writes that taught of a decisive power superior to man. And Unlike Epicurus belief that the gods were unconcerned spectators of the plight of man, Socrates reasoned the gods were concerned and interceded in the affairs of man. At his trial Socrates said that he had often heard a Daemon (divine voice) who was frequently present within him. He trusted the judgement of his personal reason and the wisdom of the gods over people. During his trial,Socrates listened to his Daemon repeated commands not to make any defense to the accusations, which led to his demise against tyrants. During Socrates sentencing he pleaded a justifiable reason of vanity that he if was executed, Athens would find no other man like him. Ultimately Socrates execution made him even more famous as a martyr for morality. To Priestly it appears that Socrates had little or no faith in the sanction of virtue in the doctrine of a future state. But, believed in the pleasure received during life and the chance of honored by the living after death. Priestly writes, "Socrates, according to Plato, generally speaks of a future state, and the condition of men in, as the popular belief, which might be true or false. Priestly does mention that Socrates taught that there was a privilege given by the gods to only a select group humans initiated in the right manner into a philosophy of meditation of a pure mind over their body to live with them. Socrates did not know whether or not he had succeeded in this endeavor or not. SOCRATES AND JESUS COMPARED BY JOSEPH PRIESTLY page 22 Priestly maintained Socrates theorized that the substance of man's power of thinking, or mental action may remain when the corporeal body ceases to exist. Priestly then added the Greek general belief of an afterlife during the time of Socrates could have been similar to the Jews idea of afterlife, but the record of this Future State revelation had been long lost. 600 years before Socrates, Aristotle and Demosthenes, the Israelite King Solomon wrote and shared words of wisdom to his people that a perfect weight on honest scales and balances are the Creator's will. Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 11 Proverbs 16 The Egyptian scale and balance concept of 'Ma’at' predated the Torah by 2000 years, but had a similar meaning of an active Creative Force of Nature involved in the scales and balances of Justice. and a later became a goddess. Ma’at originated as a concept and evolved into belief in a goddess. As a concept Ma’at was a manifestation of the Creator and Sun god, Amun Ra (Amun Re, Yamānu, Hidden One) to maintain truth, justice and natural universal order by balancing the flow of Ka (vital energy, life force, magic) from opposing powers. Ma’at is also a blatant counter force to the Egyptian term isfet (disorder). As a goddess, through the activation of the Ka (Heka) Ma’at was created by Amun Ra and opponent of Apepi (Aapep) the giant serpent and Lord of Chaos. Egyptians had no concept of Hell after death, Judgement came to those that followed Apepi and heart was not pure during life, their punishment was to devoured by the female demon Ammit into non-existence. The Moaning of the Bedouin In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Maat represents the ethical and moral principle of truth and honor that every citizen was expected to follow throughout their daily lives. The soul, ka (vital energy, and Chu (Shu, breath of life) originated on earth and were connected to immortality. Book of the Dead of Hunefer Chapter CLXXXIII Papyrus of Un'neferu The Maxims of Ptahhotep or Instruction of Ptahhotep (2500 - 2400 BC) is considered the oldest collection of wisdom in the world written by composed by the Vizier Ptahhotep, during the rule of King Izezi of the Fifth Dynasty. The Prisse Papyrus, dating from the twelfth dynasty Egyptian Middle Kingdom, was obtained by the French orientalist Émile Prisse d'Avennes at Thebes in 1856 and is now in the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. The Prisse Papyrus contains the only complete surviving copy of the Instruction of Ptahhotep. Ptahhotep considered the heart (ka) the way to measure life, prosperity and health. Those with the strongest heart are those that listen, understand and follow the laws given to keep order (Ma'at) in ones life. The one who listens to to those that do not follow law and order other, but looks for only pleasures to the body will grow a weak heart and only know death, punishment and appear foolish to others. Papyrus Prisse Like the Egyptian concept of Ma'at (Order) and Apepi (Disorder), In the Talmud (Tractate Berakoth Folio 5a) Jews believe that the soul of person has both a good spirit (Yezter hatov, impulse, inclination, instinct, genii) and a evil spirit (Yezter hara, impulse, inclination instinct, genii) battling for control.The problem, however, arises when one makes a willful choice to "cross over the line," and seeks to gratify the evil spirits. Rabbi Levi explains the meaning to King David's wisdom on how to maintain Selah (balance, Ma'at) in one's life by praying to the Creator for help to transform our Yezter hara into a good force in our life. Tractate Berakoth Folio 5a “Inclination is pleasure, accompanied by the idea of something which is accidentally a cause of pleasure." The Ethics, by Benedict de Spinoza PART III. ON THE ORIGIN AND NATURE OF THE EMOTIONS Everyone shapes his actions according to his emotion, ... a mental decision and a bodily appetite, or determined state, are simultaneous, or rather are one and the same thing, which we call decision Now I should like to know whether there be in the mind two sorts of decisions, one sort illusive, and the other sort free? If our folly does not carry us so far as this, we must necessarily admit, that the decision of the mind, which is believed to be free, is not distinguishable from the imagination or memory, and is nothing more than the affirmation, which an idea, by virtue of being an idea, necessarily involves. Wherefore these decisions of the mind arise in the mind by the same necessity, as the ideas of things actually existing. This endeavor, when referred solely to the mind, is called will, when referred to the mind and body in conjunction it is called appetite; it is, in fact, nothing else but man's essence, from the nature of which necessarily follow all those results which tend to its preservation; and which man has thus been determined to perform. Further, between appetite and desire there is no difference, except that the term desire is generally applied to men, in so far as they are conscious of their appetite, and may accordingly be thus defined: Desire is appetite with consciousness thereof. It is thus plain from what has been said, that in no case do we strive for, wish for, long for, or desire anything, because we deem it to be good, but on the other hand we deem a thing to be good, because we strive for it, wish for it, long for it, or desire it. Thus we see, that the mind can undergo many changes, and can pass sometimes to a state of greater perfection, sometimes to a state of lesser perfection. These passive states of transition explain to us the emotions of pleasure and pain. By pleasure therefore in the following propositions I shall signify a passive state wherein the mind passes to a greater perfection. By pain I shall signify a passive state wherein the mind passes to a lesser perfection. Further, the emotion of pleasure in reference to the body and mind together I shall call stimulation (titillatio) or merriment (hilaritas), the emotion of pain in the same relation I shall call suffering or melancholy. Love is nothing else but pleasure accompanied by the idea of an external cause: Hate is nothing else but pain accompanied by the idea of an external cause. We further see, that he who loves necessarily endeavors to have, and to keep present to him, the object of his love; while he who hates endeavors to remove and destroy the object of his hatred. If the mind has once been affected by two emotions at the same time, it will, whenever it is afterwards affected by one of these two, be also affected by the other. if the body, and consequently the mind has been once affected by two emotions at the same time, it will, whenever it is afterwards affected by one of the two, be also affected by the other. I, therefore, recognize only three primitive or primary emotions, namely, pleasure, pain, and desire. Anything can, accidentally, be the cause of pleasure, pain, or desire. the mind afterwards conceiving the said thing is affected with the emotion of pleasure or pain, that is according as the power of the mind and body may be increased or diminished, and consequently according as the mind may desire or shrink from the conception of it, in other words, according as it may love or hate the same. Hence we understand how it may happen, that we love or hate a thing without any cause for our emotion being known to us; merely, as a phrase is, from sympathy or antipathy. Simply from the fact that we conceive, that a given object has some point of resemblance with another object which is wont to affect the mind pleasurably or painfully, although the point of resemblance be not the efficient cause of the said emotions, we shall still regard the first-named object with love or hate. Pride,... is pleasure springing from a man thinking too highly of himself. Again, the pleasure which arises from a man thinking too highly of another is called over-esteem. Whereas the pleasure which arises from thinking too little of a man is called disdain. In proportion as a man thinks, that a loved object is well affected towards him, will be the strength of his self-approval, that is, of his pleasure; he will, therefore, endeavor, as far as he can, to imagine the loved object as most closely bound to him: this endeavor or desire will be increased, if he thinks that someone else has a similar desire. But this endeavor or desire is assumed to be checked by the image of the loved object in conjunction with the image of him whom the loved object has joined to itself; therefore he will for that reason be affected with pain, accompanied by the idea of the loved object as a cause in conjunction with the image of his rival; that is, he will be affected with hatred towards the loved object and also towards his rival, which latter he will envy as enjoying the beloved object. This hatred towards an object of love joined with envy is called Jealousy, which accordingly is nothing else but a wavering of the disposition arising from combined love and hatred, accompanied by the idea of some rival who is envied. Further, this hatred towards the object of love will be greater, in proportion to the pleasure which the jealous man had been wont to derive from the reciprocated love of the said object; and also in proportion to the feelings he had previously entertained towards his rival. If he had hated him, he will forthwith hate the object of his love, because he conceives it is pleasurably affected by one whom he himself hates: and also because he is compelled to associate the image of his loved one with the image of him whom he hates. Desire arising through pain or pleasure, hatred or love, is greater in proportion as the emotion is greater. King Solomon's Book of Ecclesiastes contains similar wisdom to Vizier Ptahhotep's Papyrus Prisse for a on how to keep good moral sense when making decisions. Ecclesiastes 10 In Genesis we see that the inclination to sin is able to dominate Cain from anger of the Creator being not pleased in his offering to Him. Genesis 4 The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel explains that the Creator has given us authority over our inclinations (spirits) to be good or evil. THE TARGUM OF PALESTINE, COMMONLY ENTITLED THE TARGUM OF JONATHAN BEN UZZIEL, ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS. SECTION I. BERASHITH In 1785, Immanuel Kant wrote in Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, that a good will to be a moral interest (morality) in respecting of the law (Divine Will, command), which we impose on ourselves. Respect is a feeling that originates from a practical rational concept independent from the influences of inclinations(desire or fear senses), which do not allow themselves to be suppressed by any law or command. Kant wrote that "Duty is the necessity of acting from respect for the law" that excludes inclinations. Our moral worth is derived from duty of acting from pure respect for a law or command regardless of our mortal fate. Jefferson understood the idea of balance of pleasure and pain should be approached through cautioned reason. From Thomas Jefferson to Maria Cosway, 12 October 1786 The Prophet Moses told the story about how the evil of human inclinations caused the Creator nearly destroy all life on earth, But, the Prophet Noah's offering of atonement for the sins of mankind abated the Creator's anger and in Mercy, He made a Covenant to no longer curse life. Genesis 6 - 8 Scientific American, Feeling Our Emotions, reports that neurologist Antonio R. Damasio believes that feelings are what arise as the brain interprets emotions, which are themselves purely physical signals of the body reacting to external stimuli. In the book of Job, we see in a passage Zophar’s thought (spirit) is compelling him to respond to the prophet's words that dishonor the Creator. Job 20 Antonio R. Damasio has surfaced Jewish Philosopher Baruch Spinoza views regarding the body and soul to be used in neurology. In Spinoza's Ethics he wrote: The Prophet Isaiah revealed that the Creator kept his Covenant with Noah and would not destroy humankind for the sake of his grateful servants. The Hebrew word for Jew, Yehudi, means “one who gives thanks.” Jews believe that if you give thanks to the Creator (Hashem) for everything, you won’t need to run to holy ones for blessings, because you’ll be blessed in every single way. The Creator also warned the Jews to not to follow ideas that go against what He has commanded. And watch out for those that consider themselves too holy to be touched by mere mortals. The Great Isaiah Scroll Chapter 65 The prophet Jeremiah revealed to the Jews that sacrifice is worthless when people follow their own inclinations rather than following the Law that was revealed to them. Jeremiah 7 Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. In Jewish liturgy, Rosh Hashanah leads to Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person's fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to "seal" the verdict. The Talmud states, "Yom Kippur atones for those who repent and does not atone for those who do not repent". Rosh Hashanah 16b The Apostle Paul recognizes the difficulty in not following inclinations and remaining faithful to the Creator. Hebrews 12 Arabic people that consider themselves holy over others are referred to as mutakabbiroon (people of arrogance). In the Qur'ran, the Creator (Allah) warned people not to follow false deities or people that consider themselves holy ones that can see into your soul and give you guidance. Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believe that you need to be grateful to the Creator to receive His Mercy. Ibrahim Abrahim Chapter 14 In Islam, the Prophet Mohamed defined evil inclinations as suggestions or impulses coming from Satan. By focusing on fearing to be cursed by the Creator one can overcome the power of Satanic impulses. Al-A'raf The Heights Chapter 7 To gain greater understanding of inclination we must also look further east to India and The Hindu Mahābhārata is an epic narrative written around 900 BC that contains philosophical and devotional material similar to the Torah, New Testament, Talmud, and Qu'ran. Within the Mahābhārata their is discussion on how human instincts attract dark inclinations and propensities that surround the soul, cloud judgement and instill greed, fear and pride. Mahabharata To summarize what we have reasoned together is that Nature (The Creator) has given us authority over our positive and negative inclinations (spirits) by our ability to learn, understand (reason), and duty to follow the Law (Divine Will) imposed on ourselves to keep order during life and gain respect (moral worth) for ourselves. Through meditation (prayer) Nature (The Creator) can help overcome difficult negative (evil) inclinations to make good choices. At the end of our mortal lives the actions we choose will be weighed and judged upon. Those that have controlled their negative (evil) inclinations and followed the law during their lives will be remembered as good and helped by friends (Creator) during times of need. For those of faith and pure mind (spirit) believe the righteous have the opportunity live with the Creator for eternity. Those individuals that sought only to gratify their evil inclinations during life and not follow the law look foolish and are deserted by all in a time of greatest need. For those of faith and corrupt mind (spirit) will be separated from the Creator and suffer after death. At this stage of my essay the question I ask you the reader to think carefully on whether Justice and Morality are to be considered divine, genetic, an invention of man, or all three? Thomas Law posed this question to President Jefferson. Thomas Law to Thomas Jefferson, 3 May 1814 Jefferson's response was that man derives morality through instinct designed by a Creative Force Nature. This was a slight variance from Emmanuel Kant's view that respect is a rational concept that influences feelings. Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 13 June 1814 Jefferson's idea of Moral Instinct was understood by Lord Kames as Moral Sense to distinguish virtue (good) from evil (vice). Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion Source of the Laws of Nature Lord Kames, Henry Home In Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion, Kames wrote that The God of Nature (Creative Force of Nature, Creator) has designed our appetites and passions, and the desires and adversions that accompany them to operate by impulse without reason and answer to what is called instinct in brute creatures.Solitary creatures are designed to live by brute instinct, On the other hand social creatures are designed with a different nature. Lord Kames defined the concept of 'moral sense' to be our instinctual ability to perceive the right and wrong in our actions. It is our moral sense that provides connection to each other and accumulates knowledge on actions that help or hinder our life. It was Kames understanding that through accumulated knowledge the action of indulgence has been found to be a brute appetite for pleasure that favors lack of of restraint of which can hurt our mind and body. It is this reason that indulgence is condemned by the moral sense to be an attack on our life. Kames believed the God of Nature designed society to connect groups of individuals strongly together, by participation of the joys and miseries of fellow creatures. Through mutual trust and reliance, a society can create laws to provide a greater opportunity of prosperity and protection from mutual injuries to its members. Both Atheist and Theist believe that Moral sense preserves ourselves and society from harm and pain. The only difference is that Atheist believe that Moral sense originates from human evolution (nature) while Theist (Deist and Monotheist) believe it originates from a Creator. Atheist and some Deist believe the distinctions between morality and immorality are discovered by emotional responses to experience and cultural (nurture) teaching. Monotheist and some Deist believe that the distinctions of morality and immorality are designed and shared by the Creator to righteous (good and virtuous) individuals which instruct society (nurture). Monotheist (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) believe the Creator designed and gave the Prophet Moses Divine Laws (Mosaic Law) to provide a moral framework for Israelite society to follow. Christians believe the Mosaic Law was designed for a lower stage of civilization During the Hellenistic era, Hellenistic Judaism aspired to combine Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture and philosophy. The philosopher Philo used philosophical allegory to attempt to fuse and harmonize Greek philosophy with Jewish philosophy. His work attempts to combine Plato and Moses into one philosophical system. He developed an allegoric approach of interpreting holy scriptures (the bible), in contrast to (old-fashioned) literally interpretation approaches. His allegorical exegesis was important for several Christian Church Fathers and some scholars hold that his concept of the Logos as God's creative principle influenced early Christology. Other scholars, however, deny direct influence but say both Philo and Early Christianity borrow from a common source. America was born on the idea that all humans have the Natural Right of Liberty (Freedom of Conscious) over forced coercion of opinions by those in authority onto others. Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, January 16, 1786 Most Diests and Monotheists believe that any human and nonhuman creature incapable of understanding the concept of a Creator and/or Covenants, then are incapable of understanding unalienable rights (treated with respect and dignity) bestowed by the Will of the Creator. But, the incapability of a nonhuman or human creature does not mean it does not have right to Life and Happiness. Monotheist believe a good person of authority has the responsibility to take care of the well-being of both human and nonhuman living creatures (Genesis 1:26 - 28, 9:1 - 3, Proverbs 12:10, Psalms 8:6, Daniel 4:17, Romans 13:1 - 5 ). Most Atheist and Agnostics would agree with Theists that all life should be valued and we should help those not to suffer during their time in the light of the sun. Atheist and Theist both accept that it is our liberty (Free Will) to decide what shared moral ideas (morality) to follow or not follow that lead to happiness or misery. Jefferson came to his own conclusion that it is through reason that we can come to understand the limits of Free Will. Liberty is our Free Will through Reason to specifically recognize our right to choose with Prudence from ideas different course of actions that lead to a Life of Happiness and Prosperity without infringing on the rights others. It is the successful abstract ideas (moral senses) we find useful and just to be self evident. Thomas Jefferson to I. Tiffany, 1819 Both those that believe or not believe in a Creator understand can accept the meaning of a Right of Liberty to that of a Social Contract (Constitution) that is useful and beneficial to all involved parties. Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld was an American jurist and the author of Fundamental Legal Conceptions, As Applied in Judicial Reasoning and Other Legal Essays formed the modern understanding of the nature of rights, privilege, immunity an power. Holfeld's Right of Liberty denotes the privilege one of one being not subject to the acts of another person. Modern law considers Right of Liberty to be a privilege of one's freedom (immunity) from claim of another. Liberty can also be considered a Disability to one that does not have power to alter the acts of another. As Divine Law through covenant bestowed power to control the ownership the Liberty of others, Civil Law through Social Contract appoints one legal power to control the ownership of The Right of Liberty of another. The Just (law abiding) exercise virtues (brave, temperate, and of good temperament) that seek fair conditions for the greater good and happiness of others. The unjust (lawless) exercise vice (wickedness) that seek lesser evil unfair conditions that lead to self prosperity with the possibility of inflicting misery to others. In Civil Law defending the Civil governing power is called Law enforcement. All Americans enjoy the freedoms, protections, and legal rights which the Constitution promises. It is the duty of every American citizen to bear true faith, allegiance, support, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. To become a citizen of the United States of America a foreign applicant must take an in a public ceremony. The language of the current Oath of Allegiance can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations Section 337.1 and is closely based upon the statutory elements in Section 337(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Constitution provides Law enforcement describes the individuals and agencies responsible for enforcing laws and maintaining public order and public safety. In Psychology, Behavioral Reinforcement is a consequence that will strengthen an organism's future behavior whenever that behavior is preceded by a specific antecedent (prior) stimulus (Ex. reward, punishment). It is now known that human behavior reinforcement with chimpanzees has resulted in their ability to learn and teach the abstract idea of human sign language to other members of their nonhuman community. Loulis, a chimpanzee born at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center learned to communicate in American Sign Language from another chimpanzee. Loulis In Behavior Psychology, researchers study nonhuman primate behavior to better understand our own human species. Like humans, some of the explicit abstract ideas chimpanzees formulate are right and some are wrong. Acquired explicit ideas that are successful become more accepted by a limited use of reason are then communicated to other members of chimpanzee community. Professor David Premack and Guy Woodruf introduced the influential concept Theory of Mind (naïve psychology) now used in developmental psychology. In his book, Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? Chimpanzees minds begin to acquire general abstract ideas from familiar objects and prior experienced events to better understand underlying goals, intentions, and knowledge of other creatures around them. Like humans, some of the explicit abstract ideas chimpanzees formulate are right and some are wrong. Acquired explicit ideas that are successful become more accepted by a limited use of reason are then communicated to other members of chimpanzee community. Chimpanzees have the ability to value their experiences tactically reason whether or not they should deceive and conceal or reveal and share their food source with other members of the community. There is compelling evidence that chimpanzees feel happiness and misery. According to the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, "Those who have worked closely with chimpanzees agree that they feel and express emotions such as sadness and happiness, fear and despair—and they know mental as well as physical pain." Jane Goodall Institute of Canada : Emotions To better understand nonhuman emotion watch Koko the Gorilla share a moment of laughter with Robin Williams. It is now known that chimpanzees and apes are self-aware and have empathy towards other individuals. Can We Learn About Gorilla Emotions via Sign Language? Jefferson concept of Happiness has evolved over the years to implicit term of 'well-being' used by psychologist to define overall emotional satisfaction. Happiness has also evolved to an explicit term 'quality of life' used by economist that measures living conditions (housing, employment etc.). If we bring both terms together we are able to create a new maxim that Happiness is our emotional satisfaction with our living conditions. In United States Law, Jefferson's Happiness includes primates as well. The 1985 Improved Standards for Laboratory Animals Act, was passed into law directing the Secretary of Agriculture to promote the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates. While there are similarities in humans and chimpanzees, there are many emotional and intellectual differences as well. According to researchers Joseph Call and Michael Tomasello, Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? 30 years later, chimpanzees do not display human-like belief-desire psychology (folk psychology). Researchers have not found chimpanzees to reason, share, and accept ideas without familiar objects or life experienced events. It is true that chimpanzees can communicate both vocally and by gesture like humans, but they do not have larynx muscles and vocal cords to speak verbally (talk) or the ability to ask questions through sign language, physical tokens, and lexigrams. According to Dr. Jane Goodall, chimpanzees cannot share knowledge of the past or plan for the future. Although, recent studies reveal that chimpanzees and other primates can plan for their future needs. In the paper, Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and orangutan (Pongo abelii) forethought: self-control and pre-experience in the face of future tool use researchers Mathias and Helena Osvath would agree with Dr. Goodall on prior intentions, but do have a limited ability to plan future events, "great apes engage in planning for the future by out competing current drives and mentally pre-experiencing an upcoming event." Mathias and Helena also state that there is no evidence anywhere that chimpanzees understand the beliefs of others. But, like humans chimpanzees and other primates do understand and communicate emotion. Marcus Cicero 2000 year statement is still found correct that man alone retains the idea of the Divinity. Epicurus is statement is still found correct that man alone retains the idea of covenants that prevent parties from harming one another. Chimpanzees and mentally disabled human beings are for the moment not considered capable of formulating (define and question), understanding, accepting, and collaborating implicit (non experienced) maxims as true or false by assent or dissent. Atheist and Theist would both agree that it is our ability to formulate and collaborate the emotions we share and reality of the world we live is what separates us from the rest of the known species. Theist would add that is our ability to collaborate ideas of the divine and the making contracts (covenants) in their name is congruent and influences the modern law we know today. Many Monotheist believe that transgressions against Divine covenants are offenses against the Creator rather than solely against society they harmed. I propose that in this age of science and faith Jefferson's Declaration we find to be self evident has evolved to include both human and nonhuman beings created according to circumstance, that are endowed by covenant with certain unalienable rights, among these are Life and the pursuit Well Being. And those human citizens that understand the choice to follow a social contract of allegiance to our Nation are granted the privilege of the right of Liberty. When an appointed legal power takes unjust control of the Rights of another for the sake of one party then the social contract becomes no longer useful (Natural Justice) or successful to all parties then Liberty becomes no longer self evident. Luke 18 By substituting Creator with circumstance in Luke's passage, there can be no guarantee to the Respect or Well Being in the Life of each of Citizen. The only promise in a land without belief in a Creator is that a universal explicit sense of caring for the well being and circumstance of others will persuade those in authority to accept the implicit idea of treating citizens with dignity and respect in accordance to the Law legislated and enforced by man. The first main difference that a Theist has from an Atheist is that if one seeks help and justice through the Creator, then there is hope in receiving help and justice from the Creator in this life and/or the next. The second main difference that a Theist has from an Atheist is that if one is righteous and shows kindness and mercy to others, then there is hope in receiving the grace of good fortune and mercy in this life and/or the next. To an Atheist justice and fortune are a matter of environmental circumstance; kindness and mercy are a matter of discretionary circumstance; hope is a matter of expecting a better future circumstance; and righteousness and grace are attitudes of circumstance. Now through reason we have a better understanding of what is explicit conscious Free Will and the privilege of implicit Liberty to better see the proverbial fork in the road where we must discern (recognize) what actions cause life and death. The Didache - Chapter 1 The Didache's first lesson is for us to focus on the differences life and and death. The Didache is a Monotheist teaching that predicates it is the fear of death and darkness keeps us all all alive in the light. Atheist (no belief in a creator), Agnostics (not sure if creator exists), Theists (Polytheist, Diest, and Monotheist) believe that our sun's light and our time with it is finite and will end. Theists, Agnostics, and Atheists would also agree that that pain and the fear of death is a factor that helps keep us alive. There is a general consensus that all living things have a sense of self preservation (behavior that ensures survival) to respond to a stressful event. In the Summer of 1994, I was living in the woods of Northern Arizona during my Archaeology field school. I remember a forest ranger sharing basic wilderness survival instructions on where to get water, put refuge, and how to find help if I needed it. The ranger's best advice was that I see a bear or mountain lion not to run, but stay where I am. One night when I was in my tent a mountain lion came into my camp. I heard a deep gurgling growl as it emerged from the darkness closer to my tent. I distinctly remember the hair in my arms stood up. I felt like a deer that wanted to bolt, but my unconscious followed the ranger's advice and I remained calm staring at the dark silhouette of a large cat through a thin net screen. It was so close that I could hear it sniffing the air, then it turned away and left back into the woods. That was an experience I will never forget. Similar to understanding the ranger's advice that kept me alive, The Didache gives advice on how to recognize actions that help or hinder our life. Each chapter puts focus to actions that either impair or improve the proper workings of our rational mind. Thomas Jefferson would have recognized the shared words, phrases, and motifs of The Didache with the Gospels. He would have understood the Apostles teachings on the differences between life and death to be a key to understanding the deeper meaning of Scripture and the struggle of Righteous Liberty against Selfish Tyranny. Jefferson would have compared the accepted testimonies from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scripture for continuity and harmony of divine understanding. To use the cliche, 'Apostasy will stand out like a sore thumb.' Jefferson would have found no heresy. Jefferson never had the opportunity to read the The Didache of the 12 Apostles, the manuscript was found 47 years after America's 3rd president life ended. Jefferson would have admired the wisdom gained by reading The Didache as a Syllabus similar to his own book that gives perspective of seeing Free Will as our conscious choice to follow the Freedom of Liberty or the Subjugation of Tyranny. The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and the Declaration of Independence reveal that Jefferson foresaw the dangers of both religious and scientific opinions attempt to limit and deprive our Rights of Liberty that we find self evident. Declaration of Independence Court Rulings by our Judicial System have methodically redefined the Covenant ideals of America's Declaration of Independence understood by our nation's Founding Father. Although the Declaration of Independence clearly stated its grievances which caused separation from England, it did not define the limits of political bands obstructing this nation's ideal of Liberty. Not giving equal station to Laws of Nature (Science) and Nature's God (Religion) has caused a Constitutional schism between citizens of our nation. In our nation's lifetime judicial opinions of constitutional case law has strengthened limits to religious opinions and weakened limits on scientific opinions. The Declaration dictates Prudence (Good Judgement) to whether a greater reliance to explicit scientific reasoning will erode the balance it has with implicit religious spiritual thinking within our nation's Moral framework that may once again lead to one or a few with absolute authority (Despotism) over a suffering population. Jefferson would have understood that modern civility begins with understanding and accepting that implicit reasoning shapes and gives meaning to our place in the world and explicit reasoning helps maintain and control it. I have concluded presenting definitions on how the choice of our actions can lead to Life and Happiness or Death and Misery. I still ask you the reader to temporarily suspend your preconception or disbelief on whether or not a Creative Force of Nature exists an affects the outcome of our actions. Diests, and Monotheist (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) believe that the Creator has given all living things the ability to sense and respond to our environment, but it is man that can place reason over instinct. The first teaching the Creator gave Adam (the father of mankind) was how to tend His orchard and eat it's fruit. The second instruction the Creator communicated to man was a warning that there was object in the middle of the orchard will cause death if any part is eaten. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was the object's name. Genesis 2 For an Atheist or Agnostic to make sense of Monotheist scripture (word of the Creator), one has to start at the beginning of theology and reason why the Creator generated an object that would test both Adam's and Eve's obedience to authority in their state of ignorance of pain or death before they fell from grace. In Chapter 6 of the Second Treatise of Civil Government John Locke wrote on the Creator's bestowing upon Adam the Law of Reason to help preserve and govern his actions and all of his posterity. (Chapter 6, Sec. 56). John Lock understood the Law of Reason to not be a limitation, but a useful direction in the Pursuit of Happiness (Chapter 6, Sec. 56) and I would add the implication on how to avoid Misery. Freedom is lost to those that cannot reason. The nature of the minds of Adam and Eve is both like and unlike our own. Like all children of good upbringing, Adam and Eve experienced explicit happiness and prosperity of what appeared before them. Like Adam and Eve, as a child I was ignorant of death until I actually experienced watched a love one die. Unlike Adam and Eve, I experienced pain and sickness prior to my parents warnings, so I could formulate and abstract idea by associating pain and sickness with flames and crossbones. The nature of the Creator is both like and unlike those us with the power of authority over others (i.e. parent, teacher, manager, police officer, judge etc... ). Like a parent, the Creator warned Adam and Eve about the danger touching or eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Like the Creator, those with the power of authority would ideally not put dangerous objects in harm's way. We know that both Adam and Eve did not directly die from their actions of touching the forbidden object. Therefore, the Tree of Knowledge was not an object that directly caused death to Adam and Eve. We can induce that the Creator has no need for objects that He has generated. Further, the Creator has no need to generate forbidden objects of power outside His own that will benefit the unknown. We can assume that an all knowing Creator generated the Tree of Knowledge strictly to test the obedience of Adam and Eve to following the authority of His warning. Like the orchard (Eden), it is generally understood that to preserve one's Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness we must all use obey the warnings of those with the power of Authority. Further we must use Prudence in judging those that abuse it. If we take scripture at its word, both Adam and Eve recognized the Authority of the Creator and object that He warned not to eat, as the Tree of Knowledge (Genesis 3:2). This can be deduced from their understanding that they were both made by the Creator and taught by Him on how tend and eat the fruit from the orchard. Further, there is not mention of either Adam or Eve witnessing death, so we can deduce that both Adam and Eve knew the object of death in name only, and for a period of time accepted the authority of the Creator's warning to avoid tending or touching it. I reflect back to the time when I was a naive little child ignorant of the causes of pain and pleasure. I remember my parents warning me not touch a flame. Another time they pointed to labels on bottles with a skull and crossbones and told me never to touch them or I would get very sick. Genesis (Séfer haYashar “Book of the Straight”) teaches us that there our actions that can interfere, overpower and suppress our sense of reason and judgment. The nature of the persuasive serpent (Hebrew word Nachash) living in the orchard is like a true Anarchist to effectively oppose obedience to the Creator's authority. Like Adam and Eve, the serpent was generated by the Creator and cannot sneak around or hide from Him. But, unlike Adam and Eve, the serpent was not taught how to tend the orchard or warned by the Creator not to touch the Tree of Knowledge. The serpent's power is his own knowledge and he wants to share it as an authority for his own glory (John 7:18). To get Eve's attention the serpent asks her a direct question on whether or not she was allowed to eat any of the fruits from the trees. Eve can deduce from the serpent's question that it witnessed, but misunderstood the Creator's warning. Eve corrected the serpent, and referenced the single tree in the middle of the orchard that she and Adam should never to touch. From Eve's correction and expansion of an incorrect idea we can conclude that she fully understood the location of the named object of the Creator's warning and that she could die from touching it. Like a well seasoned lawyer the serpent objects to Eve response with a subjective statement of his own apparent opposing authority in understanding of the divinity of the Creator and the consequences from touching the object named The Tree of Knowledge. Genesis 3 The serpent established a counterfactual association (contraposition) of eating from Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil as an object of death to an object that causes one to be divine like the Creator with wisdom of what is good and what is evil. Eve understood and accepted the serpent's opposing implicit idea to eat of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge would give her wisdom like the Creator and understand what is good and what is evil. As stated previously, there is no mention Eve witnessing or understanding death, so we can deduce Eve knew the name of the object of death in name in warning only and would not associate it with divinity. Eve only experienced living, she would not associate eating or touching the Tree of Knowledge with eternal life. There is no mention that the Creator revealed the Tree of Life that was also in the middle of the garden and whether or not Adam or Eve tended and ate from it. We can only deduce that at that point there was no desire for Adam or Eve to need or desire to eat from the Tree of Life since they already had it. We can conclude that Eve desired to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil to be wise with knowledge like the Creator. In addition, Eve had experience of eating fruit that was pleasing to the eye. Eve accepted the serpent's contraposition and formed her own implicit idea by that by eating this pleasing fruit she would gain divine wisdom. Since Eve had no experience of pain or death, she was ignorant of fear or understanding of the consequences from touching the object named The Tree of Knowledge. Physical Science teaches that our fear pain memories are acquired through strengthening synapse connections of life experience by what is called long-term potentiation (LTP). The opposite of LTP is the weakening of synapse connections, which is called long-term depression (LDP). LTP and LDP are the underlying basis of what is called neuroplasticity (physical change to the brain). Eve payed attention to and accepted the authority of the serpent's wisdom of the benefits of eating the fruit and tuned out the Creator's authority in warning not to eat the fruit or face the consequence of death. Eve made the wrong choice to follow the advice of the serpent over the Creator and ate the fruit. The biological process that adjusts the strength of synapse connections between neurons in the brain is called Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). What we pay attention to becomes finely tuned and what we do not pay attention to gets tuned out. From Genesis 3:6 can deduce that Adam was with Eve when she took and ate the fruit. Adam understood the communication between Eve and Serpent and did not have Prudence to rebuke (criticize) the serpent's contraposition of the Creator's authority or stop Eve from touching and eating the Tree of Knowledge. It can be induced that when nothing immediately happened to Eve when she ate of the fruit the LDP of the Creator's warning of death had weakened to Adam and the LTP of the serpent's authority of the consequences of eating the food became stronger. Most Atheist and Theist would agree that the ability to choose between the STDP of different possible courses of action from LTP and LDP is called Free Will. As stated previous some Atheist and Agnostics consider the idea of human free will to be an illusion. The experience of choice is not an instantaneous moment-by-moment construction, but rather is formed by integrating information presented within short temporal windows, so that new information which is obtained can influence the immediate past in our conscious awareness. This segmented time concept has been well known to the Christian faith. Saint Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis) autobiographical work, "The Confessions (Book XI Chapters 13 through 21)" stress that with respect to temporal perception (life time) under a phenomenological (philosophical study of the constructs of experience and consciousness) point of view there is only ‘presence’, past and future being mental constructions out of such a 'window of presence.' From this circumstantial point of view Eve integrated the explicit past experience of taste of fruit as food, Creator's past warning of touching the tree brings death in name only, and the serpent's present idea of eating the forbidden fruit and being like the Creator in the future. Questioning what is forbidden is of little to no consequence to those that oppose or do not recognize the power of authority. When both Eve and Adam had eaten of the fruit their eyes opened like the serpent said, but not divine as the Creator, but objectifying themselves and the differences in features evoked attention between each other. When Adam and Eve became self aware, they reacted by choosing to cover themselves to further prohibit their objectifying their differences and the creatures around them. Adam and Eve's modesty in how they presented themselves began their separation of innocence with life that surrounded them. Atheist and Agnostics would acknowledge the sexual objectification of Adam and Eve and their modesty to cover themselves enacted by the change social circumstances. The second consequence of Adam and Eve's eating the forbidden fruit was the stress that was fear of getting caught being unclothed. Just like plants and animals, we humans have both reactive and proactive responses to resist competition and predatory attacks that threaten our limited time to enjoy the light of the sun. Deep within our temporal lobe is the amygdala (Greek word for an almond shape set of neurons), an interpretive alarm center that recognizes and stores threat image patterns around us (fear memory) as well as pain patterns (pain memory) and stress (anxiety) patterns (stress memory). When a threat is recognized the amygdala works with our nervous system regulating many of our body functions in ways to help us be more adaptive to our environment. Adam and Eve's first LTP experience of fear response was to hide from the Creator. The third consequence happens when the Creator confronts Adam on whether or not he ate from the fruit. Adam admits he did eat from the fruit, but did not take responsibility for his own misbehavior. Instead, Adam justifies his action as a victim by projecting the first guilty blame on Eve for giving him the fruit to eat. Adam judging of Eve as the guilty party was an attempt to escape the Creator's judgement against him. (Romans 2:1 - 3) even though he was with Eve and the serpent during her transgression against the Creator's authority. By not revealing his inaction to defend the Creator's authority or prevent Eve from touching and eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, Adam furthered his misconduct and was the first to Fall from the Creator's Grace (Leviticus 5:1). The fourth consequence happens when the Creator confronts Eve on whether or not she ate from the fruit. Like Adam, Eve admits she did eat from the fruit, but did not take responsibility for her own misbehavior. Instead, like Adam, Eve defended her action as a victim by projecting the second guilty blame on the serpent for tricking her to eat the fruit. Eve's experience with the serpent helped her acquire the idea of trickery that has been shared, understood and accepted by both Jews and Christians has as an undoubted implicit truth. The fifth consequence was the Creator confronting the serpent for his use of shrewd trickery as adversary (Satan) to His Divine authority. As stated previously the serpent's contraposition removed the warning of eating from Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil as an object of death to a desire to know divinity like the Creator. The serpent put his own glory before the Creator. The first punishment was when Creator cursed the serpent to crawl on its belly and his food to be dirt, and caused an eternal enmity between himself and man. The second punishment was towards Eve to carry the painful burden of child birth and living in a male dominated world. The third punishment was towards Adam to work for a living and eventually face death. The first explicit lesson the story of Adam and Eve is the Creator teaches is that He is the Master of His Creation. The second explicit lesson he teaches the knowledge on how to be good. The third explicit lesson the Creator teaches is obeying His Will leads to life and happiness and not following His warnings leads to death and misery. The fourth explicit lesson is that the snake is an adversary to both the Creator and Mankind. The fifth implicit lesson is that the snake used the fruit to teach the knowledge of evil The sixth implicit lesson the Creator teaches is projecting blame and iniquity on another for causing your offense does no good for He is all knowing. And the seventh implicit lesson is that each one of us is accountable for our actions alone in His judgement. As stated previously Reason is the ability to recognize right and wrong ideas. Liberty is our Free Will through Reason to specifically recognize and choose from ideas different course of actions that lead to a Life of Happiness and Prosperity or Misery and Destruction. The story of Adam and Eve teaches us that like the serpent there are adversaries to authority that interfere, overpower and suppress both explicit and implicit warnings by imitating the truth. An adversary like the serpent may use an object like the fruit and/or and idea that appeals to our appetites (desire) to formulate opinions and actions that go against good reason and judgement. The Greeks used the term Akraisia (lack of self control or weakness of will) that drags one's rational conscious from a positive state of enlightenment (equanimity) to discern right from wrong to negative irrational thoughts of fear pain, and stress (anxiety). longer-lasting behavioral responses may persist after a perceived irrational thought terminates. Long term potentiation of Anxiety memory can be a destructive side effect of environmental stress. In many studies, including one published in Biological Psychiatry in 2003, it was shown that individuals with Emotional Dysregulation had an amygdala that overreacted to visual stimulation. Specifically, individuals were shown pictures of faces. The people with Emotional Dysregulation found neutral expressions to be threatening or hostile, and the amygdala was overly active in these people compared to those in the control group who had a normal response. A study done by the Stanford University Medical Center concluded that the larger the amygdala is, the greater the amount of anxiety one has. Evidence suggests that people with anxiety disorders are at greater risk for developing a number of chronic medical conditions. People with anxiety may also have more severe symptoms and a greater risk of death when they become ill. New understanding of Emotional Dysregulation has opened up insights into unwarranted fear pain, and stress that interferes with daily life that have traditionally viewed as difficult to treat. I propose the cure to fear, pain, and stress is to learn the truth on how to be prosperous in life. For an Atheist or Agnostic to make sense of Jewish and Christian Monotheist views on prosperity one has start with the Prophet Moses teaching the Liberty of choice each Israelite had to make. Deuteronomy 30 All monotheist faiths believe that the light of knowledge on life and prosperity dwells within a Higher Power known as the Creator. Monotheist believe that if your are open to finding a Higher Power and willing to follow the teachings of the righteous, the loyal love our Creator has for you will answer every need, challenge, concern, problem, and worry. 'Atheist and Agnostics' (NonBelievers) would replace the implicit belief in a Creator with an explicit Higher Power group of loving people that are willing share their experiences with you. The main difference of a High Power between a believer and a nonbeliever is the Creator is all knowing, while a Loving Group can only understand what you truly reveal to them and their answers are limited to their own individual experiences and understanding. But, the similarity is Love. The relationship between quality of life and material prosperity has been subject to rigorous empirical analysis. The World Happiness Report surveyed individual on their happiness and subjective well-being in 156 countries around the planet as a measurement of social progress. The authors of the report make the claim that happiness is tied to civil institutions providing a consistent framework of understanding of the common good to enable people to live happier lives. the European Social Survey (ESS) asked the same respondents “satisfaction with life” and “happy with life” questions, wisely using the same 0 to 10 response scales. The study found that household income is generally positively correlated with all dimensions of well-being though more so for some dimensions (evaluative well-being) than others (vitality). However, However, a significant negative association was found between income and personal and community well being. Income is related to social inclusion or social exclusion depending on whether or not people or communities are dependent on their prosperity to fully participate in society. Atheist and Theist would agree that prosperity is one one variable of the of the solution to happiness. I propose the learning how better your quality of life not dependent solely on income is solution to happiness. Atheist and Theist would agree that the enjoyment of events, material goods, sex, food, drink, and accomplishment of task brings momentary happiness. But, the wisdom of loyal love is better than life itself. I previously asked you the reader to temporarily suspend your preconception or disbelief on whether or not a Creative Force of Nature can give us an understanding on how the choice of our actions can lead to Life and Happiness or Death and Misery. Based on new understanding that I have share with you I would like the amend my statement. That it is through a cause of Love that a Higher Power gives us understanding on how to choose our our course of actions that lead to a Life of Happiness and Prosperity or Misery and Destruction. Further we must use Prudence in judging those that are adverse to authority on whether or not their reasoning supports our Pursit of good and happiness or irrationally imitates it. In Psychology Today, Steve Taylor Ph.D, defines 'Good' as the lack of self-centeredness with the ability to empathize and feel compassion for other people. A 'Good' person is able to sacrifice personal well being for the sake of the needs of others. Further, Dr. Taylor defines 'Evil' as self centered and unable to empathize and feel compassion for other people. An 'Evil' person is selfish, self-absorbed, narcissistic and looks to take advantage of others. It is also understood there is a ‘fluidity’ of moving toward good or evil. Dr. Taylor writes, "we practice meditation or mindfulness, and as we become less attached to materialism and status-seeking, we become more open and more connected, and so more selfless and altruistic." Most Atheists, Agnostics, and Theists would agree that every one of us has been given knowledge (conscience) free will (liberty) to make a right (positive or good) or wrong (negative or evil) life choice to every difficult decision (moral dilemma) we make concerning the welfare of our happiness or misery. Monotheist agree that mankind has been given liberty to obey or disobey the commands of the Creator. Inducing on my previous maxim, opening yourself to the infinite love (Higher Power) leads to learning how better your quality of life with answers to every need, challenge, concern, problem, and worry. Psalms 139 It is my opinion that reading and practicing the Didache influence our postdictive processes (neuronal interactions of past experiences stored within our brain) to transcend to a higher-level event perception (sensory cues from hearing, vision, touching, tasting, and smelling objects create involuntary, prerational inferences) and decision making (a course of action based framework for quantifying variables involved) that would not normally occur without it. Prerational (unconscious) inferences are developed to complete a thought or vision. It is the wisdom of inference we gain by reading The Didache on how to take notice and avert dangers that may cease our time to enjoy the light of the sun and make sense of following ideas for the right reasons. To those in the Physical Sciences both light and the darkness are an explicit representation of physical states that we recognize. One sense of human self preservation comes from our gift of sight. Our eyes are able to focus on visible light wave patterns reflected from objects in our field of view into neuronal signals (neurons connect and receive impulses from other neurons). that are transmitted to our brain's temporal lobe to processes sensory input into derived meanings for the appropriate retention of Visual memory, language comprehension, and emotion association. To Jews, Christians, and Muslims light and dark are spiritual states of being. Light (wisdom) and dark (folly) are a means of closeness (reward, presence) to or separation (punishment, absence) from our Creator. The path of the righteous (good inclination, yetzer hatov) gets brighter as the wisdom of our Creator will becomes better understood. There is no path for the wicked to follow that folly in the darkness of what they desire (evil inclination, yetzer hara). Proverbs 4 Chapters 13 through 21)" stress that with respect to temporal perception (life time) under a phenomenological (philosophical study of the constructs of experience and consciousness) point of view there is only ‘presence’, past and future being mental constructions out of such a 'window of presence'. All monotheist faiths believe that the light of knowledge on life and prosperity dwells within a Higher Power known as the Creator. According to scripture, our Creator favors (blesses) those that follow the path of the righteous. And evil comes to the wicked lost in the darkness of their folly. Proverbs 11 Monotheist believe those who see evil and think it is good or see good and think it is evil are under the influence of darkness and are subject to the rule of evil inclination. When one is in the grip of an evil inclination (desire), it can be difficult to discern that which appears to be sweet (flattering) and smooth (delightful), but inside is truly bitter (mocking) and crass (detestable). As desire grows, evil comes to the wicked, sin becomes no longer unnatural or unusual, but rather natural and expected. A machine that cannot define itself. In An Essay Concerning Understanding (Chapter 11) John Locke defined a 'Madman' as on that has not lost the faculty of reasoning, but has made the mistake of joining together ideas incorrectly and fashioned them for truths; and they err as men do that argue right from wrong principles. This is why it is important for me to seek a Higher Power of both a group of individuals with understanding of this subject, related media, life experiences, and most importantly implicit faith in a Creator. "Is this how you live with yourself?" In the political drama, 'House of Cards' (Season 3, Episode 4, Chapter 30) United States Solicitor General, Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) is outraged at President Francis "Frank" Underwood (Kevin Spacey) ruse to sideline her as the 2016 Democratic candidate by indirectly leak that the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Justice Robert Jacobs (Jonathan Hogan) mental incompetence (Alzheimer's) to the press and appoint her to the position. Solicitor General questions President Underwood's attempt to twist words of threat (evil) and re-packaging them to saving (good) the reputation of Dunbar as, "Rationalizing the obscene into the palatable." The politics of this ruse is is an example of one who plots evil and calls it good and then ensnared by the transgression of his speech (Proverbs 12:21) Isaiah 5 Daniel 2 Ecclesiasticus / Sirach Chapter 15 The War Scroll (also known as The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, War Rule, and Rule of War) in Cave I of Qumrān in 1947 is made up of various scrolls and fragments including 1QM, and 4Q491-497 and part of the well known Dead Sea Scrolls. The War Scroll gives a vivid apocalyptic prophecy into how some Jews conceived of Armageddon (Ezekiel 38:1 - 39:29 ; Daniel 7:1 - 12:12) from the Maccabean Revolt up into the time of Jesus. The scroll depicts the forces of light and darkness fighting one last last war. The Sons of Light, consisting of the sons of Levi, the sons of Judah, and the sons of Benjamin, and the exiled of the desert, against Edom, Moab, the sons of Ammon, the Amalekites, and Philistia and their allies the Kittim of Asshur (referred to collectively as the army of Belial), and [those who assist them from among the wicked] who "violate the covenant". Both sides win 3 battles against each other. The 7th and final battle the Creator intervenes by giving his soldiers the strength to win victory and the forces of evil are destroyed forever. Many scholars believe the forces of light represent Israel and the forces of darkness represent Rome. Some modern scholars and archaeologists have argued that Essenes inhabited the settlement at Qumran, a plateau in the Judean Desert along the Dead Sea, citing Pliny the Elder in support, and giving credence that the Dead Sea Scrolls are the product of the Essenes. This theory, though not yet conclusively proven, has come to dominate the scholarly discussion and public perception of the Essenes. The War Scroll Jesus taught the choice of eternal life is difficult and few are able to find it. But, the path of destruction is easy for all to see. Matthew 7 Like the prophet Daniel said of our Creator, the light of Jesus penetrates even the darkest of places and the blackest of hearts. Mark 4 John the Baptist Father, Zechariah the priest of the God's temple,declared that his son John to be a prophet of the Most High. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, John the Baptist, cast light on path to the righteous teacher, Jesus Christ, who brought the Creator's mercy, peace, and salvation to those lost in death and darkness of their selfish desires. Luke 1 Jesus taught that our deeds (actions, works) will either bring us closer or farther away from the Creator's light (mercy, peace, and salvation). John 3 The Apostolic Age After the Ascension of Jesus Christ, the Apostles graced with the Holy Spirit understood how sweet it is to be loved by a Creator who keeps His promises. Through the power of the Creator's Holy Spirit the Apostles began teaching instructions (Didache) on how to understand God's word translated in their own native tongue. Acts 2 Saint Peter and the other Apostles of Jesus Christ began spreading the Good News and the Didache (The Teaching) on our choice of eternal life or death and destruction to Jewish Christians. Acts 2 As the rock of the Church, Peter testified the way to understand to understand the Creator is to follow His instructions on building your faith through excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly affection, and unselfish love. 2 Peter 1 According to Saint Paul, James the Just (Also known as the step brother of Jesus, Matthew 13:54 - 58, Matthew 12:46 -12:50, Mark 6:3 - 7, Mark 3:31 - 3:35, John 7:5) witnessed Jesus had truly risen from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:7) and testified that Christ was our glorious Lord (James 2:1). Church Historian, Eusebius, James was the first Bishop to govern Jesus Christ's Church with the Apostles in Jerusalem. I am compelled to give a detailed background of James, because his story is not clearly given in Scripture. And James motif is also questioned by those that do not understand his mission on earth was to convert the Jews coming into Jerusalem. The Church History of Eusebius Book II. Chapter I.—The Course pursued by the Apostles after the Ascension of Christ. Like Peter, James also preached about the trial by fire each person would face by accepting and following the will of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit into their lives. The hardship would not only come the followers of the dark one, but also ones personal desires. Like Peter, James reminded the new disciples of how unbearable the fate eternal death would be of those who have who live a life of sin. But. for those that endure testing their love of God will receive the greatest reward, eternal life. James 1 The Apostles and Saints testify Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of our ancestors that caused death. And If we accept Jesus as our Savior, He will atone for all sins before we knew Him that cause death. The Apostle John states that if one acknowledges a love for God and constantly rejects both the Creator and Jesus commands to love God and one another, scripture states that person is a false Christian. 1 John 1 In both science and morality humans have been able to achieve a higher level of knowledge which does not depend on our animal nature through experience and reason. Biologist and Primatologist, Dr. Frans de Waal book, The Bonobo and the Atheist, argues that morality is built into natural instincts (brain chemistry) of our species and does not necessarily derive from religion. He believes that religion was added to codify, enforce, and steer morality which we already had. Saint Paul would agree that by nature our human conscience has a basic understanding of what is right and what is wrong (Romans 2:14). In the experiment, “Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay” Sarah F. Brosnan & Frans B. M. de Waal used five female capuchin monkeys and had a human experimenter give them an unequal distribution of rewards. The females were much less likely to complete a trade with the human experimenter when their corresponding partner received a food item of higher value item (a grape; the lower item was a cucumber), and when that partner received the higher food item with no exchange of work of any kind, the likelihood of not completing a trade intensified. All of these refusals of exchange included both passive and active rejections ranging from refusing to take the awards to throwing the reward, respectively. These negative responses of situation made with the monkeys support the early evolutionary origin of social inequity aversion is: the tendency to reject or avoid situations in which there is social inequality, unfairness, or injustice. Saint Paul wrote a good example of spiritual inequity aversion, "if food causes my brother to sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I may not cause my brother to sin. (1 Corinthians 8:13)." By nature we are servants to the folly of our own selfish desires. Likewise, our Creator has given us another choice, the path of wisdom to understand what we need to love and serve Him. One reward for following the path of the righteous is that we build an intimate spiritual relationship with the Creator, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Prophets and the Saints. Romans 6 A dutiful servant to our Creator gains confidence of salvation by practicing righteous actions learned from Scripture and disciplining ourselves to turn away from sinful desires. But, our righteous actions and turning from sin does not guarantee salvation. Jesus states that our righteous duty to the Creator is the prerequisite (prior condition) to receiving faith in His Love for us. Galatians 5 I asked a little boy named Andrew what he thought was love. I was amazed at his response. "The other night my babysitter told me that I had to go to bed. I was not tired, but I loved her, so I marched upstairs and went to sleep." Like Andrew, there are many times in life when we have to do actions out of love that we may not ordinarily do on our own. God is Love Life Without Faith is Dead. Faith Without Works is Dead. Works Without Love is Dead. Faith Working in Love is Life. Faith in the Creator is found doing actions of Love. We must actively work and pray to convince our conscience that happiness can be achieved through works of Love. According to Ali Reza Rajaei work, Religious Cognitive–Emotional Therapy: A New Form of Psychotherapy, that our choice to change behavior to works of Love is part of the human development "toward the transcendence, and reaching to an acceptation and comfort feeling with self, world, and God." Rajaei explains that within Religious Cognitive–Emotional Therapy (RCET) there are three levels of understanding psychopathology (soul suffering): cognitive (thought patterns), physiological (brain structure) and spiritual (will power). It was Jesus who told his disciple Peter, "Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41). The first teaching of the Didache helps understand what it is to accept or reject the wisdom and power of love that our Creator freely gives each of us. If you do decide to accept our Creator then start by staying mentally alert practicing His Wisdom by doing works of love and avoiding evil inclinations of selfish desires. To use the cliche, 'practice pays off'. In time you will notice a change in your thinking and conscious perception (discernment) of what are truly selfish and selfless actions. I believe that reading and practicing the Didache can rewire your brain to make better choices Those in the behavior sciences may consider reading and practicing the teachings of the Didache a form of Operant conditioning (behavior modification by learning the reward or punishment of ones actions) that is a catalyst for positive neuroplasticity. As the physical changes to the brain become more crystalized (intellectually wise) to the teachings, the size of the anterior hippocampus (area of brain that processes and stores new memories) will grow, leading to improvements in spatial memory (wisdom), event perception, and decision making. Others around you will notice this change in you as well. Research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction. Saint Jude stated that there will be those who are adverse to the love of God that will mock the righteous who live for Him. The righteous will not retaliate, but silently pray to the Lord to have mercy on them. Jude 1 A white robe represents the sacrifice the saint (righteous) made in giving their lives working in love for the Creator. These saints have been admitted to holy fellowship with our creator. Revelation 22 The Didache adapted new precepts of proper Christian fellowship and morality for converted Christian (modern day Messianic) Jews to follow. The first teaching was how the royal law to Love All outweighs all others. When we show prejudice toward our neighbors how can we know the love of our Creator. If we cannot give mercy to others, how can we expect our Creator to give mercy to us. The big difference from the Torah and the Didache was faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. which was not accepted by many Jews. In the following years the split widened when Christians proclaimed that Jesus Christ was more than just the Jewish messiah. Jesus was God made flesh, who died for the sins of humanity, and that faith in Jesus Christ offered everlasting life. Baptism through the Holy Spirit, and The Eucharist (literal meaning is Thanksgiving, also known as Holy Communion, the Lord's Supper, Eucharistic Celebration), and the Royal command to Love all. With each new church formed the Apostles trained new initiates and left the Didache (Teaching) and their personal testimony (Gospels) to Christian Jewish leaders in the Church to follow. After a period of time both the Didache and the Gospels were translated used by congregations across the globe. The Epistle of Barnabas is a Greek epistle containing twenty-one chapters, preserved complete in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus where it appears at the end of the New Testament. It is traditionally ascribed to Barnabas who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, although some ascribe it to another Apostolic Father of the same name, Barnabas of Alexandria (also known as Pseudo-Barnabas) that wrote the Epistle sometime in between the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70 and the Bar Kochba Revolt of AD 132. In the second part of the Epistle Barnabas makes reference to the two paths, Light and Darkness, which are open for humankind to follow, and it is widely believed that this part of the Epistle was based upon the Didache and used by Jewish Christians residing in Alexandria, Egypt. Epistle of Barnabas (William Wake translation) CHAPTER 3 In 64 AD, the Great Fire of Rome was blamed by Nero on the Christian community living in the city. The Annals By Tacitus Written 109 A.C.E. Book XV But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiation of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christ, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed. The Second Epistle of Clement (2 Clement) preserved in the Codex Alexandrinus (late 4th century) and the later Jerusalem Codex (1056) which includes the Didache, as well as in the Syriac version. It is traditionally ascribed to Saint Clement of Rome (Pope Clement I) who traditionally believed that Saint Peter appointed him as his successor. Clement is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, Lutheran, and Orthodox Churches. The Second Epistle of Clement Chapter 4. True Confession of Christ Bishop Ignatius (also known as Ignatius Theophorus) of Antioch (modern day Antakya, Turkey) was an Apostolic Father and disciple of the Apostle John. He is venerated as a Saint in the Oriental Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Assyrian Church of the East, Eastern Christianity, Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, and Lutheran Church. In the year 107 AD, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians living there the choice to follow Roman gods or be condemned to death. Like the Apostles before him, Ignatius would not deny the Word of Christ and thus was martyred in Rome. In his Chronicle, Eusebius gives the date of Ignatius's death as 2124 AA (2124 years after Abraham), which would amount to the 11th year of Trajan's reign; i.e., 108 AD. During his stay in Smyrna (present day Izmir, Turkey) Ignatius wrote to the Magnesian congregation about the way of life and death. The Letter of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch to the Magnesians Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna (modern day İzmir, Turkey) was a companion of Bishop Papias of Hierapolis (modern day Pamukkale, Turkey), disciple of the Apostle John, and a correspondent of Ignatius of Antioch. Polycarp was also martyred for teaching Jesus was our Lord and Savior. The Letter of Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, to the Philippians In the second half of the third century "The Didascalia" expanded on the Didache, by forming a corpus of canon law providing disciplinary measures as well as spiritual and moral precepts for the clergy and the laity. The Didascalia also contains regulations relating to liturgical questions, such as the canonical hours and the periods of fasting. The Didascalia claims to be written by the Apostles, Paul and James in Jerusalem without mentioning the Didache, its earlier predecessor from the first century. The only surviving text is written in Syriac. Fragments of the Didascalia in Latin have been found that are consistent to the Syriac text as well. So the story ties in Didascalia Chapter 1 The Didascalia was superseded by the Apostolic Constitutions whose author is not known. The Apostolic Constitutions or Constitutions of the Holy Apostles (Latin: Constitutiones Apostolorum, Constitutions of Clemens) is a Christian collection of eight treatises which belongs to genre of the Church Orders dated from 375 to 380 AD, but present themselves as being from an Apostolic Council at Antioch. In antiquity, the Apostolic Constitutions were mistakenly supposed to be gathered and handed down by Clement of Rome. The Apostolic Constitutions were held generally in high esteem during late 4th century and served as the basis for much ecclesiastical legislation. Four manuscripts of it are now extant, the oldest an early twelfth-century text in St. Petersburg, an allied fourteenth-century text in Vienna, and two kindred sixteenth-century texts, one in Vienna, the other in Paris. The provenance is usually regarded as Syria, probably Antioch. Books 1 to 6 are a free re-wording of the Didascalia Apostolorum. Book 7 of the Apostolic Constitutions is partially based on the Didache. Constitutions of the Holy Apostles Book VII. Concerning the Christian Life, and the Eucharist, and the Initiation into Christ. Sec. I.—On the Two Ways,—The Way of Life and the Way of Death. That There are Two Ways,—The One Natural, of Life, and the Other Introduced Afterwards, of Death; And that the Former is from God, and the Latter of Error, from the Snares of the Adversary. I in no way consider myself a prophet, but I do feel compelled to write and share my fear and love of our Creator. Before facing great humility, my pride and ignorance had me condone what our Creator condemns. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, I now know the importance of my decisions and actions. Media will accompany my testimony to further explain what has been revealed to me. I hope that someday my two children, Lyra and Luke, will read and gain this wisdom of morality quicker than I. I dedicate this writing to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I also wish to thank both my mother and father, who have always been there for me with love and encouragement. So many people have experienced the warmth they felt flowing from my parents hearts. My father gave me valuable advice as a young man. He told me that if I look for the good, I will find it. If I look for the bad, I will find it. The Didache is the guide to discern the good and bad. If the moral Teaching of the Apostles interest you, please feel free to contribute by any means. Ask your priest, pastor, or minister about the the Didache and spread the good news. I am also looking for financial support to cover editing and publishing my research. We are not so different. Praise God and may He Bless your life, Luke