We Need a United Nations of World Religions
Despite its many weaknesses, the U.N. has been successful in one of its main pursuits: linking the countries of the world in a way that promotes peace. Could a similar model work for religion?
During Pope Francis' 2015 North American Pope-a-palooza tour he gave a speech in front of the United Nations general assembly. Francis pleaded to the room of diplomats in favor of stronger international commitments to peace, environmental stewardship, and social/economic justice.
Basically he asked the assembly to more or less do its job.
The United Nations gets a bad rap for being both dysfunctional and politically impotent — both fairly legitimate gripes. Yet despite its many faults, the organization has contributed to an unprecedented geopolitical state of relative peace and prosperity. In short: Globalization made it so the social and economic fates of the world's major powers were tied together. The U.N. and similar international organizations have played a key role in maintaining that status quo. They're like duct tape holding things together; it's not perfect and it's not pretty, but it'll do.
"In [Shimon] Peres' eyes, Pope Francis would head up this 'UN for religions' because he is universally respected and could spearhead efforts to broker peace in the Middle East."
If such an alliance can be used to unite independent states, could a similar model work for world religions? This was an idea proposed last year by former Israeli president Shimon Peres. He suggested that an organization called "the United Religions" could bring together leaders from various worldwide religions with the goal of promoting interfaith peace and understanding. In Peres' eyes, Pope Francis himself would head up this "UN for religions" because he is universally respected and could spearhead efforts to broker peace in the Middle East. Peres even pitched the idea to the pontiff when the two men met last September.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former prime minister of Denmark and former secretary general of NATO, discusses how climate change is expected to shift geopolitical priorities — particularly in the arctic region.
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We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
It's not just a case of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
- A new study suggests children who endure trauma grow up to be adults with more empathy than others.
- The effect is not universal, however. Only one kind of empathy was greatly effected.
- The study may lead to further investigations into how people cope with trauma and lead to new ways to help victims bounce back.
It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
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