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Religion in a Modern World
Peter Gomes is an American Baptist minister who has served in The Memorial Church at Harvard University since 1970. Gomes is also the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and is the Pusey Minister in The Memorial Church. Gomes is commonly regarded as one of the most distinguished preachers in America. He was named Clergy of the Year in 1998 by Religion in American Life and offered prayers in the inaugurations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
Educated at Bates College and the Harvard Divinity School, Revered Gomes alsoholds thirty-six honorary degrees. He is the author of numerous books on the Bible, including the national best-sellers TheGood Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart and Sermons:Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living.
Question: Does Christianity answer all of your questions?
Peter Hopkins: Well Christianity, strangely enough, does answer all my questions. I mean, it’s the lens through which I view reality. It’s how I make judgments. It’s how I respond to others. It’s how I define reality to all intents and purposes. The Christian myth makes sense to me. It provides a world that’s as orderly and stable to me as the … as the Greek myths did for the Greeks and the Romans did for the Romans. I … I don’t live in a dark world. I mean, I don’t … I don’t live in the sense that everything is going to go up in flames, and we’re all destined and doomed, and terrible things are happened … happening. But I do believe we live in what the scriptures refer to as a fallen world. Christian theology speaks of it as a world that has not achieved its ideals. And we are struggling, and moving towards them, and trying to manage as best we can. And certain ideas and ideals have been set before us. The person of Jesus Christ, for me, is such an idea and an ideal. I believe He really existed, but that doesn’t diminish the ideological power or the … the sense of imagination that is employed. And I aspire to live my life in the light of what I understand that truth to be – a truth which I have received through the wisdom of thousands of other smarter and cleverer people who existed before me. I admit to being a child of the Western Christian experience, and I embrace it. I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not embarrassed by it. And I don’t deny my dependency upon it. It’s the vocabulary with which I work.
When I travel, as I often do, through Western Europe and I look at those great cathedrals and those monuments, they all speak to me. They all makes sense to me. It’s describing a world in which I did not live, but which still lives for me. And that’s very important. Part of my work, I suppose, is trying to call back, as best I can, the life of that world and the people that are far removed from it. I’m much comforted by the … the remark G.K. … once said that “Christianity is not a religion that has been tried and failed. It is a religion that has been wanted and never really tried.” And my job is to try it, and to get other people to try it on for size and hope for the best.
Recorded on: 6/12/07
Science hasn't found an explanation of spirituality.
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A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
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Many of the most popular apps are about self-improvement.
Emotions are the newest hot commodity, and we can't get enough.
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>