TaN: The age-old tried-and-tested strategy of divide-and-conquer is still ever as relevant and efficient today as in the past. The sure-fire way of establishing and maintaining not just control but complete domination — not dominion, as what the Holy Scriptures wrote was the directive given to man by God.
The strategy relies on the ever-reliable and always-certain behavior of man to resist the machinations of others. This strategy, coupled with the Hegelian dialectic, is a formidable combination that is virtually unbeatable and sure to triumph.
By creating two (seemingly) opposing sides or groups, there is now an illusion that there is someone who is doing the fighting for us. This leaves us complacent and eventually becomes apathetic and dependent on our “heroes” to do the fighting for us — not knowing that no one is really there on our side, fighting for our interests.
If there is only one side or group that is doing the manipulation and scheming, then the people can easily identify (and conclude) and fight against. However, having two (or more) sides that “appear” to be at opposite ends or at odds is not a guarantee of there is check and balance. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to have several parties involved to be in connivance to deceive the public.
A very good case would be the supposed two-party political system of the United States of America and even the Philippines, the latter of which no distinction or perceivable difference in ideology can be gleaned from among the political parties. In the case of the USA, many a times Democrats behave like Republicans — though it is seldom that there are Republicans behaving like Democrats, but there are rare moments when Republicans behave like socialists.
It would seem that the two dominant parties of Democrats and Republicans are at odds but, lately, they appear to be in cahoots. They try very hard to make it appear to be on opposite sides but, ever once in a while, their slip shows. There appears to be a shadow group of vested interest party who has taken control over both parties.
When people perceive that there are opposing sides, which give the semblance of a check and balance in power, they become complacent and leave it to the politicians to do their thing, unknowingly giving their full trust and confidence but effectively ceding their civil and other rights to the elected officials. [Just take a close look at the officials appointed to high government positions when they come to power. Look at where they are sourced, frequently people who have obvious conflicts of interest between the new government offices and their former industry jobs.]
TaN: The ever increasing rate of the proliferation of events in entertainment (like cinema and sports) and in major news events (like weather-borne disasters and mass violence in the form of terror attacks, mass shooting, and mobs and mass actions), plus the cases of depression and mental disturbance, especially among the young or the medicated, is indicative of the despair, desperation, and frustration of people everywhere.
People feel either powerless against the tide of overwhelming events in their lives and around the world or confused as to the onslaught of information coming at them from all fronts — social media (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) — that most just give up and let the tide overcome them and seek solace in a make-believe reality-based fantasy world where they can pretend that they have control.
So much useless (i.e., unproductive, in the sense that they do not uplift or improve the human psyche and our being) works and information that emphasize on the shallow, the mundane, and the trivial are inundating our lives and we waste our time and opportunities indulging in them — playing games, answering and exchanging meaningless chatter on social media, watching fantasy videos, and generally using up valuable time and effort engaging in activities that contribute little or no value to the benefit of others and the common good.
Imagine how much progress we will have experienced if people use these technologies and precious resources to bring about profound changes and advancements in society and people all over the world — instead of squabbling over who gets the right to make more money by patenting, copyrighting, and monopolizing every bit of innovation and creativity.
TaN: If I recall correctly, nowhere in the Holy Scriptures did Jesus claim or accept that He performed miracles and cured people. It is written that He always tells the sick that it is their faith, the immense and pure belief in God that cured them.
In fact, it may not even belief in God but simply the act of believing — as in the case of the Roman centurion whose favorite slave was sick. He searched out Jesus to ask Him to heal his slave but because he was despised by the Hebrews he assumed that Jesus may not want to set foot in his house. So, he just asked Jesus to speak and he believed his slave will be cured. In response to this attestation or display of (absolute) faith by the centurion in Him, Jesus was supposed to have said (and I paraphrase), “Go, return to your house. Because you believe that I can heal your slave, at this very moment, your slave is healed. Your faith has healed him.”
Given this, it means that inherent in all of us is the gift and power to heal. All that is needed is that we believe — easier said than done. For Jesus did not come (down to us) to flaunt his divinity and power but to teach us, heal us, and show us that what He did we can likewise do. We just have to believe.
But that is the catch, because it is easy to say we believe but it is entirely another thing to really believe. It has likewise been written (and I paraphrase again), “If your faith is as tiny as the mustard seed — FYI, the mustard seed is said to be the tiniest of seeds and yet it grows into one of the largest trees, almost invisible to the naked eye — you can command the mountain to move and it will.” This means that most, if not all, of us do not even have enough faith to fill something the size of a mustard seed.
The saying, “What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve” is not just figurative but literally true. The secret ingredient is faith — absolute, pure, and complete faith in God (and yourself). Unfortunately, few, if any, of us have this much faith. I am no exception.
TaN: The argument against cremation — for the reason that we need our (former) body come the resurrection (for judgment) — does not make sense because, unless the materials used to make up our body, after it breaks down and returns to the soil, remains unused in the rebuilding of other bodies, how do we share these materials?
To elaborate, after we die, our bodies break down into the various minerals and compounds and goes back to the soil. These are then taken up by plants or microorganisms for whatever purpose they have, usually as food or building materials for their own bodies, shelters, and such. Then, these, in turn, will die and break down and cycle continues. So, when it is time for us to be rise up and be judged, where are those “original” components so our bodies can be reconstructed?
This is precisely the flaw in the argument against cremation. It is not as if the components of your body stays intact and waits (indefinitely) until the resurrection for them to regroup into your body again.
Furthermore, your body changes components every moment of your life — as old and worn out or damaged parts are replaced my new ones, which are usually sourced from the environment.
Moreover, what about those who were cremated unintentionally, like in a catastrophic conflagration or inferno? Or what if our bodies were eaten by others before they could break down and be returned to the soil, such as by scavengers. Also, the decomposition of our bodies still requires that other animal (and fungal) decomposers and microorganisms eat it so as to effect the breaking down process.
So, which body are we speaking of when we say that we will need the same body — its components to remain available indefinitely as they await the resurrection — when we rise again.
Finally, I reiterate a previous TaN on this topic, which is: I do not know about your God but my God is all powerful and He can give me a new body — corruptible or not — for the resurrection. He does not have to recycle or re-use the old one which I died in.