On the existential view, to understand what a human being is it is not enough to know all the truths that natural science—including the science of psychology—could tell us. . . . neither scientific nor moral inquiry can fully capture what it is that makes me myself, my “ownmost” self.
Without denying the validity of scientific categories (governed by the norm of truth) or moral categories (governed by norms of the good and the right), “existentialism” may be defined as the philosophical theory which holds that a further set of categories, governed by the norm of authenticity, is necessary to grasp human existence.
To approach existentialism in this categorial way may seem to conceal what is often taken to be its “heart” (Kaufmann 1968:12), namely, its character as a gesture of protest against academic philosophy, its anti-system sensibility, its flight from the “iron cage” of reason. But while it is true that the major existential philosophers wrote with a passion and urgency rather uncommon in our own time, and while the idea that philosophy cannot be practiced in the disinterested manner of an objective science is indeed central to existentialism, it is equally true that all the themes popularly associated with existentialism—dread, boredom, alienation, the absurd, freedom, commitment, nothingness, and so on—find their philosophical significance in the context of the search for a new categorial framework, together with its governing norm.
Phil Cooke points out the downside of public school bureaucracy in New York.
I know, I know. This is a blog about media and faith. But sometimes I have to vent. I’ve written before about how difficult it is to fire teachers in Los Angeles – even when they’re under investigation for sexual improprieties with students. Now, World Magazine reports it could be worse in New York City. According to World:
“Where can a person get paid $70,000 or more per year to play Scrabble, write a novel, or surf the internet? How about New York City’s public schools where 700 suspended teachers have waited as long as six years for disciplinary hearings. Thanks to tough union laws, these suspended teachers-accused of such acts as insubordination, lying, or cheating-receive full pay and holidays while barred from classrooms at an annual cost of $65 million, according to a recent Associated Press investigation. As cases are reviewed by arbitrators working just five days a month, teachers spend eight-hour days in designated “rubber rooms” reading, sleeping, doing yoga, painting, or generally passing the time.”
The problem with bureaucrats is they have no accountability. Their decisions have no direct influence on the bottom line. They don’t even have to get elected. As a result, they don’t make risky decisions or make the tough calls. The bottom line is the status quo continues…
Dr. Gary Chapman always has good things to say about marriage. This came from his Love Language Minute today.
Who cleans the commode at your house? Has it always been true? If you are the one who cleans, are you happy with this arrangement? Who takes care of what in a marriage? This is the question that often leads to conflict. Many couples do not agree on these issues before marriage. They wake up six weeks into the marriage to discover that no one is cleaning the commode.
If this is a trouble spot for you, let me encourage you to take action. Make a list of all the things that must be done on a regular basis. Put your initials beside the ones that you think are your responsibilities.
Ask your spouse to do the same. Then negotiate your differences. Try it for six weeks and see how it works. Re-negotiate if necessary. Remember that you are a team!
Who does the taxes at your house? I must confess that role is mine in the Chapman household. It’s not a task I relish, but I’ve done it each year since the beginning of our marriage. Why me? Why not her? In our case, it’s at my wife’s request. She doesn’t mind writing numbers as long as they are on the face of a check. But when it comes to balancing the check book, she says it hurts her stomach.
Each of us have skills and interests, likes and dislikes, and these tend to guide us as we decide how to work together as a team in marriage. It really doesn’t matter who files the taxes, but it’s nice if we can agree. Agreement brings harmony. That’s what marriage is all about – husband and wife working together for the common good.