Sureness disappears as doubt and uncertainty appear

Sureness about answers to the important questions of life is what people used to display not so long ago. These days, however, almost everyone is either skeptical of these answers, or indifferent to the age-old, important questions of life.

The question of marriage is a good example of this. Until recently, people were sure they knew the answer to the question “What is marriage?” For generations, people have answered this question by saying: “Marriage is a legal union of one man and one woman.” Now, some people not only question this answer, but many reject it as a misleading reply to the question.

Family life is another area in which many doubt and question the accepted standard and practice. Many now doubt the notion that the traditional family represents the only structural standard there is for the family unit. They argue that we should consider two adults of the same gender and children living together as a family.

We can also find examples of this prevailing doubt in people’s view of, and attitude toward God and religion. As people doubt and question the importance or even the existence of God, moral uncertainty and decline creep in. While this happens, people discard moral principles and values and think and behave at a lower standard than is acceptable.

A source of hope is there to help us

We can suffer in several ways because of failing to act correctly due to our doubt and uncertainty.

Is there, however, a source of knowledge and instruction that can help us remove doubt and uncertainty? Yes, the Bible is a source of factual knowledge and instruction and it can help us solve this problem. Will we, then, consult the bible and try to overcome our doubt and uncertainty?

By Edward Fagan

Please see the following post in this blog:

Faith, A Necessary Fact Of Life

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 Random thought leads to a resolution  

Random thought, we all know, can originate from anywhere and can be about any topic there is. In this case I look briefly at a resolution idea which randomly came to me. It came to me as I wrote a diary entry recently.

It is a simple resolution which we can make at any time. This resolution commits us to use our time and energy, almost solely, to pursue our goals. It also commits us to avoid spending any time or energy responding to persons who speak or act to put obstacles in our path. (The wording of this resolution, we are free to choose according to our preference.)

 A resolution that helps us ignore the distraction others create.

We sometimes reduce or remove our opportunity to achieve our goals without realizing that we are doing so. We do this when we practise activity that is not related to achieving our goals. Sometimes we pay undue attention to those who speak or act ill toward us.

Many of these people aim to distract our attention away from our goals. When we pay them our attention, we waste valuable time and energy that we need to achieve those goals. To the extent that we dissipate our time and energy on such persons, we reduce or remove our opportunity to achieve our goals.

This is a resolution that requires us to adopt only two standards for its problem-free practice. One standard is that we set lofty goals. The other standard is that we pursue those goals in a way that respects the rights and freedoms of others.

We certainly will achieve our goals when we work energetically toward achieving them. We, however, must remember to ignore attempts by others to distract our attention away from those goals. A good resolution of the type mentioned above can assist us in attaining any goal we set out to achieve.

By Edward Fagan

Please find the following post in this blog:

Taking Personal Responsibility

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Breastfeeding is not only a necessary act, but also one of beauty and seeming joy. The baby’s need for the best nutrition there is, obviously, makes nursing him necessary. The wonderful preventative medicinal benefits available to both baby and mother also help make nursing him necessary.

Besides this, what can be more of an expression of love and a pleasing sight to behold than a mother nursing her baby?

Many mothers know about the widely known benefits of nursing their baby. Both baby and mother, however, stand to gain from some twenty lesser known benefits of nursing a baby.

Dr. Ruth A. Lawrence writes about such remarkable benefits. She is author of the book “Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession”, Elsevier-Mosby. Dr. Ruth A. Lawrence is an infant-nutrition expert. She is also a Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics-Gynecology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, New York.

Heather Kelly also advocates these lesser known but wonderful benefits of nursing a baby. She is an international board-certified lactation consultant in New York City. She is also a member of the Bravado Breastfeeding Information Council’s advisory board.

Dr. Ruth A. Lawrence and Heather Kelly contributed to the list mentioned below.

Breastfeeding, some of its other benefits

  1. A healthier baby
    “The incidences of pneumonia, colds and viruses are reduced among breastfed babies,” says Lawrence. Gastrointestinal infections like diarrhea—which can be devastating, especially in developing countries—are also less common.
  2. Long-term protection, too
    Breastfeed your baby and you reduce his risk of developing chronic conditions, such as type I diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.

  3. Stronger bones
    According to Lawrence, women who breastfeed have a lower risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. “When a woman is pregnant and lactating, her body absorbs calcium much more efficiently,” she explains. “So while some bones, particularly those in the spine and hips, may be a bit less dense at weaning, six months later, they are more dense than before pregnancy.”

  4. Lower SIDS risk
    Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome by about half.

  5. Fewer problems with weight
    It’s more likely that neither of you will become obese if you breastfeed him.

  6. A calorie incinerator
    You may have heard that nursing burns up to 500 calories a day. And that’s almost right. “Breast milk contains 20 calories per ounce,” Lawrence explains. “If you feed your baby 20 ounces a day, that’s 400 calories you’ve swept out of your body.”

  7. It’s good for the earth
    Dairy cows, which are raised in part to make infant formula, are a significant contributor to global warming: Their belching, manure and flatulence (really!) spew enormous amounts of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

  8. Better healing postdelivery
    The oxytocin released when your baby nurses helps your uterus contract, reducing postdelivery blood loss. Plus, breastfeeding will help your uterus return to its normal size more quickly—at about six weeks postpartum, compared with 10 weeks if you don’t breastfeed.
  9. Less risk of cancer
    Breastfeeding can decrease your baby’s risk of some childhood cancers. And you’ll have a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer, an often deadly disease that’s on the rise.
  10. An unmatched feeling of power
    “It’s empowering as a new mother to see your baby grow and thrive on your breast milk alone,” Lawrence says.
  11. A custom-made supply
    Formula isn’t able to change its constitution, but your breast milk morphs to meet your baby’s changing needs. Colostrum—the “premilk” that comes in after you deliver—is chock-full of antibodies to protect your newborn baby. “It’s also higher in protein and lower in sugar than ‘full’ milk, so even a small amount can hold off your baby’s hunger,” says Heather Kelly.

    When your full milk comes in (usually three to four days after delivery), it is higher in both sugar and volume than colostrum—again, just what your baby requires. “He needs a lot of calories and frequent feedings to fuel his rapid growth,” Kelly explains. “Your mature milk is designed to be digested quickly so he’ll eat often.”

  12. More effective vaccines
    Research shows that breastfed babies have a better antibody response to vaccines than formula-fed babies.
  13. A menstruation vacation
    Breastfeeding your baby around the clock—no bottles or formula— will delay ovulation, which means delayed menstruation. “Breastfeeding causes the release of prolactin, which keeps estrogen and progesterone at bay so ovulation isn’t triggered,” Kelly explains.

    “When your prolactin levels drop, those two hormones can kick back in, which means ovulation—and, hence, menstruation—occurs.”

    Even if you do breastfeed exclusively, your prolactin levels will eventually drop over the course of several months. Many moms who solely nurse will see their periods return between six and eight months after delivery, Kelly adds; others don’t for a full year.

  14. Less time off work
    Your baby will be ill less often, so that means fewer sick days for you.
  15. It’s cheap!
    According to La Leche League International, the cost of formula can range anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. That’s $1,608 to $5,892 in one year!
  16. A great way to learn about your baby
    “You have to read your baby’s ‘satiety cues’ a little better, because unlike with a bottle, you can’t see how much he’s eaten,” Kelly says. “You have to rely on your own instincts and your baby’s behavior to know when your baby is full.”
  17. You can stash the condoms—for now
    Breastfeeding can be 98 percent to 99 percent effective as a post-baby birth control option if a few guidelines are followed: Your period must not have resumed; you must breastfeed at least every four hours around the clock; you must not give your baby any pacifiers, bottles or formula; and you must be less than six months postpartum.

    According to Kelly, nighttime feedings are the most important to the “lactation amenorrhea method,” so do not let your baby (or yourself ) sleep through a feeding. “Going long stretches at night without nursing seems to be directly responsible for the return of ovulation,” she says. Prematurely sleep training your baby can also hasten ovulation.

  18. There’s nothing easier
    Simply pull up your shirt and nurse. Breast milk is always available and always at the right temperature.
  19. Benefits for all
    According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, the United States would save about $13 billion per year in medical costs if 90 percent of U.S. families breastfed their newborns for at least six months.
  20. Better friendships
    “Breastfeeding helps cultivate relationships with other moms,” Kelly says. Whether it’s talking about parenting styles, nighttime feedings or engorgement, nursing allows women to forge positive postpartum relationships. Adds Kelly, “Women are supposed to be sitting together, nursing and taking care of babies.”
Aging
Breastfeeding in public

We should accept without any offence, mothers nursing babies in public. Public places and businesses should even encourage it by placing signs that welcome mothers to nurse freely. Our leaders should not hesitate to put legislation in place, if necessary, to allow this to happen. Some persons take offence at a mother baring her breast in public to nurse a baby. Such persons can better use their energy by standing up for certain moral rights. Our nursing mothers, then, should be able to more freely exercise their moral right to nurse anywhere.

By Edward Fagan

Please find the following post in this blog:

Children: Training For Life, Important Points

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By Edward Fagan

Criminal behaviour, its mental illness connection

Criminal behaviour, does mental illness cause some persons to practise this type of behaviour? Yes, I know some persons who commit such behaviour because of their state of mental illness.

I also know that some persons are in a constant and incurable state of mental illness. Some are mentally ill, even though a psychiatrist has not yet diagnosed them as suffering from mental illness. Those in authority and others, however, do not always realize this.

I also think that mental illness influences much more criminal behaviour than we wish to admit. We should consider some persons who perform certain acts of crime too, to be insane persons. 

Here are a few examples:
  • 2016: Orlando nightclub shooting, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. Omar Mateen entered the homosexual Pulse nightclub at 02: 00 a.m. with a semi-automatic rifle and a semi-automatic pistol. He started shooting at patrons and continued doing so for sometime. During this time, Omar Mateen phoned 911 and News 13 in Orlando and expressed solidarity with ISIS. He killed 49 people before police came and shot him dead.
  • 2007:  Virginia Tech Massacre, Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the day of the massacre before he shot himself dead. The massacre took place at Virginia Tech University where Cho was a student. Prior to the massacre, at least one of Cho’s teachers reported Cho to the university authorities. She thought cho’s very violent stories indicated future trouble; she also thought he needed help. The authorities did nothing.

Both men who did the shootings mentioned above were mentally ill. The police were justified in shooting to death the shooter in the first incident. The state acts justly if it executes a madman who commits acts such as those mentioned above.

Mental illness, continuing to look at it

A person’s mental illness, therefore, can sometimes cause that person to commit serious crime. The presence of mental illness in a criminal, however, is not a justification for not punishing that person’s wrongdoing. Mental illness, though, is not always easily and quickly detected.

There is also the question of family members denying the presence of mental illness in their relatives. These family members then refuse to seek diagnosis and treatment for their mentally ill relatives.

The absence of mental illness detection can also lead to another problem. It leads to a person’s mental illness sometimes continuing to exist undetected for years. This prevents that person from getting the help they need, and allows their harmful behaviour to expose others to injury.

by Edward Fagan

Please also find the following post in this blog:

Crime, Punishment And Reform

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By Edward Fagan

Love’s opposite is not hate, they are too similar

Love’s opposite is not hate, even though many of us think so. At first sight, the qualities of love and hate seem to be opposites of each other. The motives behind the acts of love and hate thus seem to be opposites of each other. The acts of love and hate, and their outcomes too, also seem to be opposites of each other.

Love and hate, however, are not opposites. These two qualities have too much in common to be opposites of each other. Love, to the extent of its presence in a host, draws its host to the love object. It creates a bond or link between its host and the love object. It also attaches its host to the love object, for as long as it remains present in the host.

Hate does exactly the same thing as love, and in the same way. Hate, to the extent of its presence in a host, draws its host to the hate object. It creates a bond or link between its host and the hate object. It also attaches its host to the hate object, for as long as it remains present in the host.

These two spiritual (though not necessarily religious) qualities have much in common. One would repel the host from the object rather than draw him to it if they were opposites. They are not opposites of each other, but are both opposites of another quality. I will look at this quality in the future.

Love and hate, the abstract nouns minus their acts or verb equivalents, are powerful. Medical research proves this in discovering that some persons who harbour much hate consequently develop certain disorders. Researchers also found that persons who harboured thoughts of love realized an improvement in their health.

Love’s opposite, what about motives, acts and outcomes? 

Our motives determine our actions and their results. When we act out of love, our motives are always to selflessly serve and help others. When we act out of hate, our motives are to cause others harm.

The motives, and acts and their outcomes, of love and hate are, like love and hate, not opposites. The motives behind our acts of love and hate connect us to the objects of our love and hate. Our acts of love and hate, and their outcomes also link us to the objects of our love and hate.

Finally then, we can say that love and hate are not opposites. We can also say that their motives, acts, and the outcomes of their acts are also not opposites.

by Edward Fagan

Please also see the following post in this blog: 

Love, The Dual Sided Object

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By Edward Fagan

Regional integration, the good side

Regional integration can succeed among countries that are fiercely nationalistic. This is only likely to happen, however, if political union is optional for each country.

Those countries, therefore, who prefer to relinquish their sovereignty can have full integration. Those, who thus prefer not to do so, can remain sovereign independent states.

Countries participating in the integration process who remain sovereign can still benefit from, and contribute to the community. They and the community can pursue: Bilateral trade, joint development and investment ventures, and cooperation in several areas.

These areas of cooperation can include: crime and drug trafficking detection and prevention, and education and training. They can also cooperate their efforts in: disease prevention and control, and responses to shared environmental concerns. Finally, they can also work together in mutually using the sea as an economic resource.

The topics I mention in this piece are relevant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This well-intentioned agreement involves the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Regional integration, the problems

Sovereignty is precious, we must never relinquish it.  We will suffer several disadvantages if we relinquish our sovereignty to become a part of a regional super state.

These disadvantages include our having to abolish immigration processing procedures for persons from other territories in the region. We will thus have to allow them unrestricted entry into our country at all times.

They will therefore enter without having to produce any documents at all. This same unchecked and undocumented entry will apply to aircraft and seacraft entering our country from the region.

Criminals, drug dealers, money launderers, drug addicts and drugs from the region will flood our country without any trace. Other undesirable persons such as prostitutes and people with certain diseases will also do the same. These people will put our health care, social services, housing and such sectors at risks. The demographics of our country will also change permanently, and we might one day, just end up losing our country.

I can recall examples in history of a people losing their identity and country. The latter-mentioned conditions above can contribute to this unfortunate situation becoming a harsh reality.

by Edward Fagan

Please also see the following post in this blog:

Nation And State, Terms We Should Understand

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By Edward Fagan

Mental Health, and politicians?

Mental health and politicians provide us with an interesting topic which we can discuss for ages. We have had this topic around for quite a while. Remember when a king of the ancient Babylonian super power became mentally ill. He remained in this state for seven years, Daniel 4: 31-34. This king ruled during the period 605-562 B.C.

Politicians in this state, besides, have always provided satirists and comedians with great working material. They have also provided audiences to comedy shows with good reasons to attend them.

Should our political leaders mental state matter to us, and do we need to monitor their mental state? Yes, their mental state should matter to us, and we need to monitor it. Given these two answers we should be able to detect quite early, signs of existing or oncoming mental illness.

In the event we detect such mental illness, there is a sensible solution that addresses this problem. We can thus use this solution to remove such a person from office smoothly and efficiently.

The sensible solution I refer to above is the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It reflects the vision and foresight of the founding fathers of the U.S., even though it was ratified in 1967.

This is an awesome document and it has universal appeal and application. Other democratic countries can also adopt it to meet those needs and requirements that fall within its scope.

by Edward Fagan

Please also see the following post in this blog:

Lunatics, Leadership And War

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