Saturday, December 08, 2007

What Makes Us Human?

A Study of the mind and consciousness-Material Facts from a Nonmaterialist Perspective
Vision Insights and New Horizons - USA

"The human brain cannot explain the human mind—there must be a non-physical ingredient, beyond our microscopes, test tubes, electrodes and computers. To the truly open-minded individual, it is fruitless to physically rationalize the uniqueness of mind. There must be a non-physical essence—a ‘spirit’—in man."

"From this Hebraic perspective, what makes humans unique is the nonphysical component, “the spirit in man.”

"In the case of the ancient Israelites, God wanted them to change their ways by first changing their minds."

Ask “What makes us human?” and a range of responses is guaranteed from materialist and nonmaterialist scientist and religious thinker alike. From self-awareness to free moral agency, from conscience to the capacity to imagine, such traits are put forward as distinguishing us from nonhuman species. There’s also the capacity for spoken language, which some say is the most distinctive difference, even innate. On a more troubling level, some might list the deliberate decision not to reproduce ourselves, and more darkly still, the willing invention of weapons that assure mutual mass destruction, threatening extinction of the species.

That all of these characteristics have a connection with human consciousness is clear. But the definition and operation of human consciousness is not. Despite the fact that a US presidential proclamation declared the 1990s “the decade of the brain,” with the assurance that “a new era of discovery is dawning in brain research,”[i] little has been achieved in understanding the brain-mind relationship. Addressing a 2005 neuroscience conference, Stephen Morse, Professor of Psychology and Law in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, candidly noted, “Here’s a dirty little secret: We have no idea how the brain enables the mind. We know a lot about the localization of function, we know a lot about neurophysiological processes, but how the brain produces mental states—how it produces conscious, rational intentionality—we don’t have a clue. When we do, it will revolutionize the biological sciences.”[ii]

Philosopher of mind John Searle has remarked that in the absence of agreement on the subject of consciousness, he welcomes discussion from all perspectives, including the nonmaterialist, to further the search for an explanation.[v] Thus, it might be helpful to reexamine some of the wisdom of the past for answers of a different order. By this I do not intend a repetition of what has become the conventional Western religious conceptualization of the human being—body and soul—but rather an examination of the largely forgotten wisdom of the ancient Hebrews. In so doing, we might light upon an alternative explanation that could inform present efforts.

Click here to read this very thought provoking article: What Makes Us Human?

Black Hebrews finally get a chance to explore life

"The Black Hebrews" is about to get its own piece of the Holy Land
by Avida Landau
The South African Star
Johannesburg,South Africa

Four decades after they heard what they call an angel's order to leave the United States and move to Israel, a vegan community popularly known as "the Black Hebrews" is about to get its own piece of the Holy Land.

Identifying themselves as African Hebrew Israelites, 300 African-Americans arrived in 1969 in the sleepy desert town of Dimona, claiming to be descendants of the ancient Israelites and wanting a right to settle in the Jewish state.

Despite observing Jewish holidays and practices, they were never recognised as Jews by Israeli authorities, but were allowed to remain. Their legal status has been resolved and the government granted them Israeli residency.

But fire services warned that their homes in the small government-owned compound - which they call the "Village of Peace" - may be a fire hazard. So Dimona Mayor Meir Cohen and the government decided to give the community of 3 000 Hebrews their own tract of land.

On their new property, they hope to build tourist attractions such as a wellness resort, health treatment clinics and restaurants, all reflecting the community's lifestyle.

See: Black Hebrews finally get a chance to explore life

Thursday, December 06, 2007

9 dead in Nebraska mall shooting

Shooter kills 9 then himself
By Oskar Garcia
Associated Press Writer

OMAHA, Neb. - Less than an hour before he killed eight victims and himself in a mall shooting spree, the gunman called a woman who had taken him in to tell her about a suicide note — but she said Thursday she never thought he would hurt anyone but himself.

Debora Maruca-Kovac told CBS's "The Early Show" she found the note after Robert A. Hawkins, 19, called to thank her and her family for their help, to express his love, and to tell her he had left the note behind.

"He had said how much he loved his family and all his friends and how he was sorry he was a burden to everybody and his whole life he was a piece of (expletive) and now he'll be famous," she said, describing the note. "I was fearful that he was going to try to commit suicide but I had no idea that he would involve so many other families."

Hawkins carried out his shooting spree from the third floor of the Westroads Mall, the bullets from his rifle cutting through the sound of Christmas music as he terrorized shoppers and employees.

See: 9 dead in Nebraska mall shooting

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Support A Child International is now "A Better World"

Our focus is global, with projects that embrace the needs of America’s at-risk urban neighborhoods, as well as impoverished international regions
KNN News Service

Formerly Support A Child International, A Better World is 20 years in the making. In fulfilling our mission to create a sustainable future for our children, our programs evolved to affect their surrounding environment and systemic issues.

Our focus is global, with projects that embrace the needs of America’s at-risk urban neighborhoods, as well as impoverished international regions.

Our urban programs respect the interdependence of a healthy mind and body to affect sustainable positive change in children as well as in their surrounding community and family environment. Our international programs focus on creating the economic infrastructure and community empowerment to allow for the sustainable development in impoverished nations.

A Better World’s evolvement and growth is a reflection of our culture and process of never ending improvement and dedication. Our work is never done.

See the new website at:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Why vegans should read all food labels

There are many hidden animal ingredients in foods

A vegan is one who eats no meat or dairy products. It is very important to vegans to read all the labels on the food products that they buy. Many ingredients contain animal products that you may not be aware of.

Click on the link below to see a detailed list of these ingredients. See: Foods which contain hidden animal products for reading labels.