Tag: Wisdom

Pastor’s Corner: Was God Born? The Concept of Eternity and a Great Mysterious God

Grasping God’s greatness is an adventure of the mind

BY DANIEL GRISWOLD
danielgriswold@gmail.com
Published Wednesday, September 26, 2012
A recent letter by a child to God asked, “God, how were you born?”That same question came up last night with a group of middle school students. I remember grappling with this thought myself; the notion of an ultimate creator being created is a natural one.We are all born into this world. None of us has ever not been born — unless you are an extremely unique creature. So far everyone I have met has had a birth date, and there have been witnesses, so no one has been able to claim otherwise in spite of the fact that we don’t remember our own moments of personal genesis.

The notion that God has no beginning and also no end is a mind twister. I remember having the concept of eternity explained to me in my early years this way: A dove holds a feather in her beak and is able to fly from one end of the known universe to the other end. In the middle of the universe, there is an iron ball the size of Jupiter. The dove grazes the iron ball with the feather each time it passes. On the day that the iron ball is completely worn down to nothing by the dove’s feather, that is the day that eternity has just begun.

That last part usually takes a moment to sink in. Understanding that God has no beginning or end, and is the Alpha and Omega of all things in our own universe, is hard to grasp. It takes a bit of appreciation of mystery, and yet the concept draws us in. Those who do good wish to have an eternity, in order to do the most to better mankind and the universe. The evil genius wants an eternity to destroy what the good people build.

The stories of the ancient gods, who were very human in their frailties, seem to be about their longing to go on epic adventures without the worry of one day dying. In wisdom literature, the book of Ecclesiastes says, “He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, in a reply to the letter of the child I mentioned previously, tried to respond for God in his own words and simply said, “But there was nothing and nobody around before me to invent me. Rather like somebody who writes a story in a book, I started making up the story of the world and eventually invented human beings like you who could ask me awkward questions!” The response is quite charming and full of grace and love to a 6-year-old named Lulu.

Grasping the greatness, or “big-ness” of God is a great undertaking. This is an adventure of the mind and a journey of faith. The box we build to put God into continues to break, even as we learn what God has put in the box for us to see. That is why I love the Scriptures. That is why I love the continued action of faith in the lives of people who express the eternity of God by doing great and wondrous things.

Columnist Daniel Griswold is the director of youth at St. Andrew By-the-Sea United Methodist Church. Follow him at twitter.com/dannonhill. Read his blog at http://www.danielgriswold.wordpress.com.

Advertisements

Waking Up is Hard to Do: Growing Up

Time to wake up, grow up and face adulthood

By DANIEL GRISWOLD
danielgriswold@gmail.com
Published Sunday, July 8, 2012
Growing up is hard to do. With growth comes responsibility, and that usually means a good deal of effort up front — an investment that becomes a bit easier over time with repetition. Unfortunately, those in the process of growing up often do not have the perspective to realize that pain can lead to gain.I began thinking about this after reading an article in The New Yorker about spoiled American children. The writer spoke about a visit to another country, where the children are mostly ignored, but somehow, on their own, they begin to pitch in with the needs of the family. In the everyday course of survival, while a mother makes food, a child picks up a broom and cleans up — without being asked. Then the writer details a few family situations in Los Angeles, where one child had the father tying his shoes, and another would do nothing but play video games. Exasperated parents — hoping that one day their children would pitch in, but not wishing to put the energy investment into teaching the child a lesson — merely tie the shoes, both literally and figuratively.

This seems like a horrible comparison of extremes, but it does appear that in many cultures, young people grow up earlier and come into adult responsibilities merely by taking up what needs to be done. In many American homes, children do not.

The article I read posited that we impose that our children are “special” and must do things perfectly, and when they often don’t, they give up and the parents finish the tasks so the family doesn’t lose face and the child remains above the fray. Looking at the other cultures, “special” doesn’t seem to mean anything, especially when survival is such a large part of existence. Everyone works together for the sake of the family.

Seems like a romantic notion, except most of us wouldn’t trade our comforts for a simpler way of life.

In industrialized nations, there is a prolonged route to adulthood. Turning 13 and the sweet 16 are symbolic, but the real benefits of being an adult aren’t bestowed until later in life. I would argue that the real age of adulthood in America is somewhere in the mid-30s. Around that age, many people are starting to make enough money to support their families. The lessons of keeping finances have been eked out, jobs become more stable (one hopes), owning a house might be within reach, and a person is starting to gain more respect in the workplace (with a few gray hairs starting to show). In the meantime, the period of odd angst that was once a bastion of the teen years is extended through the 20s. Some sociologists are calling this period “Emerging Adulthood” or “Extended Adolescence.”

Despite our culture’s obsession with being young forever, becoming an adult is a good process; one that I believe could be started much earlier. In fact, I see in many young people the potential for leadership and yet they have been given permission to do nothing for so long that there is a great amount of strain to do things that, over time, have become simple.

Let’s wake up early so we can work. “Oh man — that’s hard.”

This decision has to be made regardless of the consequences. “I don’t like the sound of consequences. Can we do that tomorrow?”

Your speech will be tomorrow, are you prepared? “What day is tomorrow? What? When?”

Growth is frustrating for everyone involved. Especially for those who hold the keys to the world adolescents are growing up into. When King Saul saw that young David had defeated Goliath, he became jealous. David and Saul’s son Jonathan became good friends, and at many times Saul tried to kill David. David eventually became king and the administration of Saul and his family faded away.

In Ecclesiastes, it is written that there is “a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot …” and many more times to do many things. If you have grown up and been grown up for a long time, is it your time to build someone into adulthood? Or if you are growing and wish to be planted as a seed to grow, how are you going to be reborn? I think there is a connection that needs to be made. More of the wise could be reaching out to those who need wisdom. It is clear that we have the time, how will we grow the future?

And what is your part?

Columnist Daniel Griswold is the director of youth at St. Andrew By-the-Sea United Methodist Church. Follow him at twitter.com/dannonhill. Read his blog at http://www.danielgriswold.wordpress.com.

More Wisdom, Less Pain: Atheism and Belief Considering Each Other

More Wisdom, Less Pain

By Daniel Griswold

This is the original.  A version is published in The Island Packet’s Bluffton Edition

In my usual perusal of Internet blogs, I stumbled onto an article titled “Religion is Going Nowhere”.  I like to peruse opinion, so I clicked and began to read a particular atheist’s thoughts on theism and the irrationality of religion.  It was a user-generated section of a news site, so it wasn’t a reporter, just another guy or gal like me who had some thoughts to share.  I bit, and read on because the messiness of opinion and reality intrigues me.

There wasn’t a central idea, but several assertions were made.  (1) Religion would be around much longer than most atheists think.  (2) Real atheism is hard to accept, because it assumes a mechanical universe, which is probed for truth by science.  (3) Many theists cling to their “Bronze Age Soap Opera’s” and refuse to face reality.  (4) Atheists must fight theists who seek world domination.

It is a hard thing to look at a critique of our identity and not become angry, but I think it is a worthwhile exercise.  The most poignant point here is that the believer is seen as an Enemy rather than a Friend.  That should send us into a deep moment of asking “Why?”  From a Christian perspective, how can the faith that had an early historian exclaim, “Behold, how they love each other,” and whose sacred texts admonish us to “Love God and Love others” be seen as the great enemy?

The first issue is a relational one.  Love in our culture has become so twisted, that I think even Christians have forgotten what it means to reach out and care without any pre-conditions.  Love means risk.  We can realize that reaching out beyond our comfort zone, to those who do not see the world as we do, there will be struggle.  And to do it not to convince the other of anything, but simply to be a friend – that is even harder.  Our current context, being a follower of Jesus, when so many people have been abused by people who certainly were good pretenders, and who committed injustices against the defenseless and the young – that also takes guts to say, “Jesus is love” while taking a scalpel to the evils in the institution and cutting away the rot that created an atmosphere of abuse.  Evil is evil, whether you believe in God or not, and across the board, this is a common ground for the future.

A second issue is philosophical and theological in nature, and seems to provide a large divide.  There seems to be an assumption that all religious people are irrational.  Certainly, there are irrational people in all groups and certainly across all religions there are those seeking a world of rational faith. The argument that religious people cannot be rational seems to be based on this logic. (x) Theists trust scriptures, (y) scriptures are myths, thus (z) theists are morons. The basis of this idiocy seems to be that there are many religions, all with sacred texts, all claiming absolute truth.  The fallacy: Because there are many, is that all the sacred texts must be wrong, and this leads to (z) theists are deceived or ignorant. My issue is this: Having varying texts all purporting to be from God does not immediately preclude that all of them are wrong. One, or even two, if looking simply with logic, have the potential to be actual sources of truth – if there is a God. A decision still has to be made.  It seems to me that a rational person would be the one who studies all the texts, and considers all the data they know from the sciences, all they know of humanity, all they know of the cosmos, and makes a call. There needs to be discernment either way.

I’m not writing to be argumentative, but to bring all people to think more with their minds and their hearts.  Many things said on all sides are meant to hurt others rather than to heal – and that is wrong no matter where you’re coming from.  The book of proverbs opens with this:

“Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the walls she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: ‘How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?  How long will mockers delight in mockery an fools hate knowledge?  Repent at my rebuke!  Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings.” 

This is a good message for all the people of the world.  Seek wisdom, find the way.

Daniel Griswold is the Director of Youth, Saint Andrew By-The-Sea UMC.  His email is danielgriswold@gmail.com and his twitter name is @dannonhill.

(Image Source)

Seeking Wisdom – Getting Beyond Avoiding Pain

Seek Wisdom

By Daniel Griswold

Director of Youth, Saint Andrew By-The-Sea UMC

danielgriswold@gmail.com

twitter name: dannonhill

 

I was told a story about Solomon when I was young.  He was known as wise, and proved it by appropriately determining which mother a certain baby belonged to.  One mother had lied when her baby died and had determined to steel the live baby.  Sounds horrible to me, but Solomon had been asked to determine.  Who would have the nerve to do what he did.  He ordered that the baby should be cut in half and both women given equal parts.  When the real mother cried out and the false mother seemed unconcerned, everyone knew who to give the child to.

 

Had I been put in that same situation, I would have been frozen.  First thoughts may have been something along the line, “I should have had that extra cup of coffee and my judges could have taken care of this one.”  But Solomon had an audience with God at the beginning of his kingship and all he had asked for was wisdom.  God liked what Solomon wanted so wisdom was granted.  His proverbs and songs were told everywhere.  I still read them today.  Good stuff.

 

After learning about this, I was determined to do what Solomon had done.  In my early days as a Christian I began praying for wisdom.  I never heard a solid reply from God promising anything, but I soon became one who loved to read.  I took philosophy classes in college, and I talked with people about ethics.  You know – things Solomon probably did.

 

But seeking wisdom and having it are two different things.  And the problem is made even more complex because one has to know the difference between knowledge and wisdom.  Knowledge is just things you know.  Facts placed within our mind, and the problem with knowledge is the more you have it, the more you realize you need.  This infinite universe is so complex that the scientist, the philosopher, and the poet could continue their professions without stepping too much on each other’s toes and yet discover new facets of knowledge.

 

Wisdom, on the other hand, is like a confidence based on a good amount of experience.  The scriptures say that it begins with a “Fear of the Lord”   (a healthy fear of someone who made the universe).  Hopefully parents build the first understandings of authority in general in the home.  But it becomes a spirit of confidence in leadership and decision-making.  Some people seem to have it and some just don’t.  When people take knowledge by the reigns and make right decisions for the best desirable outcome, you have wisdom.

 

I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life (recently one involving a cheese grater and my thumb), but even when doing the small things I try to understand the discipline of wisdom.  When I drive, it is wise to make good decisions to follow rules and avoid collisions.   It is not simply good enough to know the rules.  When one is leading, it is hoped that we would grab onto wise principles or in our own failures find the sweet fruit of new understanding.  In other words – don’t hold the cheese grater that way and you won’t lose a piece of your thumb.  And ultimately, it is a connection with God that keeps the path to wisdom flowing like a river.  On this side of heaven we are always in need of refreshment and God is always giving when we come.

 

Less Stress: The Big Picture Belongs to God

Stop stressing: Leave the big picture to God

By DANIEL GRISWOLD
Published Monday, March 7, 2011

Sometimes seeing the big picture is hard. I once heard a story, and I will tell it how I remember it, about a newly married woman. Her husband made enough money so she felt blessed that she would be able to be at the home to keep up the house, take care of future children, cook meals and do the day-to-day business of the family.

One day her husband returned home and noticed half a bag of potatoes sitting around the kitchen sink. Hearing sobs, he followed his wife’s voice until he found her. He asked, “What is wrong? What happened?” She just continued in tears unable to speak. The husband felt terrible and figured he had done something wrong.

When she composed herself and was able to speak, the woman told her husband what had happened. As she was peeling the potatoes, she started thinking about all the years she would be married. She multiplied how many potatoes she had by an approximate amount of times she would have to peel potatoes over the years. Millions of potatoes filled her mind and she was simply overwhelmed by the enormity of her commitment.

When we look at the big picture on any project or the human condition around the world it’s easy to be overtaken by a sense of helplessness. Big is big — no way around it. We want to count our lives in minutes, and then realize as we age it’s easier to tick off decades. If we counted each minute and accounted for everything we have put our hands to, we would simply shut down. While it is nice to reminisce, spending too much time on the past can leave you stuck there.

The Prophets weren’t well-liked in the old country of Israel. I think it was simply because they told people what was going to happen, and it often wasn’t good news.

God saw the end of an age and in sorrow allowed a few people to tell their friends that faith was dying and self-dependence had replaced a prayerful dependence on the Lord. Isaiah spoke God’s word, “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me.” God calls them to seek justice, end the evils among them, and turn back toward their original love for God’s goodness. In foreknowledge he knows of that the destruction of their nation was on the way.

I am thankful God never leaves us to wallow in our distress. Though we have times of trouble, God speaks blessings such as this, also from Isaiah’s book: “Zion will be redeemed with justice and a promise is given that in the last days,” the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.”

After all the potatoes have been peeled, even after we have spent eons tending to our world, God promises to shore up our efforts with His strength. So we do all the good that we can, but also are assured that the greatest good is still coming. We remember that God walked among us 2,000 years ago, and His spirit is with us today.

This promise is for everyone who has been worried about the big picture. Anyone who has lost sleep because they see the world ending in a great fire with all lost to chaos.

God is saying to all of us: “Leave the big picture to me. I am your strength.”

Daniel Griswold is the director of youth at St. Andrew By-the-Sea United Methodist Church. Follow him on Twitter @dannonhill.

Being Human: Foolishness and Rahoboam, Solomon’s Son

This morning I was invited by the Associate Pastor of our church to speak to a men’s small group out in Bluffton, SC.  He asked me to talk about the youth ministry and provide some sort of devotion for the men and that the format would be an hour long breakfast.  Thinking that an hour would be a long time, I did my usual over-preparation for speaking and had several points of conversation.

What I actually got to:

(A)  Where our Youth Ministry has come from. 

(B) Where our youth ministry is now. 

(C) The scriptural foundation for Incarnational (Jesus Centered) ministry among youth.

(D) How others can help out – get to know one of our families and show them that you care about their wellbeing.

We had some great question and answers and I am so thankful for the support of so many from our church.  It was so affirming to have so many concerned men from our conversation surround me.

But there was one thing I didn’t get to that was really going to be a Meat and Potatoes kind of message.  It is something that I’ve ruminated over ever since the first time I read through the entirety of scripture because I hardly ever hear anyone talk about it.  I noticed it simply because I have studied the sociological histories of the different American Generations since we developed as a nation, and I saw a similar pattern of generations in the forming of, maintenance, and then later deterioration of the nation of Israel.

The point I didn’t have time for was the story of Rahoboam, the son of Solomon. 

In 2 Chronicles 10 in the Old Testament of scripture, Solomon – Israel’s wisest and most powerful King is now out of the picture.  It is time for a son of Solomon to become King and there is a tricky political situation that occurs as the young leadership tries to take hold.  The elders of the nation gather from the different tribes and there is a conversation between the one to be annointed, Rahoboam, who is Solomon’s son, and the people.  It is obvious that the nation has had some momentum for quite some time.  As their identity has unfolded as a people, they have gone from wandering Semitic people in the desert to slaves, to wanderers, to a military caravan of tribes, to land owners and Justice dealers, to Magistrates of towns and cities and ultimately to being a people over a land with Kings and a history.  God brought them to this point because he promised it to Abraham way back in the generations.  God said, “I will bless the nations through you.”  Kings Saul, then David, and then the greatest – Solomon, had gone through terrible times and great wars to provide security for the people.  It wasn’t until the reign of Solomon that they had such respect and security that they could build God’s temple to God’s specifications and the people could see the results of generations of hardship and determination.

But there was an issue in Rahoboam’s generation that would play itself out with massive consequences.  The children of Solomon’s generation had never wandered, they hadn’t fought the terrible wars, they didn’t build the buildings or the towns they inhabited, and the systems of food distribution, diplomacy and general well being were not of their experience.  They were inheriting a blessed nation with no realization or appreciation for how they had gotten there.  They expected greatness. They expected power.  They were entitled to everything they had always had.

Does this sound familiar?  In America there was a time of pioneering and wandering across the land.  We fought revolution, civil war, and world wars – all which set our place in this world as determined people respected and revered for what we can do.  We fixed problems, built cities, dreamed big and got results.  We produced more and consumed more and more all within the boundaries of the safety we built on our North American continent.  The blessings have flowed from generation to generation.  But something has happened as our hand became dominant.  Since World War II, something has changed.

In the book “Me, Myspace, and I” by Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D, the generations are spread out and their main characteristics laid bare.  The Greatest Generation of World War II are a largely silent generation who worked hard and did what they had to to make our nation safe and to make it work.  Then the Baby Boomer Generation, characterized by their ability to work hard and almost worship their ability to provide for their families, made our nation prosper and brought wealth and new ideas that changed the whole world.  Next came Generation X, which was a generation that worked to have fun.  They love recreation and the ability to experience life and all it has to offer by doing more and pushing harder.  And now, we have developed the Internet Generation – a generation that wants to play and work at the same time.  The world is a playground where we can create and mold our visions to our will.

This video that was just released by celebrity Will Smith’s daughter Willow demonstrates the Ethos of Generation Y/Internet Generation:

If you watched the whole film you will see that the exuberance of the youth today is like an electric ball of energy.  “21st Century Girl. I do what I want.” They will create new orders and penetrate institutions like no institutions because they want to be in control.  When they grow older, everything is set to change even faster than it has.

But there is a problem with this.  They don’t have the experience that has anchored previous generations.  We live in an America with no surviving World War I veterans still living.  The last died recently at age 110.  The youth culture has so quickly progressed that many adults who have been charged with raising this generation have been more like buddies than parents molding the character and formation of children.  In a world where kids have access to anything they want and have no understanding of ultimate sacrifice other than a few words on a paper – it is hard for this generation to understand true pain and what it feels like to live in material, relational, or situational poverty.   Even when out on missions trips in youth groups or on service projects, the experiences take some time to take hold.  It is hard for them to realize that the problems of the world are big.  That there is still more to work on and that we as Americans have not arrived.

Okay, so editorial aside, what does this have to do with Rahoboam, the son of Solomon?  His generation had everything at his finger tips like this upcoming generation today does.  He had the wisdom of the remaining elders, he had the vigor of youth, and the wealth and security of a military and a trained populace.  His situation looks a lot like ours does today or very soon from today.  What happened when he was to become King over the land?

He consulted the elders and they asked for a period of rest for the people after the great projects of Solomon.  He consulted his youthful advisors and they told him to tell the people that they will feel his whip and they will do greater things than in the days of his father.  He chose the youthful mode of power, and announced he would be a scourge to them.  He chose the mantle of power and misunderstood where his power came from.  Even an Israelite king governed by the consent of the people under the anointing of God.  When the northern tribes heard there would be no rest they replied, the House of Judah can do its own work (Judah was the tribe of King David, Solomon, and now Rahoboam).  Their nation split into two, and the decline of Israel followed.  The north would later be conquered by the Assyrians, and the south would later be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and the people of Babylon.  Dire consequences for youthful pride.

Since I am part of this generation I feel like I have a voice to speak about these things.  God loves to bless his people, but when a generation assumes that they are inherently powerful and dominant, they also begin to rely less on God.  They become Imperialistic and Lord their power over others in the name of God, but the only God they recognize is themselves.

Why was I going to speak about this to the men’s breakfast in Bluffton?  It is a heavy message after all.  I believe that the older generation needs to hear that the young people who are slowly coming up into the ranks are in dire need of the Wisdom of previous generations.  I believe that our idealists need the temperment of your experience and the stories that you hold within your hearts and mind.  I believe that your faith and your courage and your ideas are still necessary as a temporary rudder for my own Generation as we begin to take over the course.  We need to respect and revere the people who have done so much, but even if our generation comes off as arrogant and does not provide that respect – we still need all of you.

I know I didn’t get to that part of the message, but it will be a theme that runs through everything I do in our ministry.  All Generations need to come together to show the Body of Christ as full an whole.  We cannot afford to take our gifts and talents and retire to our corners of culture.  Youth culture may seem interesting and dominant but it lacks vision beyond its raw energy.  I know God is in control, but I sometimes worry about the times to come.  We have a few different paths we can take – but all good paths include a strong foundation and staying in relationship with America’s and the World’s youth.

Two Greeks: A Conversation on Ultimate Freedom

An ancient conversation between Anthropos and Bios, two friends who like to have conversations over a good meal.

ANTHROPOS:  This lamb is wonderful.

BIOS: I’m so glad you like it.

ANTHROPOS: Yes, now you were saying – something about your life.

BIOS: Of course, I was wondering about how you live yours.  What is your philosophy of life.

ANTHROPOS: I try to live as best I can.  I try not to hurt other people as much as possible, I enjoy myself.  I believe in ultimate freedom.

BIOS: What do you mean by ultimate freedom?

ANTHROPOS: Ultimate Freedom, of course.  I feel that everyone has a right to be exactly as they wish to be.  We are all made a certain way and no other person has the right to impose any sort of unchosen life on us.

BIOS: So each person is a free agent, of sovereign will, who should be whatever they wish to be.

ANTHROPOS: Exactly – the destiny of the individual belongs to the individual.  We are who we are.

BIOS: I see.  I have a nephew who is now 6 years old.  Would you allow me to apply your wonderful idea to his life?

ANTHROPOS: Certainly.  How odd though.

BIOS: Indulge me like with your wonderful lamb.

ANTHROPOS: Of course. (Laughs)

BIOS: My nephew is a wonderful child.  He just began being tutored and has shown a great desire to learn.  His curiosity for machinery and anything that moves such as elephants and horses, well, they fascinate him.

ANTHROPOS: He should be encouraged to become an engineer!

BIOS: Of course he should.  But then there are times when he becomes quite impossible.  His mood can change even while playing with him when he suddenly becomes a grump.  He will no longer play, he will no longer answer questions, and his attitude towards his mother becomes rude and antagonistic.

ANTHROPOS: Well, a quick pat on the…

BIOS: (interrupting) But – you did say that humans should have Ultimate Freedom. No?

ANTHROPOS: It seems a bit silly when applied to a child.

BIOS: Then perhaps you could add an amendment to this, giving room for the wily nature of childhood.

ANTHROPOS: Yes, children are different than older people.

BIOS: Why is that?

ANTHROPOS: Well, they are still developing.  Becoming…people.

BIOS: So they are exempt from the Ultimate Freedom principle.

ANTHROPOS: Children would have to be.  But I hate to make that concession.  Romantically I want to believe that we are all born to be who we are born to be.  It feels wrong to say otherwise.

BIOS: But being true to our nature, there is a time of molding that occurs. When we look at a child, even physically, we see that we are not born complete into adulthood.  Muscles have to grow, bones have to lengthen, vocal chords have to be tried for a time and the brain itself becomes larger.  Certainly, there is a time of growth and molding.  We are not completely born to be what we are meant to be physically.

ANTHROPOS: That is true.

BIOS: And consider the education we give our children.  They do not automatically know how to do math.  Nor can they automatically read.  And only in the nurture of adults guiding them do we learn what they are good and not good in proficiency at.  Even then we have to tell them their strengths and weaknesses, helping them to shore up and work on the weak points and to encourage them in their strengths for the purposes of self esteem.

ANTHROPOS: You are right.  Up until a point, we are growing.

BIOS: And – we are not completely free.  Imagine a child wandering wherever they would like.  How often have you seen a child nearly hit by a wild horse in the broadways of our metropolis.  If our caretakers did not enforce a simple rule, to hold an adult’s hand when standing near the streets, our news would often be much more tragic.

ANTHROPOS: Of course it would.  I do see your point Bios.  Children need rules and guidance to grow correctly.  So I would like to amend my original statement.  It was too broad.

BIOS: I see.  So if I may, you would like to say something like, “If one has completely become an adult, they deserve Ultimate Freedom to be whatever and however they choose to be.”

ANTHROPOS: If, they do not harm another!

BIOS: Yes! I remember you bringing that up earlier.  But like the child who needs guidance from an adult hand, isn’t that also a rule? I appreciate your desire to simplify the entire lawcode to one simple phrase, but imagine how complicated that one phrase can become.  “Don’t harm another” becomes, once violated, “Do not hit your spouse in anger,” and “Do not burn your neighbor’s house down.”

ANTHROPOS: But if no one did any wrong, there would not need to be any law at all!

BIOS: But do people do wrong to one another?

ANTHROPOS: Yes they do, but it is not necessary.

BIOS: No evil is.  It just exists when we do it.  And laws are made as we violate what we did not previously know would harm another.

ANTHROPOS: Bios, I am stirred so much that I don’t know what to think right now.  I only know that I wish to hold onto this ideal.

BIOS: Ultimate Freedom! I too desire this ideal my friend.  I wish what is wrong is not to be done.  But so long as people do wrong to others, there will be laws and the desire to make things right again.

ANTHROPOS: Justice in other words.

BIOS: Yes.  Justice, or the seeking to make things right again.  A balancing.

ANTHROPOS: True, we are always in need of better Justice.

BIOS: Let us leave it there there, and continue to enjoy this lamb while it is still warm.

ANTHROPOS: (Laughs) It really isn’t as good as you have praised it.

BIOS: But is is better than nothing at all, and I am hungry.

ANTHROPOS: Then let us eat.