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    Secular Parable & Aphorism of the Week

    Sunday, July 27, 2014, 7:37 PM [General]
    Posted By: Frank Burton

    Aphorism of the Week

    Radicals are gestated in sophistry.

    Dedicated to the Hebrew University psychology study showing that agreeing with ideologues to an extreme level -- to the point of Argumentum ad Absurdum -- can trigger them to question their ideology. And dedicated in admonishment of biblical creationist Ken Ham's assertion that intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe is impossible because all extraterrestrial civilizations would be damned by God to Hell with no hope for salvation -- a stance which ironically may attain that extremity of absurdity capable of driving children away from fundamentalist religion.

    Parable of the Week

    The Human, The Sentient
    One day a human looked up into the zenith of the heavens, arcing above her blue and green-swathed Earth.
    She saw a small, cloudy galaxy far, far away -- Canis Major, pulled along like a puppy on a leash of a billion stars.
    The human felt a lonesome chill in her heart, and heard a distant voice calling to her -- and wondered, "Is there anybody out there?" She devoted her life to listening to the radioed songs of the spheres -- listening for but one word, one tune, one message.
    And she pointed her antennae to Canis Major.
    But there was only silence.
    One day, a million years hence, a sentient will look up into the zenith of the heavens, arcing above its small, blue and red-swathed world.
    It will see a huge galaxy spiraling above it, so, so close -- the Milky Way, pulling its own galaxy into her vast, slow embrace.
    The sentient will feel a lonesome chill in its center, and hear a distant voice calling to it -- and wonder, "Is there anybody out there?" It will devote its life to listening to the radioed songs of the spheres -- listening for but one word, one tune, one message.
    And it will point its antennae into the arms of the Milky Way.
    And shall hear.
    Thus, we are not alone, and we have a purpose.

    July 26, 2014, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2014 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton, Executive Director, The Circle of Reason

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    Secular Parable & Aphorism of the Week

    Sunday, July 20, 2014, 2:54 PM [General]
    Posted By: Frank Burton

    Aphorism of the Week

    BE the change you seek in this world. -- via Gandhi

    Dedicated in admonishment of the rejection of mass nonviolent coordinated resistance ("Nonviolent Jihad") by Hamas and the Palestinians of Gaza; of the failure of the international press to spotlight and endorse -- and of the U.S. and Israeli governments to confer diplomatic status upon -- imprisoned or exiled non-violent Palestinian leaders such as the "Arab Gandhi," Mubarak Awad; and of the failure of the Israeli Parliament to return encroaching West Bank Israeli settlements, as a fundamental moral imperative, to the peaceful Palestinians of the West Bank.

    Parable of the Week

    The Historian, The History Maker
    Students attended University in an ancient Republic.
    One classmate sat in the library day and night, reading of great leaders from prior generations.
    His knowledge of them grew until, one day, closing his final biography, he said, "I will teach the histories I've learned."
    He joined the very same University at which he'd been taught.
    And, in the march of decades, he became a historian of note.
    The other classmate also sat in the library day and night, and too read of great leaders from prior generations.
    Her knowledge of them also grew until, one day, closing her final biography, she said, "I will emulate the histories I've learned."
    She became a leader.
    And, in the march of decades, she was elected to her country's highest office.
    Thus, study history or make history.

    July 19, 2014, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2014 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton, Executive Director, The Circle of Reason

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    Secular Parable & Aphorism of the Week

    Sunday, July 13, 2014, 9:16 PM [General]
    Posted By: Frank Burton

    Aphorism of the Week

    One must never stoop to conquer.

    Dedicated in admonishment of the kidnapping, involuntary commitment, and psychological and physical abuse of gay, mentally ill and doctrine-resistant teens in Evangelical Christian re-education camps.

    Parable of the Week

    The Blind, The Sighted
    Eternal midnight enshrouded a clan who dwelled in a deep cavern.
    Grasping sleeping bats or albino fish or frogs by the green light of phosphorescent algae, cooking them on steaming rocks, and sleeping in warm volcanic pools, their eyes became an appendage ignored -- merely a way to find the dimly lit, sleepy faces of their mates after they'd gorged on a meal, and otherwise as useless and superfluous as their two little toes.
    But then a young woman of the clan rediscovered an ancient, narrow crawlway leading up and out of the grotto in which they lived.
    Slowly, allowing the pain in her closed eyes to adjust as she crept toward the day, she exited the vast labyrinth of caverns that had been her home since birth.
    She felt a cool, soft cushion beneath her hands and knees, and opened her eyes.
    Beneath her delicate, bone-white hands lay a mat of what looked like thick, bright green hair.
    She then stood erect, and raised her head.
    In wonderment she stared at feathered, sharp-nosed bats painted in hues she could not name, at a whimsically-colored cavern roof so high that she could not see any of its walls, but only huge wisps and balls of steam floating beneath.
    Gasping for breath, she ran back into the depths -- following a trail of bat guano balls she'd dropped behind her while she'd climbed -- to tell her people of her wondrous visions.
    She gathered them around a phosphorescent boulder, and, as their green-underlit faces chewed on bat wings and frog legs, she exclaimed to them -- her eyes, for the first time in her life, wide open in her face -- "I have seen visions!"
    "Visions of a cave with a roof too high to see! Of bats that were not bats! Of colors that were not dim green or black! Of a land where a great phosphorescent boulder, too bright to even glance at, floats in the air!"
    So did her clan roar with laughter, and ever after scoff at her wild stories and urgings.
    Until, one day, she simply disappeared forever up her precious, unused crawlway -- while crouching, like the madwoman they all thought she was, to collect old balls of dried bat guano with each step.
    Thus, vision provokes laughter from those who cannot see. -- via Plato

    July 12, 2014, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2014 (Chapter 1, "Reality's Acceptance"), by Frank H. Burton.

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