Rabu, 16 Juli 2008

Evolution and Exorcisms

EVOLUTION: More surprising to me as I consider where my intellectual head-space has been on this issue, which is central to theological ideal; is the fact that I have become more of a creationist. Skeptics may say that God doesn't exist and I am inclined to agree he/she isn't within our purview to limit and say we know; HIM, or even what it is that really goes on, in the world about us. It would be difficult to say there is any one humanistic discipline or theology that fits with my perception. Teilhard de Chardin's 'templates' and 'quantum many worlds' join Lamarckian science, that requires uncertainty and values mystery and uncertainty principles with purpose. In the final analysis you can put me in whatever 'cubby-hole' you want and there'll be agreement and respect for the truth therein expressed. I see a lot of people sounding like they disagree and yet I see little difference except when they seek personal gain by it. Surely science has given a great deal of support to the concept of consciousness existing in the very smallest parts of energy, and in the ways it performs what was once considered miraculous, or magical. Here are the thoughts of two very scientifically oriented people from MIT in a book called Darwinism Evolving:

"They also made it harder for the scientific worldview to be received with equanimity by other sectors of culture. Indeed, since the reducing impulse undermines fairly huge tracts of experience, people like Wallace, who feel deeply about protecting phenomena they regard as existentially important, frequently conclude that they have no alternative except to embrace spiritualism, and sometimes even to attack the scientific worldview itself, if that is the only way to protect important spheres of experience that have been ejected from science's confining Eden. In response, scientists and philosophers who feel strongly about the liberating potential of a spare, materialistic worldview began to patrol the borderlands between the high-grade knowledge scientists have of natural systems and the low-grade opinions that in the view of science's most ardent defenders, dominate other spheres of culture and lead back toward the superstitious and authoritarian world of yesteryear. 'Demarcating' science from other, less cognitively worthwhile forms of understanding was already a major feature of Darwin's world. A line beyond which the Newtonian paradigm could not apply was drawn at the boundary between physics and biology. We have seen how hesitant Darwin was to cross that line and what happened when he did. Twentieth-century people are sometimes prone to congratulate themselves for being above these quaint Victorian battles. They may have less reason to do so, however, than they think, for the fact is that throughout our own century, the same sort of battles, with emotional overtones no less charged, have been waged at the contested line where biology meets psychology, and more generally where the natural sciences confront the human sciences. Dualisms between spirit and matter, and even between mind and body, may have been pushed to the margins of respectable intellectual discourse. But methodological dualisms between what is covered by laws and what is to be 'hermeneutically appropriated' are still very much at the center of our cultural, or rather 'two cultural', life. Cognitive psychologists and neurophysiologists are even now busy reducing mind-states to brain-states, while interpretive or humanistic psychologists are proclaiming how meaningless the world would be if mind is nothing but brain. Interpretive anthropologists are filled with horror at what would disappear from the world if the rich cultural practices that seem to give meaning to our lives were to be shown to be little more than extremely sophisticated calculations on the part of self-interested genes. Conflicts of this sort would have given Darwin stomachaches almost as bad as the ones he endured over earlier demarcation controversies.

The rhetorical pattern of these battles is still depressingly similar, in fact, to Huxley's confrontation with Wilberforce. Hermeneuts ridicule scientists like Hamilton, Dawkins, and Wilson when they suggest that nothing was ever known about social cooperation until biologists discovered kin selection. Reductionists in turn criticize hermeneuts, now transformed largely into 'culturists,' for bringing back ghosts and gods, just as their nineteenth-century predecessors were taxed with being 'vitalists' every time they said something about the complexity of development. Humanists identify scientists with an outdated materialist reductionism. Scientists insist that hermeneutical intentionality is little more than disguised religion.

Perhaps, a way out of this fruitless dialectic between the 'two cultures', can be found if each party could give up at least one of its cherished preconceptions {Or just give up the science that rejects certain facts in favour of convention or the 'Toilet Philosophy'.}. It would be a good thing, for example, if heirs of the Enlightenment would stop thinking that if cultural phenomena are not reduced to some sort of mechanism; religious authoritarianism will immediately flood into the breach. They should also stop assuming that nothing is really known about human beings until the spirit of scientific reductionism gets to work. Students of the human sciences have, after all, been learning things alongside scientists ever since modernity began. Among the things they have learned are that humans are individuated persons within the bonds of culture and cultural roles, and that as recipients and transmitters of cultural meanings, they are bound together with others in ways no less meaningful and valuable than the ways promoted by strongly dualistic religions. By the same token, it would be helpful if advocates of the interpretive disciplines would abandon a tacit assumption sometimes found among them that nature is so constituted that it can never accomodate the rich and meaningful cultural phenomena humanists are dedicated to protecting, and that therefore cultural phenomena 'ought never' to be allowed to slip comfortably into naturalism. Humanists seem to have internalized this belief from their reductionist enemies, whose commitment to materialism is generally inseparable from their resolve to show up large parts of culture, especially religion, as illusions. These opponents, we may safely say, take in each other's laundry." (7)

Ego and protecting territory abound in the internecine warfare that academics who seldom DO anything, often fight over. Meanwhile the real DOERS explore the boundless and awesome 'waves of the marvellous'. (8) We should accept even the ridiculous possibilities that come to mind as having merit or avenues to understand, rather than constantly fighting to make black and white answers that support our ego and limit the people who put forward possibilities. The real rule should be something along the line of 'if it hurts no one, why not enjoy the possibility? There are ample evidences that every supposed correct point of view or paradigm is short-lived unless backed by force and some kind of authority that limits rather than supports god and his/her purpose. Then an open-mind obtains new insight and finds the templates of reality even in exploring what first appears to be utterly absurd. I admit I often have found the idea of creationism absurd, and yet as I said at the start of this entry I am now on the side of creationists through evolutionary forces with intentional creative inputs in the Intelligent Design or Interventionist mode. The next entry will seem absurd to most people and few will think it deserves inclusion in a segment purporting to have anything to do with science. I must include it in honest presentation despite the ridicule most people will attribute to it, and me.


Infinity - Feynman

RICHARD FEYNMAN: - I had the great pleasure of watching a movie called Infinity by Matthew Broderick and his wife. What a joy! To see a person whose father taught him to observe rather than codify or label in order to get marks or social acceptance. Education that focuses on the soul and ethics is what humanity will need to handle the outcome of the Pandora's Box unleashed by his fellow atom-mysticists. What a treat to see the ethics and honesty that made it difficult for him to lie to his lady even when all around them were pressuring him to do so when they thought she had Hodgkin's Lymphoma. What mastery of mind and reality to simply portray this exceptional couple as she thought first of how difficult it must have been for him to lie rather than what this terminal illness might do to her. But as usual the doctors were wrong and she had TB although it could have been discovered earlier and she might have lived if these doctors had not been trying to avoid saying what they thought.

When Feynman was at Los Alamos he danced spirit dances frequently; and he had been aware of the so-called paranormal all his life. In fact I believe I learned through the same methods he did - not in school. When he was at Princeton as a grad student the head of the Physics Department begged him to go with their government project as he said there are none like you anywhere. I loved hearing the care Robert Oppenheimer showed even though he had never met the young couple. I say that because his cousin John in London who offered to make me the head of his printing company, showed that same kind of care for me.

Feynman died in 1988 before his partner John Wheeler met Peter Lynds who is now promoting an ancient Greek theory on Infinity. Wheeler supports Lynds who has no real formal education and that is to his credit. I must say there aren't enough people like Dick Feynman and I wish there were a lot more. Thank you - the Brodericks.


Satus Anxiety

'Every adult life could be said to be defined by two great love stories. The first - the story of our quest for sexual love - is well known and well-charted. The second - the story of our quest for love from the world - is a more secret and shameful tale. And yet this second love story is no less intense than the first.' Thus speaks Alain de Botton author of the thought provoking book Status Anxiety. In this day and age, we are given respect in direct proportion to our (perceived) "success". It is like a calibration, for the world to decide how much respect they owe us. So desperate are we for status, it is the over-riding concern of our lifetimes to achieve status and respect. Increasingly, status in the West has been awarded in relation to financial achievement. The consequences of high status are pleasant. They include resources, freedom, space, comfort, time and, as importantly perhaps, a sense of being cared for and thought valuable - conveyed through invitations, flattery, laughter, deference and attention.

High status is thought to be one of the finest of earthly goods. For this reason, we worry whenever we are in danger of failing to conform to the ideals of success laid down by our society. We worry that we may be stripped of dignity and respect, we worry that we are currently occupying too modest a rung or are about to fall to a lower one. We might not worry so much if status were not so hard to achieve and even harder to maintain over a lifetime. Except in societies where it is fixed at birth and our veins flow with noble blood, our position hangs on what we can make of ourselves; and we may fail in the enterprise due to stupidity or an absence of self-knowledge, macro-economics or malevolence.

From failure will flow humiliation: a corroding awareness that we have been unable to convince the world of our value and are henceforth condemned to consider the successful with bitterness and ourselves with shame. The trouble with America in particular is the belief that if you work hard, you will be proportionately blessed with financial success. The converse side of this coin is that if you lack financial succes, you simply don't deserve it. Of course this fails to take into account the dynamics of macro economies in which national wealth is not necessarily a representation of the those who individually share in this success.

I think the problem in our competitive societies today is that the more we acquire, the more difficult we will be to please, yet at the same time the more difficult it will be to achieve status (simply because there is more to "wade through" before arriving at the peak. In modern societies if one is born into dire poverty it is very very difficult to "wade through" everything that stands in the way, and the more prosperous society becomes the more there is to wade through). The analogy is a waterfall. The people at the top are comfortably safe. Those int he middle will either sink of swim and are struggling to stay in the same place, desperately afraid of being sucked down and equally determined to reach reach the top. Those at the bottom of the waterfall simply have no chance.

I was once told that there are three possible solutions to most problems, money, a miracle or to simply change the paradigm. In the case of status anxiety, only two of those will solve it. Perhaps we should take a leaf out of the Buddhist book, and instead change our perspective and realise the ultimate futility and mortality of our existence. The problem you see, only exists because we use society as our mirror. If we stopped and put it all in perspective, we might change ours. Ways to avoid stress:

1. Perspective. This is probably the most important. Will this problem affect you in a few days, in a year, or in the long term? If it doesn't affect your overall or long term happiness it probably doesnt matter that much.

2. The solution won't fall out of the sky. Miracles don't happen anymore. When faced with a challenge it is best sometimes to take the bull by the horns and deal with it as opposed to ignoring or postponing your action.

3. Priorities. What is most important at the time? By prioritising, you will come to realise that you can only effectively deal with one problem at a time. Defeat each problem in chunks.

4. Life plan. It sounds awfully cliche but without a plan you will simply drift about constantly changing tack, never settling on a single course. Success at anything come wtih patience and persistence.

5. Set realistic goals. Success is proportional to expectation over achievement. If you make your expectations realistic you are less likely to be disappointed. Don't build castles in the sky.

6.Relax! Simply take some time out once in a while to review and put things in perspective.

By Ted Nichols


Phony-Baloney Detection Lesson #2

Appeals to Authority

Listen to this quote by a guy I am sure some of you have heard of:

"Our society is dominated by experts, few more influential than psychiatrists. This influence does not derive, however, from our superior ethics or goodness or from any widespread consensus that we are especially admirable?"[1]

Don't you just love that?

He goes on to say, that Americans have become a people too dependent on so-called "experts" who "for better or for worse, exert an influence that far exceeds the actual wisdom (I might add here humility and grace) we demonstrate."[2]

Now, listen to this person's credentials:

"Dr. Satinover is a former National Merit Scholar (W. H. Taft HS, 1965, Woodland Hills, CA) and holds degrees from M.I.T. (S.B.), Harvard (Ed.M.) the University of Texas (M.D.) and Yale (M.S.) He completed psychoanalytic training at the C. G. Jung Institute of Z├╝rich. He is a former fellow (resident) in psychiatry and child psychiatry at Yale where he was twice awarded the department of psychiatry's Seymour Lustman Residency Research Prize (2nd place). He was the 1975 William James Lecturer at Harvard. He was until recently a graduate student and teaching fellow in the department of physics at Yale University as part of the Condensed Matter Theory Group where he received a master's degree in physics in 2003."[3]

The last I heard he decided to "pick up" a Ph.D. in Physics.

Phony-Baloney Detection Rule #2 is this:

"Nothing is true because some guy or gal with more degrees behind his or her name than the weather says it is."

Let's say that you have a "cause". There is an issue that hundreds if not thousands have embraced. Within that cause, which has now become a "movement", those who have embraced this cause or issue have gathered their "experts" who come to the conventions they hold where these "experts" tell these crusaders all they want to hear.

These "experts" line up at the stage entrance with truckloads of evidence. They have manuals, books, graphs, charts, movies, and slideshows, of statistics that will be presented as "indisputable evidence" the position or ideology of the new movement is correct. The result?

"Our cause is right and just", cries the members of the new movement, "just look at all the new "facts" I can now throw in the face of the world".

Nothing is true not even if a million so-called "experts" say it is true!

This is a huge problem in American society today. We are a people who blindly trust so-called "experts" (who may not even be "experts" at all) who self-proclaim themselves as "authorities" and who gladly accept their self-proclamation and the following it has earned them.

What is even scarier is that some of these so-called "experts" come to believe, in a kind of self-delusion, they are the authorities their followers regard them to be. These "experts" begin to believe they must be "right" just because they said something was so.

What if, when you wake tomorrow, there are suddenly a gazillion "experts" with academic credentials too long to possibly list, who are now saying the sun not only does not rise in the East and sets in the West-it never has!

Would that make it so? Would the fact that these "experts", some of whom would believe themselves to be "world-renowned" authorities, deluge you with so many facts that your head explodes, make their position on this issue any more "right"?

It would not!

In the emotions and blustering of any cause or issue, humans have the almost innate desire to be "dogmatic", and in their dogmatism, forget how to cut through the bull to learn what is right and what is not.

It is the test of experiment which cuts through the "cock and bull" of anyone, self-deluded or not, who makes a claim that something is true-NO MATTER HOW MUCH "INDISPUTABLE" EVIDENCE that is thrown into your lap.

Anyone, no matter how beloved, no matter how many books he has written, no matter how many conventions he has been the keynote speaker at presenting his truckloads of "proof", must have someone, somewhere hold his feet to the fire of the test of experimentation in the form of the following process:

1) Observation, 2) hypothesis, 3) prediction, 4) testing, and the attempt to 5) reproduce steps 3 and 4 used to form a theory (the last step of the scientific method).

Without the test of experimentation, without an objective third party (peer review) being able to reproduce the so-called expert's proof then all the "expert" is presenting to you in his truckloads of "statistical proof" is SPECULATION!

It is not proof. It is nothing more, nothing less, than SPECULATION!

No matter the credentials, no matter the reputation, no matter how much the much-loved guru of your movement quotes as proof, without the test of experimentation, you have no tool to discern whether what he is telling you is the truth or not.

Those who spew facts, figures, and stats, would not too often go wrong if CONCLUSIVE scientific testing was always possible. Unfortunately, it is not. In situations where limited testing can be done and even when the test results conflict, it is the ethical responsibility of the "presenter of the facts" in any issue to say so!

It is then, when the so-called "experts" who at least attempted to employ the test of experimentation, have to say,

"This is inconclusive but it would appear from what we presently know that ___________".

Even the "experts" have biases. Some of those will spew as "facts" what is instead "speculative biases" (and they know the difference) and not tell you so. From the dishonest to the sincerely deluded "experts", some spew what is mere "speculation" under the disguise of "indisputable evidence". That is the difference between "politics and truth".

As a columnist who is supposed to be trained to keep a story at 650-words, I am committing a sacrilege-this one is over a 1000. May my editor' forgive me!

If an "expert" is spewing a string of facts and stats, and is not citing the "tests of experimentation" from which these stats were derived, then that is how you know you are being fed SPECULATION (cock and bull?)!

What cuts through it all-THE TEST OF EXPERIMENTATION!

The next "Phony-Baloney Detection lesson #3" is Straw Man Argument.

[1] Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth; Jeffrey Satinover, M.D.; Baker Books; page 31
[2] Ibid
[3] http://www.satinover.com/main.htm

By Doug Bower


Why Im Glad Im Not a Minority Writer

I'll admit that I used to be jealous of my compadres who were minorities in my BFA Creative Writing program. The rest of us were just crusty white kids with no rhythm.

So, I used to be a little jealous of the amount of anger material these minority writers had access to. There is a lot of inspiration in one's cultural identity but if that inspiration doesn't allow the artist to create works that break past the illusory bonds of time and space to that oneness that unites us all then the art won't last and won't have quite the impact the artist hopes it will. In fact, here is a definition of good art you can copy paste into your brilliant quotes file. This one comes from yours' truly, Uncle Josh:

"Art (with a capital A) is all about using the contemporary forms of time and space (people, objects and their relationships) to blow apart the phenomenal differences that keep us each locked into what appears to be an inescapable prison (our own egos which are composed of our experience and emotional and intellectual reactions to the present moment, from which we project the future)."

But it is in this projection of the future where humanity's greatest certain unalienable right exists--the right of the choice about how to act this moment. It is freedom of choice about how to act in the moment (in other words, creating their reality in the moment through sheer will) that allowed people overcome atrocities like The Holocaust where every bit of security involved in associating through one's cultural identity was removed completely and the individual was reduced to a scrounging animal. This is the point where survival of the fittest and preservation of self becomes king and the social morays simply drop away like burning paper mache.

I have studied The Holocaust passionately now for sixteen years. I completed course upon course in college and have read book upon book about those twenty years in Germany that saw Hitler's rise to power and a decimation of a culture almost as old as humanity's recorded existence.

I have long asked why when thinking about the Holocaust. This is a very hard question because you are essentially asking for a sum value of millions of peoples' lives in terms of a historical lesson (and what historical lesson could be worth the lives of over 150 million who died in a World War which was the direct result of one man and his dream team of terror?).

But here is my why from The Holocaust--individual freedom emerged intact despite the fact that untold masses of individuals were murdered and had their most sacred identities taken away--their cultural or group identification.

There is enormous associative power in group identification--that is why we are constantly being told to choose, in the moment, which social group we define ourselves as--black, white, gay, christian, conservative, liberal, rich, poor, etc. There is a certain amount of creative inspiration to be derived from one's social group, but if you examine this inspiration closely you will see that the majority of art that comes from this source is usually so infused with the anger that comes from the tallying of group suffering that it has no breakthrough into the transcendent mystery which lies beyond time, space and our petty egos (which only last as long as we draw breath; the spirit is eternal and therefore incorruptible or haven't you got that memo yet?).

So, while minorities may have a lot of inspiration to draw from that produces some great Saturday Night Live and Dave Chappelle skits, most of these are without any true breakthrough; they are improper art, using the artistic aesthetics put forth by James Joyce in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

In-group anger can only take an artist as far as they are willing to ultimately let it go completely. Only by willingly letting go of our social identify and, ultimately, our individual identities in the moment, can we touch the true source of inspiration which lies inside each of us like a platinum encased diamond nugget at the centers of our being.

In fact, this is the exact message that I wrote about in my short story Pyrite (http://www.joshuaminton.com/fiction.htm).

I spent a lot of my late teens and early twenties being angry for other groups of people because my group identity (middle class white kid in a sea of other middle class white kids) was the system of oppression and the source of much of their anger. But I'm through being angry and I'm through defining myself with abstract concepts; I'll leave that to the hacks and has-beens. I'm going to do my best to teach this concept of artistic aesthetics to other talented artists so that they too may find that thorny and weeded path inside themselves that will take them to the platinum crusted diamond that waits for them within.

By Joshua Minton


All That We Are... Are Labels

Within the confines of the known universe, a madness is present that taints all of the knowledge which every human being has aquired within their life, and within the lives of others.

Nothing is as it seems, and it only seems that way because the human being has labeled it as such.

Language is the remarkable tool which all philosophers great and small have at their disposal, and it is that very language which limits knowledge at all levels to that very element.

Indeed, labeling begins with prehistoric man and continues to this day. The life and times of the hunter gatherer revolved around the daily exercise of labeling this and labeling that. Fire, wood, the animals which are hunted, are all a product of labeling.

The reader may now ask..."so what?"....and they would be right to a certain extent. But from a philosophical point of view an important point is being made: what is knowledge? For that matter, what constitutes intelligence? Because the more one explores that question, the more limited mankind becomes.

It is a critical observation that comes with the reality that all knowledge revolves around the act of labeling, and with that labeling comes a vague sort of intelligence allowing the passing of thought and emotion. Clearly, reality is judged by the senses. What can be seen, heard, smelled, or touched constitutes how real something may or may not be. Along these lines would come an in-depth dialogue about dreams and the clinically insane, but that discussion must be for another day.

When one gets down to it, what is known? Does existance essentially consist of running around and placing "post-it" notes upon all that is sensed? "This is 'milk', this is "your father', this is the 'television'." Is everyone aware, as I am, that the know universe simply consists of labeling? And since that is true, what is it that is achieved by mankinds existance?

One conclusion would surround the fact that this existance being experienced now is only the preliminary one of understanding. Perhaps it is like a martial art form: there are endless basic movements that must be mastered before one can continue and achieve. In fact, with martial arts, all who are involved with them knows the words "black belt" stands for excellence, but the reality is something quite different.

In most martial art forms, "black belt" means only "mastering of the basics", which is significant because most outsiders believe that achieving the black belt is the end, when in fact, for the dedicated artist, it is only the beginning.

Perhaps that is the state of mankind today: we are only at the beginning of our contribution to this universe. We, as a species, are in the "gathering of information" area of existance. But that revelation (if that's what one might call it) is significant because it is an indication that mankind truly has an enormous way to go to achieve true intellectual enlightenment.

I attended Rutgers University and studied philosophy, English, and History.


Darius and the US Postal Service

DARIUS: - Coins bearing his visage are found in the Americas but we would never expect to see normal academic overviews mention this for public consideration. And I was not surprised when I read many other things about Aryans and supposed first Empires, as I read the following part of a far larger presentation. Was the US support of the Shah connected to a larger and long term plan to manage the plebs or serfs who think they are free?

"Cyrus recognized that the "known world" he wished to conquer included Egypt, Carthage, Ethiopia, and Greek colonies on the Mediterranean coast as far as Gibraltar, but for the time being he thought he had better seize the known world to the east (except for distant, legendary China). In about a year he took lands as far away as what are now the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. He rushed west again and fell upon Babylon by diverting the unfordable Gyndes River, a tributary of the Tigris which protected the city, into many shallow hand-dug channels. There he freed the forty thousand Jews held in the Babylonian captivity. A few years later, putting down a revolt in the east, Cyrus died in battle. His troops brought his body back to Pasargadae, and laid it to rest in the tomb with the Nordic roof. {N.B.}

Cyrus was not only the world's first great emperor; he was a humane man, who treated his victims benevolently, honored their gods, and set higher standards for the profession of kingship than most other monarchs down through the centuries. His son and successor, by contrast, was a brute who had earlier kicked his pregnant wife to death. He adored flattery, not blinking even when a courtier told him, 'I do not think you are the equal of your father, because you do not have a son like the son he left behind.' Nevertheless, before he mysteriously committed suicide, he managed to capture Egypt and pack the pharaoh back to Iran. Upon his death, according to Herodotus, the seven young nobles who formed the imperial council met and agreed to accept as king him among them whose horse should neigh first at dawn the next day. One groom made sure that his master would win by providing a delectable, neigh-worthy mare for the stallion. In this way the noble named Darius became king, although his own account of his ascent, which he left engraved on stone, differs in ways that do not make nearly as good a story.

Whatever the truth, Darius turned out to be second only to Cyrus as 'Great King, King of Kings,' and even more than Cyrus, the architect of the Persian Empire. Despite his chance choice, Darius had the royal blood of Achaemenes in his veins, for he descended from a collateral branch of the family. Darius ruled for thirty-five years, at first putting down rivals (he fought nineteen battles at the rate of nearly a battle a month, and defeated nine upstart kinglets), then giving the empire the institutions that Cyrus had been too busy to devise. He had to keep the subject populations contented enough not to revolt (for the conquered masses greatly outnumbered the ruling Persians), but disciplined enough to pay heavy taxes to support the court and the armies." (2)

He established a secret spy network not unlike his far later relative and recent King, the Shah of Iran; but he also established a reliable postal service not unlike the Pony Express that Herodotus was inspired to write the words now used as the motto of the US Postal Service. We have all heard it and wondered perhaps, why we are not told the origin bespeaks great things in other cultures.

"? Sir Roger Stevens to write, in The Land of the Great Sophy: 'There can be no proper understanding of what underlies modern Iran unless we recognize the significance of this triumph of legend over history, or art over reality, this preference for embellishment as against unvarnished fact, for ancient folk beliefs as against new-fangled creeds.'" (3)