Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

Daniel Arendt

Keeping "Right" Simple.

  • Some may think my ULCM posts are ponderous, crabby, and so forth; I don’t intend such characteristics, they’re just answers to questions sometimes arising in my journeys and experiences. 

    ‘Is ULCM a “real” religious entity besides by legal adjudications?” I answer “yes” on its orthopraxy of doing the right thing, teleologically or deontologically, within all applicable laws; that, and from its use of term “storehouse” through to ministerial debate/colloquy and more surely appears to function as have historic monasteries of assorted faiths.
    ‘Is marriage as sole sacrament really enough?’ I offer that, for example, some Christian groups say only two sacraments are “needed”, another group says seven are “must-haves”…it’s a matter of personal faith expression whether one, two, seven, or a quintillion or even NO sacraments are “enough”.
    ‘Isn’t it psychology to “push” a marriage sacrament, taking advantage against straight/LBGT people with subconscious or externally induced attachment issues, or implying anyone living together with a partner(s) is “dirty”, “poor parent/father”, or a “sinner”?’ I don’t see that as ULCM’s case. As a man who added greatly to atheist works, Antony Flew, wrote in reply to Richard Dawkin’s theory of “The Selfish Gene”: genes are not capable of the calculation and understanding needed to plot a course of either ruthless selfishness or sacrificial compassion. To me, it seems unlikely from this I should presume most people seek partnering officiants only out of undeniable attachment instincts or to appease parties outside their proposed union. Perhaps while watching for easily observable signs of marriage pressure between the proposed couple, ULCM ministers can actually acquaint with populations of mutually convergent, lucidly independent people sharing whatever broader philosophy of living ethically.
    ‘Isn’t religious marriage “retrograde” due to immutable facts of Darwinism?’ I offer that a number of substantial physicists indicate our universe had a transcendental causal agent (which means not of our physics, and until otherwise known by exact sciences passable as God). Again citing Antony Flew’s reply to Dawkin’s gene theory, it is a somewhat less familiar logical fact that below the human level, the struggle for existence is not “competitive” in the truest sense. In “Darwinian Evolution”, Flew said natural selection does not positively produce anything…it only eliminates, or tends to eliminate, whatever is not competitive…and that Darwin ultimately changed expression from “natural selection” or “survival of the fittest” to “natural preservation”. To me, it seems belief per se in a power greater than human ability to reproduce blocks no individual development, nor must betoken a mental enfeeblement where Darwinism cannot truly be called a sole definition of intellectual, racial or other advancement under Creation or raw chance…making it logical to suggest there’s room for question when saying a faith is epigenetically based just because some in religious expression insist on such interpretation.  
    ‘Isn’t ULCM, with integral references to Biblical inscriptions, expressing favoritism to Judeo-Christian views?’ I don’t see it. There’s one thing, according to Antony Flew et al, that our genes don’t give us: an ability to react to life either egregiously or with dignity to others…goes for everyone. The New Testament being merely one amenable ULCM-type viewpoint, and apprising that ALL who would seek it may have its spiritual forgiveness and redemption more on cleaving to ethics than formal religion(s) including ULCM, and being better-known than Parmenides’ “On Nature”, Plato’s ‘Phaedo”, Aristotle’s “Nicomanthea Ethika” or such, why NOT let New Testament (and relevant Old Testament) calls to absolution and ministry of doing ethical right be available to whoever wants them or may have been themselves called or influenced by transcendent causal agency? ULCM doesn’t require subscription to ANY “-ism” except the doing of lucid right as one is competent and not beyond; neither does ULCM ordain for or in lieu of any other religion(s). Really, ALL people on earth believing in respecting all humans and doing lucid right are welcome at ULCM; their religious, spiritual, or secular philosophies may help explain why they felt drawn to being part of ULCM, and inform their contributions to open debates on the ethics of a variety of topics.
    “Isn’t it baloney to ordain atheists?’ Well, some traditional religions today have notable clergy who actually say they personally believe the Christianity behind the collars they then continue to wear is one hundred percent fake…how one is or stays ordained there while preaching disbelief in the Deity relied upon, and would avoid shunning for being an ordained atheist, at least shows ULCM isn’t “bizarre” for such practice; and what of atheists in the nature of Antony Flew, ethical people who help follow ALL propositions wherever they may lead? Many atheists actually contribute to their definition of doing right in such way, and don’t seek to annihilate evidentiary roads not of convenience to them.
    ‘Isn’t ULCM a sham for not requiring degrees or having common prayers or catechism for their members’ young?’ I ask: how old or how many credentials does one need to advise or be advised doing lucid, common-sense ethical right to everyone in this life is key to one’s eternal progress? And as with sacraments, it’s not “enough” prayer that such idea will grow? One wonders what such critics would tell Jesus, Who said the “Lord’s Prayer” was all the prayer His followers needed.
    ‘So what’s the point, windbag?’ Well, just as no one rushes around urging that everything from education to communication, art, retail sales, housing, exercise, and so on should be tightly regulated or meted out due to their being “vestigial hypertrophisms of tribal hunter-gatherer genetics”, open sources and common reason seem to indicate it’s not per se superstition, epigenetics, or self-serving psychology to believe or espouse that we somehow go on after this life and somehow living in ethical character may be of benefit in such regard. To such end, ULCM doesn’t replace any rational religious expression(s) or spiritual philosophy (ies), nor does it exclude those who provide civil unbelief (which helps avoid errors of complacency and may be part of a transcendental Absolute’s schema).
    Or simply: “Do the right thing”: more than just exhortation to get married, somewhat less than a pan-philosophical call to mad conspiracy theorists, license-seeking extreme hedonists, or those truly in need of counseling by other professionals.