A Call to Mindfulness

10
Sep 1, 2014
posted by

In the opening Spotlight session, Dr. Beck calls us to be curious and thoughtful about the world around us rather than slipping into the lazy mindlessness that is so often our default setting.  He presents several key questions that emerge throughout his discussion.

  These questions are:

  • What does “Banality of Evil” refer to?
  • What is the source of Eichmann’s and other forms of evil in the world?
  • What is magical thinking? Why should we worry about it?
  • How does a liberal arts education help combat issues of mindlessness?

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If you have a question for this week’s speaker or would like to share a conclusion of your own, please post it as a comment below. We welcome off-campus voices to the public Cornerstone dialogue as long as they are respectful and contribute meaningfully to these curricular discussions. See the ACU Blogs Terms of Use or About Cornerstone for more information.

10 Comments

  1. Aug 30, 2011
    1:10 pm

    by Andrew Dillard

    How much of the evil in the world, along with our personal contributions, do you think is a product of a failure to think? Of failing to have “an internal dialogue” within ourselves about the moral and social consequences of our actions?¬¬¬¬
    How much of the evil in the world, along with her personal contributions, do you think is a product of failure to think? I believe it takes very little evil in the world as well as personal contributions to make someone fail because, it is very easy for someone to fail but it takes a lot out of someone to succeed the expectations given. Evil plays a big part in failure, an example of evil that falls in failure is “Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God said do not touch this particular tree, a serpent appeared and tricked Adam and Eve into eating the fruit of the tree which God told them not to eat. Thus killed and banished from the Garden of Eden.” Evil can make anyone fail, it’s even happened to me. I have failed God and his word and the Consequences of my actions will cause great punishment. But if we turn to him for guidance, if we take that big step with him like I did, failure will not come knocking at your down.
    The description above says that Eichmann failed to display “the imaginative capacities that would have made the human and moral dimensions of his activities tangible for him.” How would a university education–one that emphasized the humanities, arts, and literature–help in creating these “imaginative capabilities”? The description above says that Eichmann failed to display “the imaginative capacities that would have made the human and moral dimensions of his activities tangible for him.” If Eichmann was an open minded person failure probably would of not of happened. The fact that he was so near sited leads him into the path of failure. With a university education–one that emphasized the humanities, arts, and literature–help in creating these “imaginative capabilities” we have the opportunity to open our minds open our hearts to God experiment new things in our lives, find out who we really are, we have the advantage instead of being near sited.

  2. Aug 31, 2011
    3:35 pm

    From the demonstrated examples today I was able to write down three of the four main principles – similarity, permanence, and negativity dominance. What was the other principle and how did it apply? Awesome job today Dr. Beck.

    • Aug 31, 2011, 3:44 pm

      by Richard Beck

      Thanks Wes. The fourth feature was boundary-monitoring. When purity psychology is operative we carve the world into inside(rs) vs. outside(rs).

  3. Aug 31, 2011
    4:17 pm

    Reminds me of 1984.

  4. Sep 1, 2011
    4:40 pm

    by Virginia Bailey

    Very interesting presentation! Dr. Scott Peck’s book People of the Lie doesn’t use the phrase “banality of evil”, but does give examples of evil behavior by seemingly ordinary people. The example that amazed me most was one of parents who gave the gun used by one of their sons to kill himself to the remaining son as a birthday present. True “mindlessness”! I would find it very difficult to “love these sinners” because I “hate their sin” so much.

  5. Aug 30, 2012
    12:03 pm

    i really enjoyed this man speaking to us on Wednesday. he put a new view on my perspective. How much can we tolerate before it is enough to hurt someone?

  6. Aug 31, 2012
    9:18 am

    by Meg Brackenbury

    1. I believe that a vast majority of the evil in this world is a consequent result of not thinking. One example of this is C.s. Lewis’ story of the Screwtspe letters. Screwtspe often gives his nephew the advice to not plant ideas, but to simply implant laziness and a sense of unawareness, so that the subject might notnnefessarily think “evil” but will be complacent to go along and not question the slow-changing of his heart.
    2. Our university education is vital to our recognition of imaginative possibilities. We are willing to explore the uncomfortable but real consequences of our actions and inactions, and that is the key to understanding our imaginative possibilities.

  7. Jan 20, 2013
    8:37 pm

    1. The natural existence of evil is inevitable in the sinful world we live in. Even if every single person put legitimate thought into every decision made before taking action sin would still exist through pain and suffering that human cannot control. I do think a great deal of evil in the world is expressed through our own lack of depth in thought of the consequences or results of our choices, yes, but even with the purest of intention mistakes are made in an imperfect world among imperfect people. Natural disasters happen without capability to control them. Babies are born with deformities no one can prevent. The evil in this world is inevitable.

    2. If Eichmann had received a university education that emphasized the humanities, arts, and literature he would have been capable of imagining the reality of the human and moral dimensions of his actions because he would have been educated to think for himself. He would have been educated to determine his own values about life and humanity. He would have been educated to question the effects of what he was asked to do before agreeing to do it. And he would have been educated to act upon his own thoughts and not to just mindlessly follow orders.

  8. Aug 28, 2013
    10:58 pm

    How do we influence others to be more mindfulness about everyday decisions??

  9. Jan 23, 2014
    6:07 pm

    Interesting how little we know about evil.

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