Truth Love & Peace

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The Only Way to Peace Is Love: Why War Won't End the Conflict

Or consider another popular Buddhist author, Thich Nhat Hanh. This sounds simple, but it takes years of training to develop a mind of love, inner peace, and joyful compassion. Buddhist practice is not merely selfish navel-gazing. Indeed, it can lead to anguished engagement with an oppressive and violent world — as witnessed by the monks who immolate themselves in protest against repressive regimes in Tibet and elsewhere.

The fact that a religion of peace, love, and happiness leads to suicidal protest in the face of oppression gives much food for thought. Christianity provides a similar source of contemplation. The turmoil, sadness, suffering and cruelty of the cross are an essential part of the Christian story. We noted already that Paul imagined the unity of peace, love, and happiness in the life of the Spirit; but like Jesus himself, Paul was arrested and executed.


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For Christians, peace, love, and happiness are ultimately found far beyond the tumult of earthly life, death, and politics. Saint Augustine argued in his book The City of God that happiness and peace cannot be found in this life. He contrasts Christian wisdom with that of the earlier Greek philosophers, the Epicureans, Stoics, and Cynics, who maintained that happiness could be produced in this life by philosophical reflection.

Augustine claimed that worldly happiness was insufficient, and that eternal happiness, lasting peace, and true love were only possible in union with God, only fully achievable in the afterlife. For Christians, the path to peace, love, and happiness passes through and beyond this world of wickedness, sin, and suffering. The Greeks criticized by Augustine thought otherwise. Epicurus BC , for example, taught that a simple life, withdrawn from the tumult of politics, and spent in the company of loving friends, could be peaceful and happy. Epicurus also maintained that to enjoy peace and happiness you must cultivate justice, since injustice produces social conflict.

But, Epicurus added, if you want to be happy and find peace, you should avoid political life and its stressful and dangerous entanglements. There are clear Epicurean elements in the hippy dream — especially in the idea that simple living apart from the mainstream is the key to peace, love, and happiness. The problem, however, is that Epicureans can be accused of free-riding.

Is it right to retreat to your garden while the outside world is plagued by war, hate, and sorrow?

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In response to this problem, the Stoics maintained that we have a duty to serve society. So Stoics sacrifice their own peace, love, and happiness for the good of the many.

For instance, the Stoic Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from AD, would have preferred to stay home with his loved ones and develop himself as a philosopher, but his political obligations led him to sacrifice his health and tranquility for the good of Rome. Building upon the political perspective, we might note — as Steven Pinker has argued recently in his book, The Better Angels of our Nature — that peace, love, and happiness are the result of civilizing processes, including military and police power.

In other words, Westerners can enjoy peace, love, and happiness because our borders are secure, our homes are comfortable, our economies run smoothly, and our institutions are stable. Sadly, the same cannot be said for many others across the globe. The peace, love, and happiness celebrated in counter-cultural songs and bumper-stickers may rest upon European and American military, economic, and social power.

Nonetheless, many advocates of the peace-love-happiness trinity are critical of police power, military force, and obedience and conformity. Some argue that the structures of imperialistic and militaristic civilization are internally contradictory — that they create the very ills they claim to solve. So peace is undermined by preparation for war. Love is destroyed by oppressive hierarchies.

Happiness is subverted by the demands of work, conformity, and bureaucracy. But it may be that military power, obedience, hierarchy, and conformity are essential for peace, love, and happiness. It may be that best place to find peace, love, and happiness is in Epicurean gardens nestled safely in the heartland of an empire. These and other disquieting thoughts arise when we begin thinking about peace, love, and happiness.

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The Things that Make for Peace: Truth, Justice, Love, Freedom | NATIONAL JUSTICE & PEACE NETWORK

It might therefore be that those who philosophize recognize that peace, love, and happiness are nearly impossible to achieve. He has published a number of books on ethics and political philosophy, and is co-author with Barbara MacKinnon of the 8th edition of Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues Cengage Publishing.

He also writes a regular column for the Fresno Bee. This site uses cookies to recognize users and allow us to analyse site usage. By continuing to browse the site with cookies enabled in your browser, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Certainly truth and meaning are not given to us by God. We give them to ourselves, in the world of social construction.

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Much of this worldview was handed to us by the existential philosophers. It actually seems that to be truthful is to be biased, ignorant, and narrow-minded. Postmodernism has denuded our idea of truth and meaning. When coupled with capitalism and our latest demonstration of this so-called democracy, one assigns truth to the highest and the loudest bidder. At best, in the social constructionist worldview, our faith is as much of a social construct as any other sociological category, just needing to be tolerated.

Consider when Jesus says He is the Truth. Our anger, in a time such as this, can lead us. As we master telling truth, though, we have to master love—which Paul calls the greatest of all gifts. The trouble comes in a world where love is as hard to come by as truth.

Welcome to Truth Love & Peace

Full of hate, it seems. Not a good pairing, to have hate and lies lead the way. Without truth, our love is hollow, empty, and full of lies. Without love, though we may be armed with the truth, we can bring rage first.

Great Gandhi quotes about happiness

We might further divide the world and bring conflict, not peace. We actually have to use a vernacular that can win hearts and minds. One that is soft enough to convince someone to change their mind.

truth, peace and love lyrics By Buena Onda Social Groove

Three pieces of advice since this is bound to come up during Thanksgiving tomorrow. May forgiveness, grace, and empathy also. This Thanksgiving, pass the gravy and the peace.