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Healing the Culture: A Commonsense Philosophy of Happiness, Freedom, and the Life Issues [Paperback]

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Item description for Healing the Culture: A Commonsense Philosophy of Happiness, Freedom, and the Life Issues by Fr Robert J. Spitzer, Robin A. Bernhoft & Camille E. Ma De Blasi...

Father Spitzer, President of Gonzaga University, has been using the principles in this book over the last eight years to educate people of all backgrounds in the philosophy of the pro-life movement. The tremendous positive response he has received inspired him to start the Life Principles Institute. This book is one of the key resources used for this program.

This work effectively draws out the connections between personal attitudes toward happiness and the meaning of life, and the larger cultural issues such as freedom and human rights. Relying on the wisdom of the ages and respecting the human persons' unique capacity for rational analysis, this work offers definitions of the key cultural terms affecting life issues, including Happiness, Success, Love, Suffering, Quality of Life, Ethics, Freedom, Personhood, Human Rights and the Common Good.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   347
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 6.08" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 7, 2000
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  0898707862  
ISBN13  9780898707861  
UPC  008987078623  

Availability  0 units.

More About Fr Robert J. Spitzer, Robin A. Bernhoft & Camille E. Ma De Blasi

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1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy

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Reviews - What do customers think about Healing the Culture: A Commonsense Philosophy of Happiness, Freedom and the Life Issues?

Philosophical Personalism at its Best  Nov 16, 2007
This book represents philosophical personalism at its best. It makes you reflect on what it means to be a person. Following a basic maxim of Greek philosophical wisdom, "Operation follows existence," the author develops an objective definition of personhood. From there, he takes you to the next step: If you are a person what does it really mean to be happy? He proposes four levels of happiness: 1) Happiness 1, that which comes from an external stimulus. It interacts with one or more of the five senses, but does not last very long. 2) Happiness 2, that which comes from ego-gratification. This kind of happiness comes whenever one can shift the locus of control to oneself. Hence, winning, gaining power or control, or gaining popularity causes happiness. 3) Happiness 3, that which comes when we want to make a difference with our lives, our time, our energy and our talent, because we also desire love, truth, goodness, beauty and being. 4) Happiness 4, that which comes from an awareness of a seemingly unconditional horizon surrounding human curiosity, creativity, spirit and achievement. In the context of faith, this desire for unconditional, perfect, ultimate, and even unrestricted Love, Goodness, Truth, Beauty and Being, might be called a desire for God. Although all the levels of happiness have some good in them, levels 3 and 4 are absolutely necessary for a person to become fully human. Furthermore, the level of happiness that you adopt as a goal in life will determine your concept of success, self-worth, love, suffering, ethics, freedom, person, rights and the common good. Last but not least, Spitzer challenges you to confront in a compassionate but thoughtful way two of the most controversial issues of our culture: abortion and euthanasia.
In conclusion, if you agree with Socrates that the unexamined life is not worth living, you will find this book an excellent, thorough and powerful invitation to examine yourself in order for you to lead a good and happy life. It is true: philosophy might not be enough, but it is certainly a great beginning.
The Guide to Happiness  Jul 22, 2007
Although somewhat academic in style, this book is important for those wishing to explore the keys to being in the state of happiness. The author describes happiness in terms of four levels, with Level 3/4 being the ultimate goal. Along the way, he explains the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic rights and how the issues of abortion and euthanasia fit in.

An important book to read for those in the pro-life movement or on the fence, or those wishing to explore the philosophy of happiness further.
Is the author happy, or healthy for that matter?  Feb 16, 2005
What on earth is this guy talking about? Pop in a human being, let him roll through the Hegelian system of abstract cogs and wheels and out pops Mr. Happy. This guy's ramblings rival the opium dreams of William Burrough's "Naked Lunch". In fact, he must have smoked something stronger. Don't waste your money on this one.
Excellent and desperately needed!  Apr 2, 2004
Fr. Spitzer uses ancient wisdom of the Greek Philosophers to remind contemporary society what happiness is truly about. Our society has become increasingly shallow and selfish. Please, read this book!
Moral Therapy  Aug 26, 2003
Without a shared philosophy, Father Spitzer knows, debates about the controversial life issues can degenerate into point-counterpoint donnybrooks. So the bulk of Healing the Culture is a prolegomenon to the pro-life position, an extended presentation of the classical Christian argument that human happiness cannot be limited to merely material or pragmatic concerns.

That such a philosophy seems counter-cultural does suggest the need for healing, and the author's case for unselfish ethics is well-organized and compelling. Particularly strong are his discussions of how true freedom requires moral goodness, how democracy ultimately derives from inalienable rights (not simple majority rule), and the futility of fully defining personhood by merely sociological categories.

All in all, Healing the Culture is a good introduction to the good life. But one wonders if philosophy alone can heal the divisions behind the current culture wars? Changing people's convictions about issues as personal as abortion and euthanasia may require more than rational argument.

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