Glossary of words and phrases

(work in progress 6/28/12)

  • civilization — the process of cultures becoming less primitive or barbarian and more peaceful; enhanced use of technology, writing, governance and moral codes
  • compassion or empathy — the Golden Rule on which all the world religions are based — do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  • conscience — inner awareness of the difference between right and wrong in one’s own actions; duty, inner voice, principles/morals/ethic — moral compass
  • critical, higher level thinking systems thinking —  going past either/or thinking into both/and, paradox, using future problem solving tools
  • democracy — government of the people, by the people and for the people with liberty and justice for all
  • dialogue — exchange of viewpoints
  • duty — moral obligation; accountability, conscience, good faith, honesty, integrity,
  • enlightenment – openness to new ideas and information, heightened awareness, evolving knowledge and understanding, keen sense of interconnectedness of all elements of world, creative future problem solving
  • equitable — dealing fairly and equally with all concerned
  • equity — justice according to natural law or right; freedom from bias or favoritism
  • ethics -: the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
  • fascism — government control by alliance of money, religion and military
  • hope — to desire with anticipation of fulfillment;  the opposite of nihilism
  • humanity — the quality or state of being human, human attributes or qualities; mankind, humankind, man, mortality
  • interconnectedness – all parts or elements are connected or related to one another —  we’re one human family living together on planet earth
  • justice — the quality of being just, impartial, or fair; equitable distribution of goods and evils, including reward and punishment.
  • morals — a set of principles based on cultural, religious and philosophical concepts and beliefs by which an individual determines whether his or her actions are right or wrong; these concepts and beliefs are often generalized and codified by a culture or group, and thus serve to regulate the behavior of its members
  • nihilism — purposelessness and angst; nothingness or nonexistence
  • oligarchy or plutocracy — control by rich people over other people
  • opinion — acceptance of a proposition despite a lack of the conclusive evidence that would result in certain knowledge of its truth.
  • philosophy — literally, love of wisdom; careful thought about the fundamental nature of the world, the grounds for human knowledge and the evaluation of human conduct.
  • pluralism — belief that reality ultimately includes many different kinds of things; in ethics, the supposition that there are many independent sources of value; in political life, acceptance of a multiplicity of groups with competing interests; in religion, acceptance that no single belief system is exclusively right, respect for multiple belief systems and/or ways of defining a higher power
  • principle — a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption; a rule or code of conduct
  • progressive — politics and public policy based on the basic values of community, justice, access to opportunity and shared responsibility, based on the premise that human progress is inherent in America’s founding principles.
  • radical — basic principles: foundation
  • rights — justified expectations about the benefits people or society ought to provide; entitlement to individual benefits with respect for those of others.
  • rule of law — the principle that laws, rather than the arbitrary judgment of rulers, should govern the affairs and disputes of a society.
  • society — a voluntary association of individuals for common ends; especially an organized group working together or periodically meeting because of common interests, beliefs, or profession; community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests;
  • Socratic method — seeking truth through questioning
  • soul -  the animating principle present in living things; spirit
  • spirituality – concern with matters of the spirit — the intangible inner being or soul, connectedness with the universe;  as contrasted with religion – spiritual is a universal individual human impulse; religion is a structured or institutionalized set of beliefs and/or congregation of people based on shared values and creed that may be considered absolute, often with a hierarchical authority structure
  • theocracy — government or society controlled by a specific church or religion
  • truth — a judgment, proposition or idea that is accepted as true; the conformity of a proposition to the way things are; veracity, rightness, authenticity, genuineness; the body of true statements and propositions
  • universal — relating to, extending to, or affecting the entire world or all within the world; relating to or affecting all members of the class or group under consideration; applicable or common to all purposes, conditions, or  situations
  • values – something intrinsically valuable; relative worth or importance
  • virtue — admirable human characteristics that distinguish good people from bad; individual virtues are morally worthwhile only when they encourage the performance of duty or contribute to the general welfare.
  • vision — a manifestation to the senses of something intangible; the act or power of imagination; unusual discernment or foresight
  • wisdom — good judgment with respect to abstract truth or theoretical matters; ability to discern inner qualities and relationships, insight; accumulated philosophic or scientific learning; knowledge; generally accepted belief
  • worldview — the way we see the world and our place in it; our philosophy of life

draft 6–6-12

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