Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - September 12, 2018
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity
  2. Activist Feedback
  3. Why Do We Have Consciousness?
  4. From the All-Creatures.Org Ministry

1. Once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity for a Committed, Hard-working Ethical Vegan Couple or Individual – Available October 1, 2018

The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation is offering a full-time salaried position with All-Creatures.org in exchange for living in a home next door to our main facility at no cost, including utilities, internet and Roku TV paid for by the Foundation. The home is a beautiful, quiet, lakefront three-bedroom, two-bath furnished home in Athens, NY.

If you are interested in all the details, I'd love to hear from you – Veda Stram (All-Creatures Administrator), 360/631-5100.

2. Activist Feedback

Rick Hershey, who leafleted at a Colton Dixon concert on 8/3, writes:

I handed out 500 CVA booklets at St. Louis University - Chaifetz Arena.

3. Why Do We Have Consciousness?

This question has beguiled scientists and philosophers for centuries, so don’t expect the definitive answer here. In previous essays, have raised doubts about free will, but why would we have consciousness if we don’t have free will?

Perhaps being conscious has allowed creatures to have subjective feelings that help them make difficult decisions. For example, a male animal might pick up the scent of a female ready to mate, as well as the scent of a predator. In deciding whether trying to mate is worth the risk, he chooses between his feeling of desire and his feeling of fear.

The ability to allow the strength of different feelings to inform choices helps creatures to adapt to and make rational choices in a wide range of situations. Yet, we have non-conscious computer programs that can make complex “choices” and can even learn from experience (artificial intelligence). However, such computer programs need thousands and thousands of lines of code, and it might be impossible to reproduce this type of complexity in a living organism.

These secular thoughts on consciousness intersect with metaphysical considerations when I come to consider my own consciousness. How do I subjectively experience what is happening in my own body (which includes a sense of continuity of consciousness within this body over time) and not the subjective experience of any other body? I might have good explanations for consciousness in general, but I am clueless as to how my own consciousness came to inhabit the body I call “mine.”

These thoughts suggest that there are aspects to existence that we don’t understand. I think it is reasonable to consider theological explanations, with the caveat that we should use caution and humility when arriving at conclusions about the nature of the divine. In particular, we should abide by the saying “don’t believe everything you think” when it comes to believing that God loves the same things we do and God hates the same things we do. The benefit of doubt should go the way of compassion.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

4. From All-Creatures.org Ministry

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