Biography and Contact Information
I am Justin Anthony Knapp (koavf), a Wikipedian from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. I'm a life-long Hoosier, and attended Covenant Christian High School; upon graduating, I worked there as a tutor and teachers' assistant for two years. I joined Wikipedia on 2005-03-06, after anonymously editing for months. I worked for Indiana University at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis for several years, where I earned degrees in philosophy and political science.
- 2004-06-09 – Met Kurt Vonnegut
- 2004-10-20 – Met R.E.M.
- 2005-03-23 – Met Magnapop
- 2005-05-10 – Got stranded in California; met Mark Oliver Everett and Eels, gave him the Rolling Stones boot Live'r Than You'll Ever Be
- 2005-10-05 – Spoke at the United Nations' Fourth Committee on the situation in Western Sahara
- 2005-10-15 – Met Hum
- 2006-06-15 – Graduated from Indiana University, B.A. in political science
- 2006-09-16 – Saw R.E.M. with Bill Berry in Atlanta, Georgia
- 2008-07-31 – Appeared on Dogma Free America to discuss the Amazon.com–Scientology controversy.
- 2009-11-28 – Discussed Wikipedia with The Daily Beast
- 2009-12-15 – Graduated from Indiana University, B.A. in philosophy
- 2011-08-20 – Started Campus Ambassador position for IUPUI
- 2012-04-19 – "Guy Becomes First Person to Make One Million Wikipedia Edits" (via)
- 2012-04-19 – "The hardest working man on Wikipedia"
- 2012-04-20 – "First man to make 1 million Wikipedia edits"
- 2012-04-20 – "Hardest working man on the internet passes one million Wikipedia edits"
- 2012-04-20 – "First man hits a MILLION Wikipedia edits—beating rivals in secretive clan of writers who control encyclopedia"
- 2012-04-20 – "Wikipedia User Makes 1 Million Edits"
- 2012-04-20 – "Justin Knapp: One man, one million Wikipedia edits"
- 2012-04-20 – "Justin Knapp: Internet Hero."
- 2012-04-20 – "Man maakt miljoen Wikipedia-aanpassingen"
- 2012-04-20 – "Justin Knapp Makes History On Wikipedia"
- 2012-04-20 – "Човекът с 1 000 000 публикации в Wikipedia"
- 2012-04-20 – "Seven Years, One Million Edits, Zero Dollars: Wikipedia’s Flat Broke Superstar"
- 2012-04-20 – "Norte-americano se torna 1º a fazer 1 milhão de edições na Wikipédia"
- 2012-04-20 – "Entregador de pizza faz 1 milhão de edições na Wikipédia"
- 2012-04-20 – "Justin Knapp Becomes Wikipedia Legend With One Million Edits"
- 2012-04-20 – "Wikipedia-artikelen miljoen keer bewerkt door één man"
- 2012-04-20 – "Wikipedia: Un Américain atteint le million de contributions, une première"
- 2012-04-20 – "Un million d'interventions sur Wikipedia: belle assiduité. Le quart d'heure du millionnaire"
- 2012-04-20 – "Le million d’éditions pour le roi de Wikipédia"
- 2012-04-20 – "Le Stakhanoviste du web existe!"
- 2012-04-20 – "Американец внес миллион правок в "Википедию""
- 2012-04-20 – "Fleißigster Wikipedia-Arbeiter: 1 Mio. Edits geknackt"
- 2012-04-20 – "Najbardziej oddany redaktor Wikipedii. Poprawił milion wpisów"
- 2012-04-20 – "Hard-Working Wikipedian Reaches 1 Million Edits"
- 2012-04-21 – "Wikipedianer knackt eine Million Edits"
- 2012-04-21 – "Daily Roundup: Wikipedia Reaches One Million Edits"
- 2012-04-21 – "Man earns online holiday with one million Wikipedia edits"
- 2012-04-21 – "Un américain apporte un million de corrections au Wikipédia"
- 2012-04-21 – "Mr. Know-It-All"
- 2012-04-22 – "لأول مرة: مساهم في ويكيبيديا يتجاوز المليون تعديل"
- 2012-04-22 – "مساهم أمريكي في ويكيبيديا يجري مليون تعديل"
- 2012-04-22 – "Everybody Needs A Hobby of the Day"
- 2012-04-23 – "Người thực hiện 1 triệu lượt biên tập trên Wikipedia"
- 2012-04-23 – "Wikipedia’s man in a million"
- 2012-04-23 – "Wikipedia Volunteer Editor Reaches 1 Million Edits"
- 2012-04-23 – "Meet Wikipedia's most prolific volunteer editor" and "Meet the man who's made 1 million Wikipedia edits"
- 2012-04-24 – "Desempregado americano é o maior editor da Wikipedia no mundo -- e não ganha para isso 15"
- 2012-04-25 – "Wikipedia: l'homme qui valait un million "d'edits""
- 2012-04-26 – "Meet Justin Knapp, the hardest working man on Wikipedia"
- 2012-05-02 – "11 Questions With the First Person to Make One Million Wikipedia Edits"
- 2012-05-16 – "Wahnsinn oder Weltverbesserung?"
- 2012-05-17 – "A Grateful World Celebrates Justin Knapp Day"
- 2012-05-22 – "Wiki's Million Edit Man is lifelong Hoosier"
- 2012-06-11 – "Week in Wiki out: Hoosier is top contributor to online encyclopedia" (also: , , , , )
- 2012-07-14 – "Wikipedia: Meet the men and women who write the articles"
- 2012-07-25 – "Orwell, Guthrie, and No Sleep: How Wikipedia's MVP Got to One Million Edits"
- 2012-07-26 – "King of Corrections"
- 2013-07-03 – "Protesters to March Against Government Surveillance in Nationwide Rally"
- 2014-07-21 – I was a question on University Challenge
- 2014-09-19 – Wikipedia's Most Prolific Editor Explains Why the Site Is Stronger Than People Realize/This Guy Has Edited Wikipedia More Than 1.3 Million Times — And He Doesn't Believe in the Decline of the Free Encyclopedia
- 2015-04-23 – The Grant Shapps Affair Is a Testament to Wikipedia’s Integrity and Transparency
- 2015-06-03 – Meet The Guy Who’s Made 1.4 Million Wikipedia Edits (And Counting)
- 2015-07-22 – You Don't Know It, But You're Working for Facebook. For Free.
- 2015-10-14 – The Most Prolific Editor on Wikipedia
- 2015-11-05 – The Most Fascinating Wikipedia Articles You Haven't Read
- 2015-11-16 – Los editores más prolíficos de Wikipedia: "Te sientes partícipe de una gran obra"
- 2016-03-14 – Tireless and dedicated: Justin Knapp
- 2017-11-10 – Wikipedia Study Reveals a Surprising Stat About Who Edits It
- 2017-11-19 – Prolific Wikipedia editor explains how our framing of history can make us more empathetic
- 2018-04-17 – The Jeff Rubin Show
- 2020-04-05 – Meet the Internet’s unsung heroes: Wikipedia’s human collaborators
- (I trended: #JustinKnapp, #koavf)
Needless to say, the things most interesting to me about my life probably won't be that interesting to you. You may see my family tree from Rodovid. Other wikis on which I might work (but probably not much) include Appropedia, CC Wiki, Citizendium, Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Español, Free Culture, Freedom Defined, IMSLP (forum), localwiki, MozillaWiki, OrthodoxWiki, OSMwiki, TranslateWiki, Wikia (specifically, Peanuts and R.E.M. wikis where I am an admin or DC Database and Lyrics), wikiHow, WikiIndex, and Wikilivres/Wikilivres.ru. I'm also an admin on the non-Wikimedia Foundation travel wiki.
Feel free to e-mail me if there's something that you desperately need to tell or ask me; that's the best way to get in contact with me.
|What I Do|
|Wikimedia Foundation: H|
|Books: H·U·T·C||News: H·U·T·C||Pedia: H·U·T·C||Quote: H·U·T·C|
|Source: H·U·T·C||Tionary: H·U·T·C||Versity: H·U·T·C||Voyage: H·U·T·C|
|Incubator: H·U·T·C||Commons: H·U·T·C||Data: H·U·T·C||Species: H·U·T·C|
|Test: H·U·T·C||Wikimania: H·U·T·C||Outreach: H·U·T·C||Meta: H·U·T·C|
These are my 1,000,000+ contributions (breakdown claiming 50,000+ more, breakdown claiming 20,000+ more, cross-wiki breakdown, cross-wiki count, recent cross-wiki edits, a half-million logged actions); I'm a fairly active Wikipedian—as far as I'm aware, I'm the first person to have a million edits to a single wiki. I think that Wikipedia is one of the few Internet communities worth joining, and the anarchistic approach to editing is its strongest feature. I generally edit articles concerned with politics, philosophy, religion, or popular culture, and I particularly try to represent the interests of truth and the Sahrawis of Western Sahara (SADR). To that end, I created the Western Sahara Portal, Category:Western Sahara stubs, Template:Western sahara to-do, and the Western Sahara Project. Every now and again, I'll sort stubs, categorize pages, move misnamed articles, fix double redirects, or click on the random page link and do what I can.
In terms of my English editing preferences, I am an American from the Midwest and I try to have proper (American) grammar. As you can see from my userboxes, I use single spacing between sentences, I do not use singular they or gender neutral pronouns of any stripe (although I will sometimes just try to avoid it altogether; otherwise, I will universally use "he"), etc. That having been said, I read a lot of British media, so I use some British constructions in my everyday speech and editing (e.g. "R.E.M. are an alternative rock band.") I also use ISO dates and "persons" as the plural for "person" (rather than "people.") If you notice me being inconsistent in my English usage, please let me know, as it's a concern of mine.
In terms of my editing strengths, I think that I am generally good at things like adding categories, media, references, and templates; copyediting and formatting; suggesting structures to articles or adding links; and sometimes at adding prose. That is my weakest area by far—the actual content of the text—and the part that I struggle with the most when attempting to get articles to good or featured status. I am pretty clueless about how to structure several kinds of articles which are popular on Wikipedia: many related to sciences, military history, biographies, or transportation. I have a pretty good idea of how to write an article on albums and some other pop culture topics, some topics in philosophy and social sciences, and some list articles.
I have been a Campus and Online Ambassador for several courses for several years. After about two years of having potential clients ask me to write Wikipedia articles for them and me always declining, I worked to create the article on Bob's Watches. Everyone with whom I worked was patient and gracious and took plenty of time to try to understand Wikipedia's norms about promotion, paid editing, disclosure, terms of service, etc. I do not advertise my services editing Wikipedia and I am not willing to accept payment for editing in the future, even if other clients are willing to abide by the terms of service of the site. Note that I cannot edit for pay without disclosure and the two instances where I was paid were explicitly noted. I have been approached off-wiki to work on the following articles and actually made some edit (not all had money or any kind of remuneration offered):
- Bob's Watches (see Talk:Bob's Watches#COI editing)
- On Becoming Baby Wise (see Talk:On Becoming Baby Wise#COI editing)
- Adam Greenfield
- Jesse Waugh
- Drivin N Cryin
- Namira Salim
In terms of other possible conflicts of interest, I have some personal association with articles on:
- Justin Knapp
- My alma maters, hometown, etc.
- Margaret Ferguson (political scientist)
- Any article related to Magnapop and Ruthie Morris
- Adrianne Wadewitz
Please note that I am unwilling to do paid editing but I have in the past; it's honestly too much of a headache. I am happy to give advice and consult for free and if you need some serious writing work done, it will require me to disclose that work as well as change my user rights status here. My preference is to help you figure out how we can work together to make the encyclopedia stronger.
- My template of things I've created is way too big
Anonymous IP Edits I Made
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-01-20T22:34:22 Political status of Taiwan
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-01-20T23:10:55 List of United Nations member states
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-01-20T23:11:23 United Nations
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-01-20T23:12:06 List of United Nations member states
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-01-20T23:16:18 List of United Nations member states
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-01-20T23:17:25 Algeria
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-01-20T23:26:10 2005
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-01-20T23:26:34 List of United Nations member states
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-01-20T23:27:18 The International Red Cross and Red Crescent
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-01-20T23:29:28 List of United Nations member states
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-01-26T02:46 Western Sahara
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-01-31T03:08 Mohamed Abdelaziz
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-01-31T03:09 Western Sahara
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-01-31T03:10 Western Sahara
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-01-31T03:18 El Aaiún
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-01-31T03:21 Saharawis
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-01-31T03:22 Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-01-31T03:23 POLISARIO
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-01-31T03:25 Polisario Front
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-01-31T03:35 Mohamed Abdelaziz
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-01-31T03:43 United Nations General Assembly
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-01-31T03:54 Islamophobia
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-02-27T20:00:36 List of Cities in Morocco
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-02-27T20:01:07 List of cities in Morocco and Western Sahara
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-02-27T20:33:51 People's Republic of China
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-02-27T20:57:52 List of United Nations member states
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-02-27T21:05:46 Fourth wall
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-02-27T21:21:41 A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-02-27T21:25:11 Dave Eggers
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-02-27T22:13:30 Nigger
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-02-27T22:14:11 Inherently funny word
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-02-27T22:56:39 Forbidden City
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-02-27T22:59:48 Fourth wall
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-02-27T23:01:27 Fourth wall
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-02-27T23:04:58 Fourth wall
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-02-27T23:46:07 Super Smash Bros. Melee
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-02-28T00:22:25 Peace churches
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-02-28T01:52:46 South Moluccas
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-07-08T21:30 User talk:22.214.171.124
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-07-08T21:44 Yoruba people
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-09-09T15:14 The Knitters
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-09-12T17:07 Hum (band)
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-09-29T23:08 People's Republic of China
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-09-29T23:09 Democratic China
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-09-29T23:12 Chunghwa Republic
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-09-29T23:14 1 Night in China
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-10-10T20:51 The Beast with Two Backs
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-10-10T20:52 Hit Me Baby One More Time
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-10-10T20:52 Cathy Dennis
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-10-10T20:52 Gay anthem
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-10-10T20:53 Love at First Sight
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-10-10T21:15 Template:ModestMouse
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-10-12T19:54 List of countries and capitals in native languages
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-10-26T14:50 Legal status of Western Sahara
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-10-26T14:54 Legal status of Western Sahara
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-10-26T15:00 Western Sahara
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-11-08T15:14 Template:R.E.M.
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-11-08T15:19 Template:R.E.M.
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-12-12T19:58 Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-12-12T19:58 Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-12-14T22:27 Copt
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-12-14T22:30 Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-12-20T19:35 Yoo-hoo
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-12-21T22:05 London
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-12-21T22:06 London
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-12-21T22:09 The Best of R.E.M.
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-12-21T22:09 Template:R.E.M.
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-12-21T22:10 Road Movie (video)
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-12-21T22:14 Mainline (Protestant)
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-12-21T22:15 Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-12-21T22:17 Slash fiction
- 184.108.40.206: 2005-12-21T22:18 Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
- 220.127.116.11: 2005-12-27T22:35 Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
- 18.104.22.168: 2005-12-28T16:08 Legal status of Western Sahara
- 22.214.171.124: 2005-12-28T16:15 Led Zeppelin discography
- 126.96.36.199: 2005-12-28T23:18 Sharia
- 188.8.131.52: 2005-12-28T23:19 KaroKari
- 184.108.40.206: 2006-02-10T15:58 Template talk:Pink Floyd
- 220.127.116.11: 2006-02-10T15:59 List of sovereign states
- 18.104.22.168: 2006-02-10T15:59 List of sovereign states
- 22.214.171.124: 2006-07-28T16:09 Talk:My Student (Scrubs episode)
- 126.96.36.199: 2006-07-28T16:09 Wikipedia:Requested moves
- 188.8.131.52: 2006-08-01T03:18 User:Koavf/Wiki
- 184.108.40.206: 2006-08-03T17:42 Talk:Main Page
- 220.127.116.11: 2006-08-03T21:17 Talk:Foreign relations of Montenegro
- 18.104.22.168: 2007-01-02T19:10 Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard
- 22.214.171.124: 2007-01-02T19:10 Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard
- 126.96.36.199: 2007-03-08T20:24 Polisario Front
- 188.8.131.52: 2007-07-03T18:11 User talk:Slysplace
- 184.108.40.206: 2007-10-15T13:07 Get Smart, Again!
- 220.127.116.11: 2007-10-15T22:27 Centralwings
- 18.104.22.168: 2007-10-15T22:27 Dances with Wolves
- 22.214.171.124: 2007-10-15T22:27 Maw (game)
- 126.96.36.199: 2007-10-12T05:36 Banka district
- 188.8.131.52: 2007-10-12T05:37 Banka district
- 184.108.40.206: 2008-01-10T17:17:13 The Flying House
- 220.127.116.11: 2008-01-10T17:18:16 Superbook
- 18.104.22.168: 2010-04-17T20:57:29 Category:Songs written by Moby
- 22.214.171.124: 2010-04-17T20:57:46 Category:Moby video albums
- 126.96.36.199: 2010-04-17T20:58:44 Template:Moby
- 188.8.131.52: 2010-04-17T20:59:02 Template:Moby
- 184.108.40.206: 2011-05-26T03:27:17 New York (Glee)
- 220.127.116.11: 2011-05-26T03:27:21 The One That Got Away (Modern Family)
- 18.104.22.168: 2011-08-23T03:01:04 Blossom Dearie (album)
- 22.214.171.124: 2011-08-23T03:01:10 Blossom Dearie Sings Comden and Green
- 126.96.36.199: 2011-08-23T03:01:29 Blossom Time at Ronnie Scott's
- 188.8.131.52: 2011-09-01T02:47:06 Folkjokeopus
- 184.108.40.206: 2011-09-01T02:47:35 Folksingers 'Round Harvard Square
- 220.127.116.11: 2012-10-08T02:39:20 Category:Seka Aleksić albums
- 18.104.22.168: 2012-10-10T22:08:16 Category:Candido Camero
- 22.214.171.124: 2012-10-31T05:00:51 Category:The B-52's albums
- 126.96.36.199: 2012-12-12T16:05:55 Life With Lucy
- 188.8.131.52: 2013-01-03T16:24:02 Category:Marc Ribot live albums
- 184.108.40.206: 2013-01-03T16:23:57 Category:Marc Ribot albums
- 220.127.116.11: 2013-06-15T01:56:32 Category:Emo compilation albums
- 18.104.22.168: 2013-06-15T01:56:34 Category:Emo EPs
- 22.214.171.124: 2016-12-09T21:02:18 Mozilla Sunbird
|What I Like|
- Desert Island Discs: New Adventures in Hi-Fi (R.E.M.), Downward Is Heavenward (Hum), The Unforgettable Fire (U2), Electro-Shock Blues (Eels), A Love Supreme (John Coltrane), Led Zeppelin IV (Led Zeppelin), Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), and the last one changes
- Music: 10,000 Maniacs, Beastie Boys, The Beatles, Counting Crows, Eels, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Ted Hawkins, Hum, INXS, Led Zeppelin, Jens Lekman, Low, National Skyline, R.E.M., Sufjan Stevens, Talking Heads, Tuatara, and U2
- Films: Paul Thomas Anderson, Charlie Kaufman, Stanley Kubrick, 21 Grams, 3-Iron, A.I., Almost Famous, American Beauty, A Beautiful Mind, Best in Show, The Big Lebowski, |Brazil, Brick, The Breakfast Club, Bug, A Christmas Story, Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Forrest Gump, The Fountain, Funny People, Good Will Hunting, Happiness, Harvey, I ♥ Huckabees, Inception, Kill Bill, Magnolia, A Mighty Wind, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Mystic River, Network, Punch-Drunk Love, Raising Arizona, Requiem for a Dream, Reservoir Dogs, Shutter Island, Sin City, The Goonies, The Truman Show, There Will Be Blood, This Is Spinal Tap, Three Amigos
- Television: 30 Rock, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Big Love, Breaking Bad, Community, Extras, Freaks and Geeks, Futurama, The Kids in the Hall, The Larry Sanders Show, Looney Tunes, Louie, Mr. Show with Bob and David, Monty Python's Flying Circus, The Office (UK), The Office (US), Parks and Recreation, Party Down, The Ren and Stimpy Show, Saturday Night Live, Scrubs, The Simpsons, South Park, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Sports Night, Stella, Strangers with Candy, Twin Peaks, Upright Citizens Brigade, The West Wing
- Literature: Dave Eggers, George Orwell, Kurt Vonnegut, A Confederacy of Dunces, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Fahrenheit 451, and Nineteen Eighty-Four
|Who I Am|
My entire world view is based on the assertion that God exists, and created humanity in His image. I'm radically liberal politically and religiously, but conservative and prudish in my personal temperament.
Since this is the case, all persons are the things in the universe most like God, and have immeasurable dignity and worth. This dignity is expressed in rights, the primary of which is the right to life. Humans have been given a rational will to make moral decisions, and the most fulfilling way of life is one characterized by love and genuine reciprocity between persons; the greatest love being charity. Persons are the only things which can be said to truly exist, and humans are unique among animals in our capacity to reason, use language, make choices, create art, have projects, create meaningful relationships, and we have souls. Since humans do nothing to merit personhood, there is also nothing they can do to lose it; their rights are immutable, equal, and non-transferable. Even if we have disagreements with others, we must respect their moral and rational autonomy.
Some of the rights that persons have are positive and others negative, and the primary purpose of the state is to allow flourishing and excellence among its citizenry. Domestically, this is accomplished by creating genuine democracy in a stable republic. In international relations, this is best accomplished by peaceful cooperation, sometimes fostered by intergovernmental organizations. Governments must provide for the entire well-being of the citizen—including education, health care, safety, and, above all, the rule of law. The wealth and affluence of some states is only the case because of a reciprocal relationship with other states (sometimes, this relationship is exploitative.) Consequently, it is imperative to give back to those other societies to help them develop themselves and to show appreciation for their worth as persons. Ideally, humans should have no coercive state structures and should accomplish all means of the state through ad hoc and spontaneously create partnerships to achieve mutually-beneficial goals.
In terms of interpersonal relations, persons should always respect the rights of other persons, never treating them as a means only, and always as an end. Manipulation is always wrong. All persons have an intuitive understanding of good and evil, a conscience. This conscience is not perfect, though, and must be transformed by habit and reason. Compassion, kindness, and mindfulness are a few of the virtues that all persons should acquire, and since they can only be acquired by habit, we must practice care for the environment and fellow animals; not because they deserve it in and of themselves, but because we can better respect other humans if we demonstrate respect to other creatures. A truly compassionate life develops reverence for all other life.
This respect is also a moral imperative, since by demonstrating love toward God's creations, we demonstrate love to God also. God has entered into history at various times to guide the course of human affairs, but is more likely to act through persons on an individual level. To all who ask for wisdom, or truth, it is given in abundance, and perseverance is given to those who need it in times of trial. The greatest guide that has been given to humanity to help them understand the universe and their place in it is the Bible, and the greatest instance of divine intervention in human affairs is the incarnation of Jesus Christ. It is because of His sacrifice that we can achieve salvation and mystical union with God. This is open to all persons, including those who have never known His name. Ultimately, it is impossible for any human to know who will be saved, as it is an intensely personal matter and relies on God's unknowable economy. We can only control our words, actions, and beliefs in this life. It is imperative that persons of the faith unite under the essentials of Christianity and maintain genuine and sincere attempts at healing the world with members of other faith communities.
Ultimately, there are several philosophies that contain some truth, but not all of them share it in equal measure. A philosophy can only be ultimately useful if it is holistic, that is, it takes into account all of the kinds of experiences that persons have. Humans are made up of several overlapping dimensions, none of which is most important or real, and all of which are dependent on the others for their fullest expression: the spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and social. Our spiritual life is constituted by our relationship to God, beliefs about other persons, intentions toward others, priorities and affections, and love. The mental component of our lives includes memory, personality and temperament, imagination, logical reasoning, creativity, and volitional will. We have a wide range of emotions: happiness, anger, sadness, and more. None of them is invalid, and all of them should be exercised at some time. Our bodies are our most important possessions, and we should take care that they operate in the best condition; if our body is lazy, our mind will be likewise. We are not identical to our bodies, but are embodied creatures and there is nothing inherently wrong with this; it is a part of the created order. Lastly, humans are social creatures, and in creating relationships with others, we learn invaluable truths about ourselves and the world around us.
We are all pilgrims, though, and the search for truth is rich because of reciprocity between persons—so feel free to let me know what you think. Above all else: love all, beware false prophets, and don't panic.
Important Information and Final Thoughts
- These things matter
The last words of Leonardo da Vinci:
- "I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have."
The epitaph of Paul Erdős:
- "Finally I am becoming stupider no more."
The last words of Ludwig Wittgenstein:
- "Tell them I've had a wonderful life."
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