13
   

. . . in an unsentimental and practical way

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 05:07 am
@rosborne979,
This is one of my favorite responses . . .
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 07:02 am
@Setanta,
A phrase from Gray's "Elegy written in Country Churchyard" came to mind as I read your description of the character in James' novel who spoke the phrase in question, ,,, "Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood".

I haven't read the novel and don't know the author, so I don't really understand the context.

As for the salvation of mankind, it still doesn't seem possible. Our terrestrial home is itself doomed to a finite life that will limit us - even if nothing else does the job first. I think the unloving competitive instincts of mankind are more likely to find an escape for the species from this fate than the loving ones. Even there the prospect is uncertain.

On a personal or individual basis, however, I believe the comment makes practical sense, I have found that for most of us happiness & peace are choices, not objectives to be sought. People will, to a great degree, reflect back what we show them ourselves in our daily encounters. Thus sympathy begets sympathy, anger begets anger, and joy begets joy. It doesn't always work that way, but enough to be a useful,guide (at least when I am wise enough to remember).
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 07:10 am
I haven't expressed my own opinion in this matter, and was genuinely interested in what others have had to say. As regards your response about a competitive instinct, i'd point out that the competitive instinct and the loving instinct each have their value in perpetuating the species. We have, however, as a species, transcended our evolutionary development. The future of our species no longer resides solely within our DNA, we have removed it to universities, libraries, research institutions . . .

The question is interesting to me in that while in the past our species may not really have had such choices, or wasn't sufficiently self-aware to consider them, we do now live in a world where such choices open up for us. There is, in fact, little value in a "competitive instinct" in the evolutionary scheme of our specie's future, other than in intellectual competition.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 07:43 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I haven't expressed my own opinion in this matter, and was genuinely interested in what others have had to say. As regards your response about a competitive instinct, i'd point out that the competitive instinct and the loving instinct each have their value in perpetuating the species.
OK on this point.
Setanta wrote:
We have, however, as a species, transcended our evolutionary development. The future of our species no longer resides solely within our DNA, we have removed it to universities, libraries, research institutions . . .
Somehow I feel that similar expressions were once stored in the ancient library in Alexandria. To the (limited) extent this is true, it has been so for at least three thousaand years.

Quote:
The question is interesting to me in that while in the past our species may not really have had such choices, or wasn't sufficiently self-aware to consider them, we do now live in a world where such choices open up for us. There is, in fact, little value in a "competitive instinct" in the evolutionary scheme of our specie's future, other than in intellectual competition.
I believe there is still quite a good bit of physical competition out there for advantages with respect to the world's wealth and the resources required to create it. It doesn't always take the form of warfare, but it is competition, with winners and loosers nonetheless. I believe too much success leaves too much time for pleasure and thinking, both of which appear, from an historical perspective tend to con tribes & cultures into suppositions that their intellectual creations will change the game. Unfortunately things don't work that way.Meanwhile there are always barbarians at the gate, more than willing to replace them and their ideas.

Left California for a business trip to Washington this week. There's snow on the ground ! Must be global warming.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 08:50 am
Yes, but there was not a proliferation of media three thousand years ago as there is now. (Alexandria is not three thousand years old, it is only about 2300 years old. Ptolemy Soter, founder of the dynasty, is responsible for the library, and the practice of searching newly arrived vessels for books which had not yet been added to their collection. They would attempt to purchase the book, or failing that, get permission to copy it.) The library was certainly a wonderful thing (until the Christians showed up), but it did not have a wide-spread affect, even within the Hellenistic world.

I don't deny that there is physical competition, i'm only pointing out that it is no longer crucially important to our evolutionary development. Take all of the world's greedy capitalists, drop them in the Marianas Trench, and the human race would not appreciably suffer for it. The whole point about our evolutionary progress having been removed (or being in the process of being removed) from our cells to our universities, libraries and research institutions is that the proportion of barbarians at the gate decreases notably over time.

Actually, of course, "global warming" could put snow on the ground in DC, depending upon the alleged effect on weather patterns. But leaving your dig aside, since it's not relevant to my point of view, the question is not whether or not climate change happens, but whether or not human activities are a significant factor in climate change. I don't happen to believe that is the case, and have said so for years.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:14 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
There are many contemporary Platonists
bastards, each and every one of them but George why omit Aristotle and his idiotic acorn/oak bullshit?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:30 am
@Setanta,
I get stuck on "unsentimental".

I've had friends who had their marriages arranged by their families. That was certainly practical for the parties involved.

But while the marriages might not have been passionate in the way we think that love should be there was a great deal of sentiment between the husbands and wifes in terms of respect and concern and affection.

In most cases these couples seemed "stonger" than the couples I've known who based their marriage on passion.

Maybe my definition of sentimental is wrong.....
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:36 am
one of the things i think about with unsentimental is health care at the two extreme ends of the spectrum, birth and death

we spend a lot of money to save babies that then require long term care, or we extend life at great expense for little or no gain

then there's folks in between (terry schiavo for example), an emotional and financial drain

i realize that's an unpopular attitude but it's true, or at least in my opinion it is
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 11:03 am
@Setanta,
We agree on most of this.

As you know, Alexandria was not the first repositry of knowledge.

If we were to follow the capitalists with the wholesale dumping of academic types into the Marianas trench there wouldn't be much lasting effect either. (Though we may add to the ocean's store of compressed methane.) Both cohorts would be quickly replaced by successors. There would be effects but they would be transient.

I'm not sure I agree with you with respect to our evolutionary development. Material and scientific progress don't appear to do very much for our fertility - on the contrary they appear to arrest it very efficiently. In this area we may inadvertantly have replaced Darwin's natural selection with regression to the mean.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 12:30 pm
@georgeob1,
Well, i didn't choose Alexandria as the example. The point applies to other places as well as to Alexandria. It is the dissemination of knowledge, and the ability to store and transmit it widely which matters. In that regard, printing presses with movable type are far more important, and of course, much more recent. People are too short-sighted to see it, but the information age began Europe in about 1450 with the exploitation of movable type. (The Chinese had it longer before the Europeans, but they did not exploit its potentials--this was, sadly, characteristic of so much developed by that highly intelligent and inventive people.)

It is immaterial if scientific "progress" enhances fertility. It is not necessarily axiomatic that that would be the measure of evolutionary success. In fact, it appears the people in less technologically sophisticated societies have a much higher fertility than do those in the so-called industrialized world. The question is what enhances the survival opportunities of the species. What enhances the ability to preserve and pass on the contents of the gene pool. What i am saying is that preservation and dissemination of information is a far more powerful agent to assure this now than would be hunting ability or the ability to overawe one's neighbors with physical threat.

In the latter case, we'd just call on our human trained apes who are heavily equipped at great expense (which we don't stoop to limit)--they are usually known in English as "the police."
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 05:00 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

This is one of my favorite responses . . .

Thanks. Glad I could help. Smile
0 Replies
 
tenderfoot
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 05:39 pm
If humans were to exit earth, that would solve the intelligent designers of earth warming end of earth and that's ok with me, as long as they exited first and leave us non believers a few extra thousand years of the horror of waiting.
0 Replies
 
BorntoWorship
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 04:02 pm
@Setanta,
YOUUUUUU SPEAK OF LOVE THY NEIGHBOR BIBLICAL STUFF AND CALL ME A HATE MONGER......GO REPENT
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 04:08 pm
@BorntoWorship,
Care to tell us what your are talking about? Only if you know, of course.
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 04:12 pm
@roger,
please disregard Roger, he's obviously suffering from low insulin, don't tell us what you're talking about, there are only so many bears we can cross.
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 08:41 pm
@BorntoWorship,
BorntoWorship wrote:

YOUUUUUU SPEAK OF LOVE THY NEIGHBOR BIBLICAL STUFF AND CALL ME A HATE MONGER......GO REPENT


Huh? Quit shouting - I'm not deaf - well, not very. What was that, kiddee???
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 10:32 pm
BorntoShout . . . uhm, i mean BorntoWorship started a thread claiming that all earthquakes are "biblical" in origin (whatever the hell that is supposed to mean), the burden of which, after one plows through all the incoherence, is that people suffer because they don't embrace Jesus (undoubtedly as BtW envisions that tortured symbol). So, i told him/her/it that he/she/it is hateful. Nothing i've seen since then has done anything to alter my assessment.
0 Replies
 
 

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