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Life Undercover #37 Life Undercover #37
by Thanos K & Asa B
2007-06-11 09:43:48
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Paparella2007-06-11 17:15:21
As long as he stays in bed under the covers, our friend need not worry so much about rules and punishment. However, let us imagine him eventually overcoming his inertia, and stepping out in the world out there. He will soon enough find out that there are some 35 million laws or rules and ignorance is no excuse for avoiding fines or jail...From those he can laboriously work his way back to the ten commandments and then from those arrive at the golden rule. At that point our friend will be too mentally exhausted and run back to the comfort of his bed and just watch TV.


Sand2007-06-11 17:45:20
The quite odd concept that a controlled universe permits exception to its laws by disobedient inhabitants strikes me as quite fantastic. A close study of the rules of nature indicates that what makes them laws is that violations are simply not possible. The rules that can be disobeyed are rules made by society and to take the rules of society as congruent to the rules of the universe is an error more attributed to human arrogance than any basic understanding of nature.


Paparella2007-06-11 18:03:22
To surmise that the laws of physics, or natural law applies only to nature and not to Man and that those laws have somehow created themselves by chance out of nothing strikes me as being even more fanstastic, reflecting the mind of rationalists who divorce reason from imagination and believe that the poetical has to do with writing pretty words on a piece of paper. I think that George Sand (who was a woman, by the way and perhaps more in touch with the genuinely poetical) had intuited something more fundamental with that simple quote posted on Ovi's cover sometime ago.


Sand2007-06-11 18:19:11
The weird idea that the laws of the universe need an external coordinator not inherently embedded within the universe itself is derived by the human experience that noodling with the environment required human participation. Since no human participation was observed in the regular processes of sidereal actions, ignorant humans thereby invented a fictitious super human to diddle with immensities since their feeble imaginations could not conceive that the forces of the universe were part and parcel of its structure.
Whatever Madam Sand might have thought about poetry seems to remain a coveted secret not to be openly revealed by Paparella. Evidently something to do with ugly words on surfaces not paper. I have seen some of those scrawled on walls and I seem to have somewhat different requirements as to their poetic validity.


Paparella2007-06-12 03:45:41
Two such "ignorant humans" are Plato and Aristotle who continue to be taught in philosophy departments and logically postulate a Supreme Being (The First Cause or Prime Mover or a Mind, nous)behind the laws of nature from which positive (human) laws derive.


Sand2007-06-12 05:23:33
Precisely. Evidently it takes many thousands of years for elementary good sense to effectively modify even the most respected formulations of human knowledge.


Sand2007-06-12 06:16:18
One additional vital point. I am not claiming Plato and Aristotle were stupid. Obviously they were highly intelligent but deeply embedded in their culture (as are we all) but they did not have the information available to any inquisitive person today. The were unfortunately very ignorant. They did their best with what they had. We can do better.


Paparella2007-06-12 06:49:31
No surprises there. True to form the modern rationalist will always find the ancients inferior in every respect. What arrives at the end of the process is always better than what preceeded it. It is called inevitable progress and it is deterministic as also the laws of a random universe without a Primal Cause and a purpose are a;so deterministic. Alfred Whitehead, a modern process philosopher said that after Plato Western philosophy is a footnote to him. A modern rationalist, from the Olympus of his "enlightenment" would most likely and cavalierly brand him as stupid for continuing to
teach Plato and Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas in an "enlightened" era. Do I hear an ax being grinded in some dark cavern?


Sand2007-06-12 07:07:23
You are obviously and stubbornly consistent in your presentation of your non-argument of making reference to authorities without any indication of the ideas these authorities put forth. It is not that ancient ideas are incapable of dealing with some aspects of modern thought but you seemed charmed with the idea that a thought is valid because it is ancient and that modern inquiry is invalid because it is modern. Your abject reverence for all antiquated thought does you a disservice. If you insist in inhabiting dark caverns you will most likely hear axes being ground. Lasers are more likely today.


Sand2007-06-12 07:39:45
Incidentally, if you really claim that the ancients were not inferior in their knowledge of the cosmos, the understanding of microcosmic forces and the nature of matter and how it interacts then I can only concluded that you are severely deluded and desperately need help.


Paparella2007-06-12 11:41:45
Have we touched a nerve? I am afraid that another characteristic of acerbic rationalists is their penchant for resurrecting that anacronistic quarrel between the ancients and the moderns. It gives them a rush and such a sense of superiority to be able to point out that the ancients did not have laser, or electricity or atom bombs or any sense of the inevitability of progress deterministically marching forward, and in fact unable to go backward, never mind that the Holocaust which happened in modern times proves otherwise. But that is a pre-judgment or a prejudice against the aneients. It can only be held out of ignorance. What those rationalists conveniently forget is that the ancients' world-view and their knowledge, as undeveloped as it was, hung together as a whole, holistically; they certainly made much less of a divorce between reason and imagination, embued all their knowledge with the poetical from which it sprang and therefore understood their humanity and what it means to be human and to live as such, much better than we seem to muster today with all our push button technological fixes. The modern rationalist, so fond of naively appealing to the wonders of modern science deludes himself when he think that it somehow proves his unquestioned superiority to the ancients in every respect. That is a misleading assumption. He would be better served were he to recall and reflect upon two simple but profound Socratic dictums: I know that I don't know, and, Know Thyself.


Sand2007-06-12 16:25:32
The lumping together of Nazi insanity with scientific accomplishment bespeaks of an extremely warped view. I assume that when a medical crunch occurs, all the accomplishments of antibiotics, transplant surgery, various ways of monitoring the physiological condition of the body, all the communication capabilities and research capabilities will be dismissed as irrelevant nonsense and a mere folding of the hands in pleading to an imaginary superior being will be sufficient.
I wonder why you persist in your deep involvement in the internet and do not deliver your messages on a forked stick.


Paparella2007-06-12 16:41:19
I also wonder about your deep involvement with poetry divorced from the poetic and about your penchant for distoriting your opponent's vies and attacking the messanger that brings unwelcome considerations.

Here is another "warped view" for your erenic consideration: "Without God anything is permissible." That was said by Dostoyevky and well illustrated in his novel "The Devils" where he shows us the ideological fanaticism of the Bolshevics and their iron-clad logic; a sort of prophecy.

There have been three absolutely atheistic governments in the 20th century: the Nazi, the Soviet, and that of the so called People's Republic of China. The fruits of that cavalier experiment have been bitter indeed: all three produced intolerance, repression, gulags and lagers. One is still ongoing, proud of its new found "modernity." It remains to be seen how it turns out in the 21st century.


Sand2007-06-12 17:02:30
You are obviously deeply committed to the obviously twisted concept that without Christian morality all humans would become totally brutal. Somehow the many brutalities admittedly committed by Christian officials and by organizations like the Christian KKK throughout history and by the current policies of the USA which claims Christian ideals and by the Israelis in their pursuit of territory (who claim the same God as the Christians) are easily dismissed as not to be noticed. Communist Russia and the current Chinese (whatever they might be) may not have been Christian but to attribute their brutality to that is to be profoundly unaware of the thuggish forces that drove them. The Spanish Conquistadors took their Christian priests with them to sanction their brutality and Native Americans were equally mistreated with Christian enthusiasm. Somewhere in your young plastic life your Christian instructors seem to have completely brainwashed you as to where decent human behavior originates.


Paparella2007-06-12 18:42:04
I highly reccomend you read Dostoyevsky's The Devils sometimes under the translated title of The Obsessed.


Sand2007-06-12 19:02:29
I read his "Crime and Punishment" and found his obsession with Christianity not particularly convincing. As someone who has found religion neither a source of sensible morality or consistent wisdom I found that my secular upbringing was sufficient to establish within me the general sense of decency to treat all fellow living beings with compassion.
Christianity has had no part in it.


Jack2007-06-14 00:46:04
More people have been murdered [alone, 160-180 million killed!], starved or imprisoned by governments in the last 100 years than all of the rest of human history. By a huge margain, Christians more often than not, have been the ones exterminated, not the converse.


Sand2007-06-14 06:15:23
I wonder where you get your statistics. In Iraq, currently, well towards a million Iraqis (not notably Christian) have more or less been murdered whereas something less than 4 thousand US troops have died (and I assume most of these are Christian). The "war" there has little or no justification so its results can realistically be labeled mass murder.


by2007-06-14 06:47:54
So, what are the rules?


Jack2007-06-14 17:03:41
Moa Ta Sung and Stalin helped me count some of these [the world's greatest mass-murderers]. They were obviously non-Christian. It was easy to find this number (160-180),in fact it is a conservative number. I simply used the numbers that they have murdered. By the way, if you are grouping the KKK together with Christians, then do you also group all scientists with those who created mustard gas, plagues, poison gas...and those also who helped to try and exterminate all Jews and used them as human guinea pigs? It is too easy (and not accurate) to make sweeping catagorizations of differeing groups of people. You must then, by necessity, include Einstein then with him (although he was a pacifist by nature and choice).


Sand2007-06-14 20:51:31
Since you seem determined to claim that all or the majority of the victims of mass murder in the world were Christian, then I suppose I must assume the mass murders in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were Christian, the people who suffered most in the killing fields of Cambodia were Christian, the Native American victims of both North and South America were Christian, the people tortured and killed by King Leopold in the Congo were all Christians, the millions murdered by Chairman Mao in China were Christian, and many I cannot recall. All Christian.
Who would have known?


Jack2007-06-14 21:13:33
This proves my point, the government,(U.S. Military, specifically, the president) made this decision, not Christians. To say that the 1944 American population made that decision is like saying the Chinese Cultual Revolution was requested by the people themselves...to annhiliate many of their own kind. My finger nor any church pastor's finger were on the trigger that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Sand2007-06-14 21:25:34
Sorry. I must admit that neither Truman nor the Enola Gay crew were pastors. I had this cockeyed idea that Christians did not have to be pastors. Live and learn.


Jack2007-06-14 22:20:34
You have entirely missed the point due to semantics. My own finger, or a church's pastor refers to those members of churches not being the one drop the bomb. Yes, we all have much too learn.


Sand2007-06-14 22:46:13
I really don't understand what you are trying to say. Are you saying that no Christian performed these horrors or that you yourself are innocent of the decision? What is that supposed to mean?


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