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Re: CHAT: illuminati

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Friday, September 12, 2003, 5:35
On Thursday, September 11, 2003, at 02:22 , John Cowan wrote:

> (Administrative note: I've changed the subject line from "CHAT" to "CHAT: > ". > Without the colon, the listserv won't recognize this thread as chat.)
Sorry - being off-line for so long I'd forgotten the details.
> Ray Brown scripsit: > >> I have no truck with either hedonism or escapism. > > As JRRT says, it's important not to confuse the Escape of the Prisoner > with the Flight of the Deserter.
Indeed, but I'm minded of a plaque I saw this summer on the castle wall at Spoleto in Italy. It commemorated the escape of antifascist Italian prisoners and of Slovene prisons during WW2 who, having escaped, did not desert but formed the first group of partisans in that area.
> China has been a prison throughout > much of its history.
Maybe, all the more reason to escape the prison but not desert one fellows who remain oppressed. In any case I still have no truck with hedonism. [snip]
>> Following impulse, it seems to me, is precisely what leads to the ever >> escalating spiral of revenge killing followed by revenge killing we >> witness >> all too often. Following impulses and acting spontaneously are all very >> well for lesser forms of life who have not been endowed with reason. > > If good impulses did not vastly outnumber and outweigh evil ones, > there would be no human society at all.
> I find on a Christian web site > ( the following > remark, ironically ascribed to a devil: "He [Jesus] began to roam the > countryside committing senseless acts of kindness and compassion and > mercy for no reason at all."
That's because, in the eyes of Satan such acts are senseless - but there was surely very good reason for committing such acts: to bring healing and love to a fallen world.
> That is the sort of spontaneous action > which I think is here intended.
OK - guess I was a little impulsive. I suppose it depends on the person: some will impulsively do good, others evil.
>> Reason does not produce the horrendous genocides that marked the 20th >> century nor the obscenity & evil of 9/11. > > Nevertheless, the careful use of both the practical reason and the > speculative reason was required to plan and execute those actions. > You don't learn to pilot an airplane, or solve the logistics of > transporting millions of Jews across wartime Europe, without reasoning > in detail.
I suppose it depends what one means by reason. To me it seems utterly without reason to smash planes into skyscrapers and murder 28 000 innocent people - the same as it seems to me quite contrary to reason to transport and murder some 6 million people just because they belong to a supposedly inferior ethnic group. Yet it required, as you say, planning & thought to do these monstrous acts of evil. I suppose, without thinking the thing through with any deep philosophy, I would talk in terms of an abuse of the faculty of reason.
> At the end of the day, reason is about means; the choice > of ends must come from elsewhere.
Indeed - I think that is the real crux of the matter: choice. The aweful gift of freedom of choice: the power given to men and women to choose good or evil. Maybe I've been harsh in the judgment of the 7 Sages of the Bamboo Grove; but I still feel 'more at home' with the 7 Sages of the ancient Greece (nothing in excess - know thyself etc). Maybe too, I over-reacted. Maybe the solemnity of day I wrote (Sep. 11th) affected my reasoning. Ray =============================================== (home) (work) ===============================================