|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, September 11, 2003, 13:23|
(Administrative note: I've changed the subject line from "CHAT" to "CHAT:".
Without the colon, the listserv won't recognize this thread as chat.)
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. China has been a prison throughout
much of its history.
> If politics is extremely corrupt, this is bad for society and, especially,
> the weaker members of society and it's bad for freedom. My response is
> that if politics is corrupt one has a duty do what one can to make it less
Indeed. Throughout Chinese history, tyranny has mostly stood on the
detailed cooperation of intellectuals -- meaning, in the Chinese context,
all those who do not work with their hands. Withdrawing that cooperation
is itself a blow against the empire, against "spiritual wickedness in
high places", even if it does not extend beyond a few.
> 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
(http://www.gracegems.org/2002/Christian%20Terrorism.htm) 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 is the sort of spontaneous action
which I think is here intended.
> 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. At the end of the day, reason is about means; the choice
of ends must come from elsewhere.
John Cowan email@example.com
Humpty Dump Dublin squeaks through his norse
Humpty Dump Dublin hath a horrible vorse
But for all his kinks English / And his irismanx brogues
Humpty Dump Dublin's grandada of all rogues. --Cousin James