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Re: reading and falsehoods

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  • winters_diana
    Daniel: So you point out that the Europeans caused the deaths of all Native Americans who died of disease because the diseases came to North America along
    Message 1 of 58 , May 1, 2004
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      Daniel:
      "So you point out that the Europeans "caused" the deaths of all
      Native Americans who died of disease because the diseases came to
      North America along with the Europeans."

      I didn't really say that. I just thought it was interesting that you
      seemed eager to make sure the Europeans had nothing to do with it,
      and I was just pointing out that it was the Europeans whether it was
      genocide or communicable diseases, and surely from a karmic
      standpoint, this matters. (Peter also mentioned passing out smallpox
      blankets, I'm not sure where that information came from, but if
      true, that's no accident, and certainly more in line with the
      genocide theory than a plague you can't blame on anyone, karma
      schmarma.)
      I guess I mean, I'm not sure why, if these things have spiritual
      causes, they are off the hook, so to speak, if they did it by
      accident rather than on purpose.

      "And this is absolutely correct. Now most codes of
      ethics differentiate between intentional and inadvertant acts."

      Yes, but karma doesn't really, does it? (From the individual's point
      of view, yes, because you'll eventually have to pay. From the
      standpoint of history, no.) That's why I kept asking you whether
      accidents were karma.
      (This is my big problem with these theories. They don't *explain*
      anything.)

      "In this particular case, I find it hard to argue that Europeans
      ought never to have visited North America because they should have
      known that doing so would virtually exterminate an entire group by
      the illnesses that they didn't know they were even bringing with
      them."

      We're certainly agreed there.

      "Note: I still deplore every single intentional act of malice,
      cruelty and murder perptrated by a European against a Native
      American (and vice versa)."

      I understand that, I believe you.

      "You also wonder if I think that susceptibility had something to do
      with karma. Personally, I don't know if susceptibility had anything
      to do with karma, in general or in any specific instance. Nor did
      Steiner say one way or the other that I can remember."

      He said plenty on karma and epidemics in general. Not at my
      fingertips, but I can find it later.

      "Karma probably played a role in some instances, and likely did not
      play a role in other instances. If I ever develop clairvoyant
      capacites sufficient to such an investigation, I'll let
      you know for sure. Steiner did say that by being a Native American
      they were, by virtue of the bodies they inhabited, susceptible to
      certain unnamed forces of decline and decay. I have been trying to
      reconcile this inspecific indication with subsequent knowledge of
      medicine."

      Okay, not to torment you too much further, but on what basis do you
      feel this is indicated by Steiner – pursuing this angle that it may
      have been a medical weakness he had in mind in referring to forces
      of decay? Just a hunch? Just a particular interest of yours? Or if
      it is not indicated by Steiner, why do you feel the need? I don't
      know what kind of criteria one uses, if one considers oneself to be
      doing historical research, and one is trying to find confirmation,
      historically, for something predicted, or explained, by someone
      claiming to be clairvoyant. There are really no standards for this,
      as far as I know, so I'm still curious how you understand, in a
      general way, what you are doing when you make arguments like this.
      And why is it necessary, if you accept that Steiner was clairvoyant?
      When you try so hard to find evidence for things Steiner said, in
      things that can be shown factually, through historical sources,
      etc., does it not bother you even a tiny bit that Steiner himself
      didn't bother with this sort of research? That Steiner actually
      considered such methods "materialistic"?


      >I understand that you feel my efforts are not convincing. Hence my
      >earlier offer to agree to disagree.

      I'm sure it looks crazy that I keep arguing with you, I just think
      it's interesting. Thanks!
      Diana
    • at@ael...
      Daniel wrote: So you point out that the Europeans caused the deaths of all Native Americans who died of disease because the diseases came to North America
      Message 58 of 58 , May 1, 2004
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        Daniel wrote:
        "So you point out that the Europeans "caused" the deaths of all
        Native Americans who died of disease because the diseases came to
        North America along with the Europeans."

        Diana:
        I didn't really say that. I just thought it was interesting that you
        seemed eager to make sure the Europeans had nothing to do with it,
        and I was just pointing out that it was the Europeans whether it was
        genocide or communicable diseases, and surely from a karmic
        standpoint, this matters. (Peter also mentioned passing out smallpox
        blankets, I'm not sure where that information came from, but if
        true, that's no accident, and certainly more in line with the
        genocide theory than a plague you can't blame on anyone, karma
        schmarma.)

        Daniel:
        I suppose this may seem rather quaint, but I am trying to hold people
        responsible for the things they did intentionally, and not confuse things by
        suggesting that the responsibility is in any way changed by other things
        that might have happened. Smallpox blankets, which date from the mid 1700's,
        are an intentional act with karmic consequences. The large die-off that is
        supposed to have happened in the 200 years prior did not start with
        intentional acts. I see a difference, but I do not see the second as
        excusing the first. You do, and I'm not sure how you get there, but I
        suggest that it is not very logical.

        ---------------------------------------
        Diana:
        I guess I mean, I'm not sure why, if these things have spiritual
        causes, they are off the hook, so to speak, if they did it by
        accident rather than on purpose.

        Daniel:
        You seem quite fixated on assigning guilt and determining innocence. We are
        dealing with millions of individuals and hundreds of years over two
        continents. I don't think much is gaind by oversimplifying things to a
        simple, single verdict of "guilty" or "innocent".

        -------------------------------------

        Diana:
        (This is my big problem with these theories. They don't *explain*
        anything.)

        Daniel:
        I thought that you big problem was that they *do* explain things, and in a
        way that you dislike. Your present statement is closer to the truth.
        Anthroposophy offers a lot of novel possibilities, and no certainty. Those
        who demand certainty will either leave unhappy or misunderstand the theory.

        ------------------------------
        Daniel wrote:
        "Karma probably played a role in some instances, and likely did not
        play a role in other instances. If I ever develop clairvoyant
        capacites sufficient to such an investigation, I'll let
        you know for sure. Steiner did say that by being a Native American
        they were, by virtue of the bodies they inhabited, susceptible to
        certain unnamed forces of decline and decay. I have been trying to
        reconcile this inspecific indication with subsequent knowledge of
        medicine."

        Diana:
        Okay, not to torment you too much further, but on what basis do you
        feel this is indicated by Steiner - pursuing this angle that it may
        have been a medical weakness he had in mind in referring to forces
        of decay? Just a hunch? Just a particular interest of yours? Or if
        it is not indicated by Steiner, why do you feel the need?

        Daniel:
        The lecture sets the sentence up with a complex picture of forces that are
        at work. Combining it with other things that Steiner has said about similar
        forces, I believe it is not unreasonable to link the two. But it is a
        hypothesis.

        Diana:
        I don't know what kind of criteria one uses, if one considers oneself to be
        doing historical research, and one is trying to find confirmation,
        historically, for something predicted, or explained, by someone
        claiming to be clairvoyant.

        Daniel:
        Well, this is an interesting question in general. In this specific instance
        there really isn't any historical research being done. We have some
        historical evidence, and a few theories to explain them. In this case I am
        pointing out that the leading theory accepted by academics also happens not
        to contradict an explanation Steiner put forth. I understand that you
        object, but that is simply where we disagree.

        Diana:
        There are really no standards for this,
        as far as I know, so I'm still curious how you understand, in a
        general way, what you are doing when you make arguments like this.

        Daniel:
        I am trying to take logic and integrate information from various sources. It
        is all anyone every really does when they try to understand anything.

        Diana:
        And why is it necessary, if you accept that Steiner was clairvoyant?

        Daniel:
        Just because he was clairvoyant does not mean that he was never wrong, nor
        does it mean that I have to accept verbatim everything he says. Clairvoyant
        is not a synonym for omniscient. I mentioned earlier that I do not hold
        Steiner to be infallible, nor do I worshipfull accept everything he said
        (nor do most Anthroposophists that I have met - there are plenty of
        "fundies" but they are not a majority). Some things Steiner says I find I
        can verify, other things seem strange, some even appear highly unlikely. To
        me it is an interesting way of looking at things, not a religion.

        Diana:
        When you try so hard to find evidence for things Steiner said, in
        things that can be shown factually, through historical sources,
        etc., does it not bother you even a tiny bit that Steiner himself
        didn't bother with this sort of research?

        Daniel:
        Actually, that is exactly what Steiner asked all his listeners and readers
        to do. He most emphatically did not ask them to accpet his statements on
        faith. He repeatedly demanded that people attempt to verify his claims by
        any means available to them. And Steiner was familiar, into the tiniest
        detail, with all the historical research of his day. It is completely
        mistaken to claim Steiner had no knolwedge of historical research. He read
        extensively, and in his written work cited extensively from other authors.
        It appears that you are not very familiar with the real Steiner.

        Diana:
        That Steiner actually
        considered such methods "materialistic"?

        Daniel:
        He said no such thing. See above.

        I'm off for a long vacation. But I'm sure we will meet again.

        Daniel Hindes
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