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Re: [existlist] Re: Digest Number 1578

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  • George Walton
    Mary Jo, I could respond in any number of conflicting and contradictory ways and all of them would in a particular moment make a certain degree of sense to
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
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      Mary Jo,

      I could respond in any number of conflicting and contradictory ways and all of them would "in a particular moment" make a certain degree of sense to me. In other words, when I tell you that human identity is, to me, a self-delusion, I am telling you that is how "I" understand "my" own sense of "self": in pieces. Lots and lots of ambiguous and convoluted and contradictory pieces. And when I tell you that I do not see the world around me as in the glass half-full or half-empty, but shattered on the floor in a thousand pieces...well...that is how "I" really "do" understand "my" own sense of reality. "I" "am" the philosophical [and moral, and psychological and emotional equivalent of Humpty Dumpty. And I say "philosophical" because I do not believe this frame of mind is just a psychological state. It is, in fact, a point of view that can be grasped and defended quite rationally if you see human reality as "I" do. And it can be lived with as well because philosophy really has almost
      nothing to do with human existence.

      Human existence is about living your life. And we are equipped with enough biological and psychological predispositions so as to make it all worth while for most folks on the planet. Or, as I have pointed out in here previously, just because I see human interactions as essentially [philosophically/ontologically/teleologically] meaningless and absurd does not make food taste less delicious or orgasms feel less exhilarating or music sound less sublimely ecstatic.

      In this context, I never really point folks in a particular direction philosophically; I only point out, instead, how, in my view, the trajecties I imagine they are on are probably not the most intellectually honest ones. And that, of course, revolves around the extent to which they understand themselves as "whole". Only folks like that do can speak of "honest and heartfelt" words and really, really believe it.

      I deconstruct human identity down to the bone. That is why so many folks have this visceral antagonism to the points I make. They wish to take "sides" and I point out that, in an essentially absurd and meaningless human existence, not only are all sides interchangable in the end but that, by and large, the only reason you are on one side or the other is because your own particular existential trajectory pushed you here rather than there. Then the only legitimate question becomes the extent, in being cognizant of how this works, we can use philosophy to salvage at least some semblance of an autonomous "self" acting "freely" with and around others in the same boat. And then we die, one by one, and it all comes to nought for each of us, one by one, for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever.

      Biggie



      Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@...> wrote:
      Biggie,

      Where or what is the point at which our individual perspectives and
      similar and different sufferings in this life can merge in a moment
      of real communication? We can't ever really share our personal
      experiences, since we can't really feel or see what the other person
      is experiencing. It's only through honest and "heartfelt" words that
      we can even begin. I make peace with you now, but I can't really know
      you, except as another human being carefully measuring his response
      in front of this discussion group. Just don't tell me anymore that I
      can't hope, and I won't tell that you should.

      Peace,
      Mary Jo

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
      wrote:
      > Mary Jo,
      >
      > Acknowledging that one is, indeed, "condemned to be free" does not
      give one a license to imagine one can, in turn, "choose wisely".
      >
      > You, again, speak of "indvidual reality" as though this were not
      just an existential illusion, by and large.
      >
      > Now, I do not construe this to be as you seem to construe it at
      all. Which does not make my way more "rational" than yours. To
      suggest that would be to exclude myself from my own philosophy. And I
      am, at least, "wise" enough not to do that, right?
      >
      > The first clue as to how clueless you are about the "nature" of
      human communication is that you still use an expression like "from
      the bottom of my heart". I suspect, perhaps, that was not merely a
      figure of speech?
      >
      > Just out of curiosity, what sort of experiences have you had thus
      far in life? I am one who firmly believes the wisest of the wise
      search for meaning at the intersection of introspection and
      experience. One without the other is particularly futile, eh?
      >
      > I just don't pursue either one...well...wisely. Meaning this point
      of view is, ironically, just a figure of speech. And yet
      expressed "in the moment" with great passion. Meaning from the bottom
      of my heart.
      >
      > I have no doubt about that at all, you might say.
      >
      > You think, perhaps, I am just fucking with your head. Playing games
      and such. But I am not. I am trying to give you a window inside the
      world as I have come to understand it by talking about it the way I
      think I do understand it: in pieces. I am, perhaps, the most
      fragmented, broken man you will probably ever come across.
      >
      > I am rare specimen, indeed.
      >
      > Biggie
      >
      > Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@y...> wrote:
      > Biggie,
      >
      > Your words are lethal too, albeit so very polite. I understand more
      about language than you think I do. I embrace much of what you
      espouse, but I will never embrace stagnation and indecisiveness when
      that appears to be the case. The most important consequence of
      relativity is discovering our individual reality to the universe. I
      believe with all my heart and mind that our observation point is
      somehow inverted. Our relativity to it needs to be either restored or
      discovered. We are so individual that we presently can't use any
      common language to communicate. You're just stubborn and don't want
      to admit that there's anything else to discover. Life is absurb.
      What's even more absurd is that you and I are trying to tell each
      other something. You are unique. Tell me something.
      >
      > Mary Jo
      >
      > George Walton wrote:
      > Mary Jo,
      >
      > One day you are enthusiastically embracing my point of view and the
      next day...well...if words could kill? Einstein in right about
      relativity, observation, and the center of the universe. But alas, he
      also thought god didn't play dice. No one is right about everything.
      >
      > You do not understand human language the way I do. You are like the
      Newton of existentialism and I am like the Einstein. You wish to
      situate the words "here" and then expand them to the more
      enlightened "there". Einstein, on the other hand, not only points out
      that much of what we think is true is true only in relationship to
      another vantage point but that, in turn, anywhere you are situated in
      the universe is as "enlightened" as any other place.
      >
      > We are all the center of it, eh?
      >
      > Only some [like me] grasp the moral consequences of that from a so
      much more....uh....enlightened frame of mind?
      >
      >
      >
      > Biggie
      >
      > Mary Jo Malo wrote:
      > Hey Biggie,
      >
      > If you can summon the energy or interest, take a flying fuck at a
      pastry. "Enlightenment" is a generic expression, just like "nothing".
      Some people actually feel capable of making a decision and die with
      conviction. What do you care anyway? You'd rather instruct and
      convert us to your particular verson of non-life. Remain the
      frustrated adolescent you are.
      > By enlightenment, I mean expanding and growing, not stagnating and
      rotting.
      > Jo
      >
      > George Walton wrote:
      > Mary Jo,
      >
      > Ah, of course, the sublime "path of enlightenment". There have been
      so many of them throughout the course of human history, eh? Most of
      the advocates, however, are not around today, unfortunately, having
      being killed off by those on the "paths of even greater enlightenment"
      >
      > Fuse your own idealism with GT's "outrage" and the two of you,
      perhaps, can front the next vanguard army. I'll start building my
      fallout shelter as soon as this is posted.
      >
      > Biggie
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > GT,
      >
      > I'm with you and Camus on this one. Clearly, Nihilism is not a
      permanent state of relativity to our world. It may be a necessary
      stopping place on the path of enlightenment, but clearly no place to
      stay. One must move on and into possibility and inevitability.
      >
      > Mary Jo
      >
      > "I very clearly cannot disagree , but yet in my heart of hearts I
      am loath to belive what you say. I quote Camus in Myth of
      Sisyphus"The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a
      man's heart. We have to imagine Sisyphus happy."
      > Under these circumstances talking cynically about some inanities
      fills me with outrage."
      >
      > GT
      >
      >
      > Thiraviyam Ganesan wrote:Dear George ,
      >
      > You talk sense. I have to agree with you when you say
      > > Still, let's not pretend that, if it were not for America, India
      would be
      > a shining beacon of human rights and freedom and justice...a
      veritable
      > democratic paradise! Every culture, after all, has its ruling
      class, right?
      > For example, does the phrase "caste system" ring a bell?.
      > >
      > My point is basically when the great majority of humanity ( this is
      primarily the so called 3 world ) is trapped in so much chains of
      bondage and ignorance can I as an existential being ignore all that
      what is happening around me and live as a lotus eater. I beg to
      differ. My nature as an being in this world is manifested by my
      social interaction along with my thinking.
      > as you have said
      > > That's the way of the world. There are always going to be folks
      who are
      > smarter and more aggressive and more resourceful and more clever
      than
      > others. They will be the ones who accummulate political and
      economic power.
      > And with that political and economic wherwithal they will purchase
      the best
      > enforcers [judges and cops and soldiers] around. Then they pass
      this down to
      > the next generation. End of story. Human history in a nutshell.
      > >
      > I very clearly cannot disagree , but yet in my heart of hearts I am
      loath to belive what you say. I quote Camus in Myth of Sisyphus"The
      struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart.
      We have to imagine Sisyphus happy."
      > Under these circumstances talking cynically about some inanities
      fills me with outrage.
      >
      > GT
      > existlist@yahoogroups.com wrote:
      > 1. Re: Existentialism & Humanism or you can call it anything
      (tortures)
      > From: "drQ"
      >
      >
      >
      ______________________________________________________________________
      __
      >
      ______________________________________________________________________
      __
      >
      > Message: 1
      > Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 03:28:10 +0300
      > From: "drQ"
      > Subject: Re: Existentialism & Humanism or you can call it anything
      (tortures)
      >
      > What?.. no ethics at all!? All is a "lie" !? Only big fish eating
      small
      > fish!? is that all there is?
      > Was this unfairness of human condition present prior to
      civilization and
      > private property? or "this distribution of power" is only the son of
      > aggressive capitalism!?... I wonder!!!
      >
      > This comes to my mind:
      >
      > Tortures (by Wislawa Szymborska - 1986)
      >
      > NOTHING has changed.
      > The body is a reservoir of pain,
      > it has to eat and breathe the air, and sleep,
      > it's got thin skin and the blood is just beneath it,
      > it's got a good supply of teeth and fingernails,
      > its bones can be broken, its joints can be stretched.
      > In tortures, all of this is considered.
      >
      > Nothing has changed.
      > The body still trembles as it trembled
      > before Rome was founded and after,
      > in twentieth century before and after Christ;
      > tortures are just what they were, only the earth has shrunk
      > and whatever goes on sounds as if it's just a room away.
      >
      > Nothing has changed.
      > Except there are more people,
      > and new offences have sprung up beside the old ones,
      > real, make-believe, short-lived, and nonexistent,
      > but the cry with which the body answers for them
      > was, is, will be a cry of innocence
      > in keeping with the age-old scale and pitch.
      >
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------
      --------
      > ------------------------
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: George Walton
      > To:
      > Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2003 2:11 PM
      > Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism & Humanism or you can call
      it
      > anything
      >
      >
      > > GT,
      > >
      > > Your point about American Imperialism [the so-called "global
      economy"] is
      > right in the bullseye, of course. The whole rationale behind
      American
      > foreign policy is to reconfigure the rest of the world so as to
      assure that
      > the Fat Cat Big Buckmeisters and their polical lackies get the
      biggest
      > chunks of the economic pie. And they largely succeed in doing this
      by
      > acculturating some of the most politically ignorant folks on the
      planet:
      > Amercian citizens. I mean, these politically challenged dolts
      scratch their
      > heads day after day trying to figure out why so much of the Third
      World
      > folks hate them! They see America as this big ole benign giant
      lumbering
      > about the globe and trying to bring freedom and democracy and human
      rights
      > to the poor and huddled masses. Now that is brainwashed, eh?
      > >
      > > Still, let's not pretend that, if it were not for America, India
      would be
      > a shining beacon of human rights and freedom and justice...a
      veritable
      > democratic paradise! Every culture, after all, has its ruling
      class, right?
      > For example, does the phrase "caste system" ring a bell?
      > >
      > > That's the way of the world. There are always going to be folks
      who are
      > smarter and more aggressive and more resourceful and more clever
      than
      > others. They will be the ones who accummulate political and
      economic power.
      > And with that political and economic wherwithal they will purchase
      the best
      > enforcers [judges and cops and soldiers] around. Then they pass
      this down to
      > the next generation. End of story. Human history in a nutshell.
      > >
      > > Now, in your post you were very effective at displaying the
      outrage you
      > feel over this. And that is because all kind and compssionaite and
      caring
      > and concerned folks [which I'm sure you are] become enraged by the
      sheer
      > depth of the economic disparity around the globe.
      > >
      > > John Kennedy, for example, once noted that life is unfair. But if
      that is
      > all it were, it would be so much easier to bear, wouldn't it?
      Instead, the
      > human condition is obscenely unfair; and, by and large, it is that
      way
      > because the game is rigged by the rich and powerful.
      > >
      > > But here's the thing: what specifically are you doing about that?
      Of
      > course, that's when the rage meets the fear, right? In other words,
      you are
      > incensed that the dice are flagrantly loaded but those loading them
      are,
      > again, the folks with the laws and the cops and the soldiers and
      the guns
      > and the tanks and the nuclear warheads. Sure, you can work "within
      the
      > system", perhaps, and try to reform the conditions that bring about
      the most
      > egregious suffering. But you can't ever really hope to tear it down
      and
      > reconstruct it based on the so much more "ideal" contraption you
      have
      > construed in your head. Besides, as the 20th century so brutally
      contended,
      > more often than not, the cure is much worse than the disease. I
      mean, who
      > wants to relocate to Cuba or North Korea?
      > >
      > > Philosophy has virtually nothing to offer the world [aside from
      > Machavelian type contributions] because the world is about the
      distribution
      > of power. Even an in depth perusal of the political and economic
      realities
      > that brought about the US Constitution show that folks like
      Jefferson were
      > merely proposing a legislative context in which to allow the free
      enterpise
      > system to flourish as...well...free as possible. If, however, you
      were to
      > ask the Indians and slaves and women and indentured servants and
      laborers
      > and small landowners back then about freedom and liberty they would
      give you
      > a point of view quite at variance from the official "party line"
      that most
      > American citizens still reguritate like trained seals to this very
      day.
      > >
      > >
      > > Biggie
      > >
      > > Thiraviyam Ganesan wrote:
      > >
      > > Dear People,
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Frankly I cannot belive the junk being written . Try arguing
      philososophy
      > starving. I come from India. Where poverty dances in ecstacy. Do
      you know
      > what is poverty .It is a state where you are hungry, illiterate ,
      > shelterless and naked. Why is it so ? Because the people are
      lazy ,miserable
      > good for nothing. No , No and No it is because of your so called
      > Imperialism's)capitalism's Plunder and Pillage backed by feaudalism
      and
      > supported by the bureaucracy ( surprised huh? come over to India ).
      Frankly
      > When you are starving, it doesn't matter whether you stand for free
      trade or
      > bureaucracy.
      > >
      > > I belive everybody are responsible for them selves, but for that
      the
      > conditions need to be created. I do not belive that I can be
      totally free
      > which I want to be) when all around me are ignorant bondage. I
      cannot like
      > the existentialists of the west ( especially the US ( frankly I
      loath the US
      > , POMPOUS ARROGANT BASTARDS)) forget the fact that we live in a
      society
      > maybe a different one from yoiurs) and live in an ivory tower
      eating lotus.
      > >
      > > GT
      > >
      >
      >
      > G Ravi
      >
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    • Mary Jo Malo
      Biggie, Our disagreement is not really about intellectual honesty. It s about honesty, period. It s about cognitive honesty and autonomic honesty. Our bodies
      Message 2 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
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        Biggie,

        Our disagreement is not really about "intellectual" honesty. It's
        about honesty, period. It's about cognitive honesty and autonomic
        honesty. Our bodies want to live, and our pain causes us to become
        cognitive cowards and stop hoping for what our bodies' autonomically
        want - to live well now, and to live forever. To deny hope, to deny
        that we want to love and be loved forever is dishonest. Nihilism is
        the cowards' way. It's like saying that since I'm in pain and fear
        that we can't ever have what we really desire, we'll desire nothing
        at all. Our bodies are mature and want to live. Our so called reason
        is childish and gives up what it knows to be true. Our minds kill our
        bodies in just about everyway imaginable. Christ, even bacteria have
        a greater will to live than nihilists.

        Jo

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
        wrote:
        > Mary Jo,
        >
        > I could respond in any number of conflicting and contradictory ways
        and all of them would "in a particular moment" make a certain degree
        of sense to me. In other words, when I tell you that human identity
        is, to me, a self-delusion, I am telling you that is how "I"
        understand "my" own sense of "self": in pieces. Lots and lots of
        ambiguous and convoluted and contradictory pieces. And when I tell
        you that I do not see the world around me as in the glass half-full
        or half-empty, but shattered on the floor in a thousand
        pieces...well...that is how "I" really "do" understand "my" own sense
        of reality. "I" "am" the philosophical [and moral, and psychological
        and emotional equivalent of Humpty Dumpty. And I say "philosophical"
        because I do not believe this frame of mind is just a psychological
        state. It is, in fact, a point of view that can be grasped and
        defended quite rationally if you see human reality as "I" do. And it
        can be lived with as well because philosophy really has almost
        > nothing to do with human existence.
        >
        > Human existence is about living your life. And we are equipped with
        enough biological and psychological predispositions so as to make it
        all worth while for most folks on the planet. Or, as I have pointed
        out in here previously, just because I see human interactions as
        essentially [philosophically/ontologically/teleologically]
        meaningless and absurd does not make food taste less delicious or
        orgasms feel less exhilarating or music sound less sublimely ecstatic.
        >
        > In this context, I never really point folks in a particular
        direction philosophically; I only point out, instead, how, in my
        view, the trajecties I imagine they are on are probably not the most
        intellectually honest ones. And that, of course, revolves around the
        extent to which they understand themselves as "whole". Only folks
        like that do can speak of "honest and heartfelt" words and really,
        really believe it.
        >
        > I deconstruct human identity down to the bone. That is why so many
        folks have this visceral antagonism to the points I make. They wish
        to take "sides" and I point out that, in an essentially absurd and
        meaningless human existence, not only are all sides interchangable in
        the end but that, by and large, the only reason you are on one side
        or the other is because your own particular existential trajectory
        pushed you here rather than there. Then the only legitimate question
        becomes the extent, in being cognizant of how this works, we can use
        philosophy to salvage at least some semblance of an autonomous "self"
        acting "freely" with and around others in the same boat. And then we
        die, one by one, and it all comes to nought for each of us, one by
        one, for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever.
        >
        > Biggie
        >
        >
        >
        > Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@y...> wrote:
        > Biggie,
        >
        > Where or what is the point at which our individual perspectives and
        > similar and different sufferings in this life can merge in a moment
        > of real communication? We can't ever really share our personal
        > experiences, since we can't really feel or see what the other
        person
        > is experiencing. It's only through honest and "heartfelt" words
        that
        > we can even begin. I make peace with you now, but I can't really
        know
        > you, except as another human being carefully measuring his response
        > in front of this discussion group. Just don't tell me anymore that
        I
        > can't hope, and I won't tell that you should.
        >
        > Peace,
        > Mary Jo
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
        > wrote:
        > > Mary Jo,
        > >
        > > Acknowledging that one is, indeed, "condemned to be free" does
        not
        > give one a license to imagine one can, in turn, "choose wisely".
        > >
        > > You, again, speak of "indvidual reality" as though this were not
        > just an existential illusion, by and large.
        > >
        > > Now, I do not construe this to be as you seem to construe it at
        > all. Which does not make my way more "rational" than yours. To
        > suggest that would be to exclude myself from my own philosophy. And
        I
        > am, at least, "wise" enough not to do that, right?
        > >
        > > The first clue as to how clueless you are about the "nature" of
        > human communication is that you still use an expression like "from
        > the bottom of my heart". I suspect, perhaps, that was not merely a
        > figure of speech?
        > >
        > > Just out of curiosity, what sort of experiences have you had thus
        > far in life? I am one who firmly believes the wisest of the wise
        > search for meaning at the intersection of introspection and
        > experience. One without the other is particularly futile, eh?
        > >
        > > I just don't pursue either one...well...wisely. Meaning this
        point
        > of view is, ironically, just a figure of speech. And yet
        > expressed "in the moment" with great passion. Meaning from the
        bottom
        > of my heart.
        > >
        > > I have no doubt about that at all, you might say.
        > >
        > > You think, perhaps, I am just fucking with your head. Playing
        games
        > and such. But I am not. I am trying to give you a window inside the
        > world as I have come to understand it by talking about it the way I
        > think I do understand it: in pieces. I am, perhaps, the most
        > fragmented, broken man you will probably ever come across.
        > >
        > > I am rare specimen, indeed.
        > >
        > > Biggie
        > >
        > > Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@y...> wrote:
        > > Biggie,
        > >
        > > Your words are lethal too, albeit so very polite. I understand
        more
        > about language than you think I do. I embrace much of what you
        > espouse, but I will never embrace stagnation and indecisiveness
        when
        > that appears to be the case. The most important consequence of
        > relativity is discovering our individual reality to the universe. I
        > believe with all my heart and mind that our observation point is
        > somehow inverted. Our relativity to it needs to be either restored
        or
        > discovered. We are so individual that we presently can't use any
        > common language to communicate. You're just stubborn and don't want
        > to admit that there's anything else to discover. Life is absurb.
        > What's even more absurd is that you and I are trying to tell each
        > other something. You are unique. Tell me something.
        > >
        > > Mary Jo
        > >
        > > George Walton wrote:
        > > Mary Jo,
        > >
        > > One day you are enthusiastically embracing my point of view and
        the
        > next day...well...if words could kill? Einstein in right about
        > relativity, observation, and the center of the universe. But alas,
        he
        > also thought god didn't play dice. No one is right about everything.
        > >
        > > You do not understand human language the way I do. You are like
        the
        > Newton of existentialism and I am like the Einstein. You wish to
        > situate the words "here" and then expand them to the more
        > enlightened "there". Einstein, on the other hand, not only points
        out
        > that much of what we think is true is true only in relationship to
        > another vantage point but that, in turn, anywhere you are situated
        in
        > the universe is as "enlightened" as any other place.
        > >
        > > We are all the center of it, eh?
        > >
        > > Only some [like me] grasp the moral consequences of that from a
        so
        > much more....uh....enlightened frame of mind?
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Biggie
        > >
        > > Mary Jo Malo wrote:
        > > Hey Biggie,
        > >
        > > If you can summon the energy or interest, take a flying fuck at a
        > pastry. "Enlightenment" is a generic expression, just
        like "nothing".
        > Some people actually feel capable of making a decision and die with
        > conviction. What do you care anyway? You'd rather instruct and
        > convert us to your particular verson of non-life. Remain the
        > frustrated adolescent you are.
        > > By enlightenment, I mean expanding and growing, not stagnating
        and
        > rotting.
        > > Jo
        > >
        > > George Walton wrote:
        > > Mary Jo,
        > >
        > > Ah, of course, the sublime "path of enlightenment". There have
        been
        > so many of them throughout the course of human history, eh? Most of
        > the advocates, however, are not around today, unfortunately, having
        > being killed off by those on the "paths of even greater
        enlightenment"
        > >
        > > Fuse your own idealism with GT's "outrage" and the two of you,
        > perhaps, can front the next vanguard army. I'll start building my
        > fallout shelter as soon as this is posted.
        > >
        > > Biggie
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > GT,
        > >
        > > I'm with you and Camus on this one. Clearly, Nihilism is not a
        > permanent state of relativity to our world. It may be a necessary
        > stopping place on the path of enlightenment, but clearly no place
        to
        > stay. One must move on and into possibility and inevitability.
        > >
        > > Mary Jo
        > >
        > > "I very clearly cannot disagree , but yet in my heart of hearts I
        > am loath to belive what you say. I quote Camus in Myth of
        > Sisyphus"The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill
        a
        > man's heart. We have to imagine Sisyphus happy."
        > > Under these circumstances talking cynically about some inanities
        > fills me with outrage."
        > >
        > > GT
        > >
        > >
        > > Thiraviyam Ganesan wrote:Dear George ,
        > >
        > > You talk sense. I have to agree with you when you say
        > > > Still, let's not pretend that, if it were not for America,
        India
        > would be
        > > a shining beacon of human rights and freedom and justice...a
        > veritable
        > > democratic paradise! Every culture, after all, has its ruling
        > class, right?
        > > For example, does the phrase "caste system" ring a bell?.
        > > >
        > > My point is basically when the great majority of humanity ( this
        is
        > primarily the so called 3 world ) is trapped in so much chains of
        > bondage and ignorance can I as an existential being ignore all that
        > what is happening around me and live as a lotus eater. I beg to
        > differ. My nature as an being in this world is manifested by my
        > social interaction along with my thinking.
        > > as you have said
        > > > That's the way of the world. There are always going to be folks
        > who are
        > > smarter and more aggressive and more resourceful and more clever
        > than
        > > others. They will be the ones who accummulate political and
        > economic power.
        > > And with that political and economic wherwithal they will
        purchase
        > the best
        > > enforcers [judges and cops and soldiers] around. Then they pass
        > this down to
        > > the next generation. End of story. Human history in a nutshell.
        > > >
        > > I very clearly cannot disagree , but yet in my heart of hearts I
        am
        > loath to belive what you say. I quote Camus in Myth of Sisyphus"The
        > struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's
        heart.
        > We have to imagine Sisyphus happy."
        > > Under these circumstances talking cynically about some inanities
        > fills me with outrage.
        > >
        > > GT
        > > existlist@yahoogroups.com wrote:
        > > 1. Re: Existentialism & Humanism or you can call it anything
        > (tortures)
        > > From: "drQ"
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        ______________________________________________________________________
        > __
        > >
        >
        ______________________________________________________________________
        > __
        > >
        > > Message: 1
        > > Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 03:28:10 +0300
        > > From: "drQ"
        > > Subject: Re: Existentialism & Humanism or you can call it anything
        > (tortures)
        > >
        > > What?.. no ethics at all!? All is a "lie" !? Only big fish eating
        > small
        > > fish!? is that all there is?
        > > Was this unfairness of human condition present prior to
        > civilization and
        > > private property? or "this distribution of power" is only the son
        of
        > > aggressive capitalism!?... I wonder!!!
        > >
        > > This comes to my mind:
        > >
        > > Tortures (by Wislawa Szymborska - 1986)
        > >
        > > NOTHING has changed.
        > > The body is a reservoir of pain,
        > > it has to eat and breathe the air, and sleep,
        > > it's got thin skin and the blood is just beneath it,
        > > it's got a good supply of teeth and fingernails,
        > > its bones can be broken, its joints can be stretched.
        > > In tortures, all of this is considered.
        > >
        > > Nothing has changed.
        > > The body still trembles as it trembled
        > > before Rome was founded and after,
        > > in twentieth century before and after Christ;
        > > tortures are just what they were, only the earth has shrunk
        > > and whatever goes on sounds as if it's just a room away.
        > >
        > > Nothing has changed.
        > > Except there are more people,
        > > and new offences have sprung up beside the old ones,
        > > real, make-believe, short-lived, and nonexistent,
        > > but the cry with which the body answers for them
        > > was, is, will be a cry of innocence
        > > in keeping with the age-old scale and pitch.
        > >
        > > ------------------------------------------------------------------
        --
        > --------
        > > ------------------------
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: George Walton
        > > To:
        > > Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2003 2:11 PM
        > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism & Humanism or you can
        call
        > it
        > > anything
        > >
        > >
        > > > GT,
        > > >
        > > > Your point about American Imperialism [the so-called "global
        > economy"] is
        > > right in the bullseye, of course. The whole rationale behind
        > American
        > > foreign policy is to reconfigure the rest of the world so as to
        > assure that
        > > the Fat Cat Big Buckmeisters and their polical lackies get the
        > biggest
        > > chunks of the economic pie. And they largely succeed in doing
        this
        > by
        > > acculturating some of the most politically ignorant folks on the
        > planet:
        > > Amercian citizens. I mean, these politically challenged dolts
        > scratch their
        > > heads day after day trying to figure out why so much of the Third
        > World
        > > folks hate them! They see America as this big ole benign giant
        > lumbering
        > > about the globe and trying to bring freedom and democracy and
        human
        > rights
        > > to the poor and huddled masses. Now that is brainwashed, eh?
        > > >
        > > > Still, let's not pretend that, if it were not for America,
        India
        > would be
        > > a shining beacon of human rights and freedom and justice...a
        > veritable
        > > democratic paradise! Every culture, after all, has its ruling
        > class, right?
        > > For example, does the phrase "caste system" ring a bell?
        > > >
        > > > That's the way of the world. There are always going to be folks
        > who are
        > > smarter and more aggressive and more resourceful and more clever
        > than
        > > others. They will be the ones who accummulate political and
        > economic power.
        > > And with that political and economic wherwithal they will
        purchase
        > the best
        > > enforcers [judges and cops and soldiers] around. Then they pass
        > this down to
        > > the next generation. End of story. Human history in a nutshell.
        > > >
        > > > Now, in your post you were very effective at displaying the
        > outrage you
        > > feel over this. And that is because all kind and compssionaite
        and
        > caring
        > > and concerned folks [which I'm sure you are] become enraged by
        the
        > sheer
        > > depth of the economic disparity around the globe.
        > > >
        > > > John Kennedy, for example, once noted that life is unfair. But
        if
        > that is
        > > all it were, it would be so much easier to bear, wouldn't it?
        > Instead, the
        > > human condition is obscenely unfair; and, by and large, it is
        that
        > way
        > > because the game is rigged by the rich and powerful.
        > > >
        > > > But here's the thing: what specifically are you doing about
        that?
        > Of
        > > course, that's when the rage meets the fear, right? In other
        words,
        > you are
        > > incensed that the dice are flagrantly loaded but those loading
        them
        > are,
        > > again, the folks with the laws and the cops and the soldiers and
        > the guns
        > > and the tanks and the nuclear warheads. Sure, you can
        work "within
        > the
        > > system", perhaps, and try to reform the conditions that bring
        about
        > the most
        > > egregious suffering. But you can't ever really hope to tear it
        down
        > and
        > > reconstruct it based on the so much more "ideal" contraption you
        > have
        > > construed in your head. Besides, as the 20th century so brutally
        > contended,
        > > more often than not, the cure is much worse than the disease. I
        > mean, who
        > > wants to relocate to Cuba or North Korea?
        > > >
        > > > Philosophy has virtually nothing to offer the world [aside from
        > > Machavelian type contributions] because the world is about the
        > distribution
        > > of power. Even an in depth perusal of the political and economic
        > realities
        > > that brought about the US Constitution show that folks like
        > Jefferson were
        > > merely proposing a legislative context in which to allow the free
        > enterpise
        > > system to flourish as...well...free as possible. If, however, you
        > were to
        > > ask the Indians and slaves and women and indentured servants and
        > laborers
        > > and small landowners back then about freedom and liberty they
        would
        > give you
        > > a point of view quite at variance from the official "party line"
        > that most
        > > American citizens still reguritate like trained seals to this
        very
        > day.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Biggie
        > > >
        > > > Thiraviyam Ganesan wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Dear People,
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Frankly I cannot belive the junk being written . Try arguing
        > philososophy
        > > starving. I come from India. Where poverty dances in ecstacy. Do
        > you know
        > > what is poverty .It is a state where you are hungry, illiterate ,
        > > shelterless and naked. Why is it so ? Because the people are
        > lazy ,miserable
        > > good for nothing. No , No and No it is because of your so called
        > > Imperialism's)capitalism's Plunder and Pillage backed by
        feaudalism
        > and
        > > supported by the bureaucracy ( surprised huh? come over to
        India ).
        > Frankly
        > > When you are starving, it doesn't matter whether you stand for
        free
        > trade or
        > > bureaucracy.
        > > >
        > > > I belive everybody are responsible for them selves, but for
        that
        > the
        > > conditions need to be created. I do not belive that I can be
        > totally free
        > > which I want to be) when all around me are ignorant bondage. I
        > cannot like
        > > the existentialists of the west ( especially the US ( frankly I
        > loath the US
        > > , POMPOUS ARROGANT BASTARDS)) forget the fact that we live in a
        > society
        > > maybe a different one from yoiurs) and live in an ivory tower
        > eating lotus.
        > > >
        > > > GT
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > G Ravi
        > >
        > > ---------------------------------
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      • C. S. Wyatt
        ... A Nihilist is not destructive, nor does he or she call for destruction. Nihilism, academically, is a theory that asserts that humanity will peak and then
        Message 3 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
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          The following statement is technically inaccurate:

          > Christ, even bacteria have
          > a greater will to live than nihilists.
          >
          > Jo

          A Nihilist is not destructive, nor does he or she call for
          destruction. Nihilism, academically, is a theory that asserts that
          humanity will peak and then descend into chaotic existence. The peaks
          and valleys of this pattern move mankind forward, until a final
          descent -- thousands of years from now, in theory.

          When capitalized, Nihilism is a cousin to Anarchy. It was a political
          movement throughout Europe and found a center in the Slavic nations.
          Eventually, Nihilism even counted as a true force in the Russian
          Revolutionary Movements.

          Nihilism, noun. the beliefs and practices of a revolutionary party in
          Russia in the middle 1800's, which advocated destruction of the old
          order by violence and terrorism to make way for reform.

          On the other hand, nihilism (lowercase) is more a rejection of order
          than an assertion that everything is terrible and we should all die.

          ni·hil·ism n
          1. the general rejection of established social conventions and
          beliefs, especially of morality and religion
          2. a belief that life is pointless and human values are worthless
          3. the belief that there is no objective basis for truth
          4. the belief that all established authority is corrupt and must be
          destroyed in order to rebuild a just society
          5. Ni·hil·ism: a political movement in late 19th-century Russia that
          sought to bring about a just new society by destroying the existing
          one through acts of terrorism and assassination

          (from, of all places: Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999)

          I could use any number of dictionaries and texts for longer
          definitions, but let us use these simplified definitions.

          The first two easily fit into the Existentialism of early Sartre,
          which is why many consider the two related. The idea that social
          values should be redacted and replaced by internal motivations,
          intrinsic values, is common to many Continental Philosophical schools
          of thought.

          Item 3 is closer to later movements. I hate to sound negative, but
          American "moral relativists" and "cultural relativists" often fall
          under the spell of the "no objective truth" assertion of nihilism.
          Personally, I think there are a few objective truths -- starting with
          mankind is an animal that seeks to survive.

          Items 4 and 5 are Sartre's weakness. In fact, Sartre admired and
          embraced Russian Nihilism as a romantic notion. Camus did the same, in
          "The Just Assassins" -- but he observed a clear distinction between
          Nihilism and nihilism. Dostoevsky and other Russian writers did the same.

          "Nihilism" and "nihilistic" are too often misused, like "Existential"
          and "existentialism."

          - C. S. Wyatt
        • Mary Jo Malo
          C.S. Nihilism is not only despair and negation, but above all the desire to despair and to negate. - Albert Camus If we are to fail, it is better in any
          Message 4 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
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            C.S.

            "Nihilism is not only despair and negation, but above all the desire
            to despair and to negate." - Albert Camus

            "If we are to fail, it is better in any case to have stood on the
            side of those who choose life than on the side of those who are
            destroying." - Camus

            Mary Jo

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@t...>
            wrote:
            > The following statement is technically inaccurate:
            >
            > > Christ, even bacteria have
            > > a greater will to live than nihilists.
            > >
            > > Jo
            >
            > A Nihilist is not destructive, nor does he or she call for
            > destruction. Nihilism, academically, is a theory that asserts that
            > humanity will peak and then descend into chaotic existence. The
            peaks
            > and valleys of this pattern move mankind forward, until a final
            > descent -- thousands of years from now, in theory.
            >
            > When capitalized, Nihilism is a cousin to Anarchy. It was a
            political
            > movement throughout Europe and found a center in the Slavic nations.
            > Eventually, Nihilism even counted as a true force in the Russian
            > Revolutionary Movements.
            >
            > Nihilism, noun. the beliefs and practices of a revolutionary party
            in
            > Russia in the middle 1800's, which advocated destruction of the old
            > order by violence and terrorism to make way for reform.
            >
            > On the other hand, nihilism (lowercase) is more a rejection of order
            > than an assertion that everything is terrible and we should all die.
            >
            > ni·hil·ism n
            > 1. the general rejection of established social conventions and
            > beliefs, especially of morality and religion
            > 2. a belief that life is pointless and human values are worthless
            > 3. the belief that there is no objective basis for truth
            > 4. the belief that all established authority is corrupt and must be
            > destroyed in order to rebuild a just society
            > 5. Ni·hil·ism: a political movement in late 19th-century Russia that
            > sought to bring about a just new society by destroying the existing
            > one through acts of terrorism and assassination
            >
            > (from, of all places: Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999)
            >
            > I could use any number of dictionaries and texts for longer
            > definitions, but let us use these simplified definitions.
            >
            > The first two easily fit into the Existentialism of early Sartre,
            > which is why many consider the two related. The idea that social
            > values should be redacted and replaced by internal motivations,
            > intrinsic values, is common to many Continental Philosophical
            schools
            > of thought.
            >
            > Item 3 is closer to later movements. I hate to sound negative, but
            > American "moral relativists" and "cultural relativists" often fall
            > under the spell of the "no objective truth" assertion of nihilism.
            > Personally, I think there are a few objective truths -- starting
            with
            > mankind is an animal that seeks to survive.
            >
            > Items 4 and 5 are Sartre's weakness. In fact, Sartre admired and
            > embraced Russian Nihilism as a romantic notion. Camus did the same,
            in
            > "The Just Assassins" -- but he observed a clear distinction between
            > Nihilism and nihilism. Dostoevsky and other Russian writers did the
            same.
            >
            > "Nihilism" and "nihilistic" are too often misused,
            like "Existential"
            > and "existentialism."
            >
            > - C. S. Wyatt
          • C. S. Wyatt
            ... Camus, especially during the Algerian uprisings, came to see violent rebellion as no longer acceptable in the post-WWII environment. Like Merleau-Ponty, he
            Message 5 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
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              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary Jo Malo" <alcyon11@y...>
              > "If we are to fail, it is better in any case to have stood on the
              > side of those who choose life than on the side of those who are
              > destroying." - Camus
              >
              > Mary Jo
              >

              Camus, especially during the Algerian uprisings, came to see violent
              rebellion as no longer acceptable in the post-WWII environment. Like
              Merleau-Ponty, he came to view the Nihilists and Communists of Soviet
              Russia as suspect.

              Revolution often descends in to a cycle of violence. Camus lectured on
              this, near the time of his death. Camus struggled with the problem of
              violence, as did so many others during the 20th-Century.

              The Nihilists of Russia turned increasingly violent, without logic,
              and Camus studied this and other revolutionary movements. He came to
              view the Nihilists as basically hopeless and caught in a mob
              mentality. The violence lost its meaning -- equality for the workers
              -- and became nothing but destruction.

              Words mean things... which is why we have dictionaries and I am
              careful to post lexicons on my Web site.

              We toss about words too esily without historical context.

              - C. S. Wyatt
            • C. S. Wyatt
              I wish to clarify something.. ... The Nihilists of Russia and Eastern Europe did not call for the compelte destruction of society, but rather the destruction
              Message 6 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
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                I wish to clarify something..

                > A Nihilist is not destructive, nor does he or she call for
                > destruction. Nihilism, academically, is a theory that asserts that
                > humanity will peak and then descend into chaotic existence. The peaks
                > and valleys of this pattern move mankind forward, until a final
                > descent -- thousands of years from now, in theory.

                The Nihilists of Russia and Eastern Europe did not call for the
                compelte destruction of society, but rather the destruction of a
                government and its symbols. I do not consider this "destructive" in
                the sense of random and violent crime -- this is not Clockwork Orange.

                So, it becomes slightly symantec... destructive in the sense of
                tearing down a government, but not destructive in the sense of harming
                the citizens of a society. The Nihilists were no longer a political
                force by the end of World War I.

                The word "nihilism" slipped into common usage, without a reference to
                the party, to describe random and meaningless destruction. However,
                that is not the philosophical definition.

                Anyway... I must slip out again and write.
              • Mary Jo Malo
                C.S. Camus examined nihilism in greater depth than the example you provide. I accept his rejection, because it is my rejection. Obviously, I choose the side of
                Message 7 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
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                  C.S.

                  Camus examined nihilism in greater depth than the example you provide. I accept his rejection, because it is my rejection. Obviously, I choose the side of hope, because I give an ultimate dignity to the human condition. Even with dictionaries, lexicons and historical context, we are simply offered several definitions. We will always choose the definition that most suits that which we already hold to be true for ourselves. To deny desire and hope in both trivial and profound matters will only guarantee that those who masquerade as humanity will succeed in making us like them. I choose forwards rather than backwards.

                  Mary Jo

                  "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@...> wrote:
                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary Jo Malo" <alcyon11@y...>
                  > "If we are to fail, it is better in any case to have stood on the
                  > side of those who choose life than on the side of those who are
                  > destroying." - Camus
                  >
                  > Mary Jo
                  >

                  Camus, especially during the Algerian uprisings, came to see violent
                  rebellion as no longer acceptable in the post-WWII environment. Like
                  Merleau-Ponty, he came to view the Nihilists and Communists of Soviet
                  Russia as suspect.

                  Revolution often descends in to a cycle of violence. Camus lectured on
                  this, near the time of his death. Camus struggled with the problem of
                  violence, as did so many others during the 20th-Century.

                  The Nihilists of Russia turned increasingly violent, without logic,
                  and Camus studied this and other revolutionary movements. He came to
                  view the Nihilists as basically hopeless and caught in a mob
                  mentality. The violence lost its meaning -- equality for the workers
                  -- and became nothing but destruction.

                  Words mean things... which is why we have dictionaries and I am
                  careful to post lexicons on my Web site.

                  We toss about words too esily without historical context.

                  - C. S. Wyatt



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                • George Walton
                  Philosophy in a dictionary? C. S. Wyatt wrote: ... A Nihilist is not destructive, nor does he or she call for destruction. Nihilism,
                  Message 8 of 18 , Oct 2, 2003
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                    Philosophy in a dictionary?



                    "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@...> wrote:
                    The following statement is technically inaccurate:

                    > Christ, even bacteria have
                    > a greater will to live than nihilists.
                    >
                    > Jo

                    A Nihilist is not destructive, nor does he or she call for
                    destruction. Nihilism, academically, is a theory that asserts that
                    humanity will peak and then descend into chaotic existence. The peaks
                    and valleys of this pattern move mankind forward, until a final
                    descent -- thousands of years from now, in theory.

                    When capitalized, Nihilism is a cousin to Anarchy. It was a political
                    movement throughout Europe and found a center in the Slavic nations.
                    Eventually, Nihilism even counted as a true force in the Russian
                    Revolutionary Movements.

                    Nihilism, noun. the beliefs and practices of a revolutionary party in
                    Russia in the middle 1800's, which advocated destruction of the old
                    order by violence and terrorism to make way for reform.

                    On the other hand, nihilism (lowercase) is more a rejection of order
                    than an assertion that everything is terrible and we should all die.

                    ni�hil�ism n
                    1. the general rejection of established social conventions and
                    beliefs, especially of morality and religion
                    2. a belief that life is pointless and human values are worthless
                    3. the belief that there is no objective basis for truth
                    4. the belief that all established authority is corrupt and must be
                    destroyed in order to rebuild a just society
                    5. Ni�hil�ism: a political movement in late 19th-century Russia that
                    sought to bring about a just new society by destroying the existing
                    one through acts of terrorism and assassination

                    (from, of all places: Encarta� World English Dictionary � 1999)

                    I could use any number of dictionaries and texts for longer
                    definitions, but let us use these simplified definitions.

                    The first two easily fit into the Existentialism of early Sartre,
                    which is why many consider the two related. The idea that social
                    values should be redacted and replaced by internal motivations,
                    intrinsic values, is common to many Continental Philosophical schools
                    of thought.

                    Item 3 is closer to later movements. I hate to sound negative, but
                    American "moral relativists" and "cultural relativists" often fall
                    under the spell of the "no objective truth" assertion of nihilism.
                    Personally, I think there are a few objective truths -- starting with
                    mankind is an animal that seeks to survive.

                    Items 4 and 5 are Sartre's weakness. In fact, Sartre admired and
                    embraced Russian Nihilism as a romantic notion. Camus did the same, in
                    "The Just Assassins" -- but he observed a clear distinction between
                    Nihilism and nihilism. Dostoevsky and other Russian writers did the same.

                    "Nihilism" and "nihilistic" are too often misused, like "Existential"
                    and "existentialism."

                    - C. S. Wyatt


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                  • George Walton
                    Words mean things. And God knows only nihilists are permitted to compile the dictionaries we use to confirm the meaning of all the words we use in philosophy.
                    Message 9 of 18 , Oct 2, 2003
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                      Words mean things. And God knows only nihilists are permitted to compile the dictionaries we use to confirm the meaning of all the words we use in philosophy.

                      He does, doesn't he?

                      "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@...> wrote:
                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary Jo Malo" <alcyon11@y...>
                      > "If we are to fail, it is better in any case to have stood on the
                      > side of those who choose life than on the side of those who are
                      > destroying." - Camus
                      >
                      > Mary Jo
                      >

                      Camus, especially during the Algerian uprisings, came to see violent
                      rebellion as no longer acceptable in the post-WWII environment. Like
                      Merleau-Ponty, he came to view the Nihilists and Communists of Soviet
                      Russia as suspect.

                      Revolution often descends in to a cycle of violence. Camus lectured on
                      this, near the time of his death. Camus struggled with the problem of
                      violence, as did so many others during the 20th-Century.

                      The Nihilists of Russia turned increasingly violent, without logic,
                      and Camus studied this and other revolutionary movements. He came to
                      view the Nihilists as basically hopeless and caught in a mob
                      mentality. The violence lost its meaning -- equality for the workers
                      -- and became nothing but destruction.

                      Words mean things... which is why we have dictionaries and I am
                      careful to post lexicons on my Web site.

                      We toss about words too esily without historical context.

                      - C. S. Wyatt



                      Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT

                      Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
                      (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)

                      TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
                      existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


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