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Down the rabbit hole

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  • William
    Certainly the system had given young people reasons to Tune in Turn on and drop out . When a harvard professor joins the counter culture it is not a
    Message 1 of 171 , Jan 2, 2010
      Certainly the system had given young people reasons to "Tune in Turn on and drop out'. When a harvard professor joins the counter culture it is not a harmless act. Many were cubed on acid especially in defense dept programs that were nothing but unsupervised human expermentation.People were being drugged by multiple sources with no responsibility taken by authorities. The Vietnam War was at the base of this as no headway was made against the slaughter on the political front. Frustration boiled out into rampant drug usage and Leary was the intellectual figurehead of the revolt. He believed that the Nixon criminal cohort was much more fearful of a lethargic work force than any street demonstration.
      Leary was not a harmless crank and he was way off the reservation when he promoted many types of dangerous chemical activity. I saw him using Nitrous Oxide in a most irresponsible manner. I have induced Nitrous Oxide analgesia thousands of times and am well aware of the risks. Teaching unsafe procedure is criminal activity. Leary was smart enough to know he caused many dangerous activities but his personal and political goals took precedance. Those were his choices and I find them in very poor judgement. Teaching people to hurt themselves is little different than teaqching them to fight in wars. Everyone was acting irresponsibly as the generational hatred was great and there was little or no political agreement.
      I do agree it was a very dangerous time especially if you went to Nam .So you will not get me to say Leary was any kind of hero.
      Chomsky is probably as close a model as we have today. To my knowledge he does not promote illegal activities and he remains within the acedemic reservation. He fights capitalism and therefore I am suprised the agents have not Zotzed him. PETN is the substance in the spotlight right now. Will Polly ask us to sanitize Ben Laudin so he can have a new chemical guru? Bill
    • Jim
      Hi Polly, You write: Philosophy, if it is not reflected in what people do, is more akin to armchair trivia. Socrates philosophy was to drink hemlock when
      Message 171 of 171 , Jan 28, 2010
        Hi Polly,

        You write:

        "Philosophy, if it is not reflected in what people do, is more akin to armchair trivia. Socrates' philosophy was to drink hemlock when push came to shove; all conceptual thinking notwithstanding."

        Yes, I completely agree with your first sentence. I certainly try to act in line with my philosophical views which combine elements of virtue ethics with existentialism.

        Socrates certainly lived his philosophy. He drank the hemlock as he argued that it was the just thing to do, rather than save his skin by escaping the death sentence passed on him by the Athenian Justice System.

        Unlike you, I have a very high opinion of Socrates who was courageous enough to speak out and act as he felt he should, even when it was dangerous for him to do so.

        In my last post to you, I wrote:

        "I am interested in the sort of questions Socrates asked. I am primarily interested in the two questions: "What am I?" and "How should I live?" I am certainly not interested in the question "What is a question?".

        You replied:

        "That's fine, of course. It does however mean you will not be able to come anywhere near Descartes or his method of doubt, or proceed beyond him. Or in other words, you are rather fond of your ideal, a priori world, and you fully intend to cling to it for dear life."

        I am not sure why you say that I have an "ideal, a priori world, and … fully intend to cling to it for dear life." My ethical views are a posteriori, as they are based on my experience of what actions and attitudes cause human beings either benefit or harm.

        I am not sure what "a priori" beliefs you are thinking of.

        You suggest that to be consistent with my own outlook, I need to put some time and effort investigating the question "What is a question?"

        However, I think if I did spend time studying this question, I would be guilty of the "armchair trivia" you rightly criticise above. Further, I have already said that I know what a question is. Why should I spend time and effort examining a phenomenon I already fully understand?

        Philosophy, in my view, is all about starting off with the things one knows, and trying to learn significant things one does not know, all the while applying one's knowledge in one's actions in the world.

        As I say above, I am not aware of clinging to unexamined attitudes and beliefs "for dear life", but if you and others think I am guilty of that so be it.

        It seems to me that you do not favour asking philosophical questions, nor trying to provide philosophical answers. Such conceptual activity only prevents the person from gaining uncluttered access to the real.

        You criticise Socrates, but surely you must criticise all philosophers (including all existentialists) for promoting the very thing you think is most harmful to human beings – conceptual thinking.

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