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Re: [existlist] Camus who?

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  • tom
    Bill, You reject capital punishment as barbaric, and then say sitting in a cell 23 hours a day and going mad is worse. If it is worse, then it is in effect
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 23, 2010
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      Bill,

      You reject capital punishment as barbaric, and then say sitting in a cell 23 hours a day and going mad is worse. If it is worse, then it is in effect crueler than stoning, and I guess the crueler the more barbaric. The fact that the US is so relatively affluent that we can incarcerate so many seperates us from most societies that have existed, that couldnt afford the costs of housing, feeding, and guarding that many people.

      As for meaning and the search for meaning and value, I guess that plays and has played a huge part in so much of human history. Certainly the vision of communism as the next stage of human evolution gave meaning to many lives of 20th century intellectuals and artists. 1984 was a book of delusion by a man who had believed in this vision as long as he could. Likewise, the rise of Hitler was connected with the vision of Germans awakening from their self absorbed and self pitying state to unite for the greater good. FN's sister was very impressed by Hitler, and told him that that Mein Kampf had given her the courage to face the death that she knew was near with the courage the German people have always displayed when dealing with life or death. And of course, Islamic people fear westernization as a soulless force that is opposed to everything of value to them. Bill, do u recall the line from Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue" "We always did feel the same.We just started from a different point of view."

      Peace,
      Tom
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: William
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2010 3:53 PM
      Subject: [existlist] Camus who?



      Mary, As I write this I am listening to the president of Iran at the UN. He certainly presents absurd positions. Camus did not want to be known as an existentialist, he thought of himself as an absurdist. Certainly there is a difference between one who says absurd things and one who thinks the world is absurd.
      Camus was the latter and I can see why he is a favorite of yours.He professed pacificism yet he wrote for"Combat" in ww2. He fought communism and split with Sartre over that ideology. His highly individualistic ideas could not allow totalitarianism and so he supported the Hungarian revolt against the Soviets. I remember watching the T-28`s in the streets of Buda-Pest. I wondered where our Patton tanks were. Camus defended the US position in that show down.
      I like his anticapital punishment stance. I have always thought capital punishment barbaric and think it should be banned. Certainly there are worse things than being stoned.Sitting in a cell 23 hours a day and going mad comes to mind.
      His contention that people must find meaning by collaberation against natural or political enemies goes too far for me. I think meaningful work provides enough meaning for me and I have had meaning enough.
      I certrainly agree that life is absurd from any observed viewpoint. Only a theistic view of life can give it transcendental meaning. Otherwise life is absurd and Camus was correct. It all goes back to FN and his correct concept that god did not exist. Stephen Hawkins has recently weighed in on that matter and you and I have dogs in that fight. Bill





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    • William
      Tom, For some unknown reason I find a difference between cruel and barbaric. When waxing moralistic I might equate the two but in strict terms they are not the
      Message 2 of 16 , Oct 1, 2010
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        Tom, For some unknown reason I find a difference between cruel and barbaric. When waxing moralistic I might equate the two but in strict terms they are not the same.
        I just watched a bunch of Packistani goons off a bunch of dress wearing opponents. I really was not moved except to try to identify their weapons which were of NATO derivation . The killers were obviously worried they would get in serious shit for wacking these guys. They had to rekill one of the victims and it took three more rounds of 308 to finish the dude. 308 is a full battle round and when fired at the ground can generate wild richochets. I guess the hitter was a merciful man and did the right thing in finishing the poor bastard off at some risk to himself.
        So I personally do not find them particularly cruel and since they were wacking bad guys I do not even find them barbaric. They used modern weapons and even blindfolded the victims. It was just business and the soldiers were just following orders. The barbarism came much earlier like when they signed the papar to be a soldier. After that they were just doing what they were trained to do. I think the trick of being civilized is to avoid becomming part of the killing machine. I have signed the paper more than once and have been upbraided for my barbarism on this list. So be it.If you live you might learn but it is my police force and jailers who keep the poor bastards in the lock up a few blocks from here. I like Pontious Pilot, "Scribit scribendit". Most of us have signed the paper one way or another. I think that may be why Mary so respects Albert Camus, he seemed to understand much about crulity and barbarism. Bill
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