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Re: Mortal angels

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  • Rajiv
    Dear Meghan ... ... This, dear Meghan, is exactly what I mean by being limited by the body machine . We
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 18, 1999
      Dear Meghan
      >Rajiv wrote:
      <Man is an aspiring angel limited by a mortal body>>

      Your reply:
      >Hardly. Human beings aren't naturally altruistic. Think of the Milgram
      >experiments where subjects would give fatal electrical shocks to another
      >"subject" when an authority figure told them to do so. Or the Stanford
      >prison experiments, where normal college students became ruthless and
      >abusive in the course of a few days. What about the hundred or so people
      >who witnessed Kitty Genovese's violent murder, but didn't call the police?
      >These actions aren't caused by "the inherent drawbacks of the body
      >machine." None of the people involved in those cases had physical problems
      >which caused them to react the way they did. I had a professor once who
      >told us, again and again, that humans are not naturally altruistic; we
      >naturally behave in ways that will benefit us to save our own hides (or our
      >offspring --- propogation of the species and such).

      This, dear Meghan, is exactly what I mean by being "limited by the body
      machine". We are, most of the time helpless onlookers to our own failings,
      and the only virtue we can ever have is Hope. Faith, Hope and Charity, I
      believe, and without being a Christian, are fundamental existential values.
      There are times when I could not do a damn about an injustice happening
      right before my eyes, and hated myself for it. I think it is this pain, this
      anguish over one's inherent limitations that is the expression of virtue in
      human beings. An angel screaming to get out. If there is no pain, then it
      means that there is no consciousness of what has transpired. The unconscious
      has taken over. The unconscious is the root of all evil. God was pleased
      with the angel (i'm sorry if my reading of the bible is slightly
      inadequate), when he said "and thou hast not fainted". To feel the anguish
      of existential and mortal limitation without fainting - that, I think is
      true faith, true hope and true charity
      Regards, Rajiv
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