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Choosing and Reason

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  • james tan
    i tried to follow ur discourse with chris, matt, tommy, etc, re wittgenstein; but i must admit tt i lost my way after a while, with all its twists and turns. i
    Message 1 of 29 , Sep 20, 2002
      i tried to follow ur discourse with chris, matt, tommy, etc, re
      wittgenstein; but i must admit tt i lost my way after a while, with all its
      twists and turns. i continue to read, but it became harder & harder to make
      heads with tails, to connect one pt with the rest. but it has been
      interesting, nonetheless. if time permits, i will like to pick up and study
      wittgenstein in more depth.

      re choosing and reason: i will use an example from sartre in his
      "existentialism is humanism".

      i quote in full a particular section to illustrate:

      "...better understand this state of abandonment, I will refer to the case of
      a pupil of mine, who sought me out in the following circumstances. His
      father was quarrelling with his mother and was also inclined to be a
      �collaborator�; his elder brother had been killed in the German offensive of
      1940 and this young man, with a sentiment somewhat primitive but generous,
      burned to avenge him. His mother was living alone with him, deeply afflicted
      by the semi-treason of his father and by the death of her eldest son, and
      her one consolation was in this young man. But he, at this moment, had the
      choice between going to England to join the Free French Forces or of staying
      near his mother and helping her to live. He fully realised that this woman
      lived only for him and that his disappearance � or perhaps his death � would
      plunge her into despair. He also realised that, concretely and in fact,
      every action he performed on his mother�s behalf would be sure of effect in
      the sense of aiding her to live, whereas anything he did in order to go and
      fight would be an ambiguous action which night vanish like water into sand
      and serve no purpose. For instance, to set out for England he would have to
      wait indefinitely in a Spanish camp on the way through Spain; or, on
      arriving in England or in Algiers he might be put into an office to fill up
      forms. Consequently, he found himself confronted by two very different modes
      of action; the one concrete, immediate, but directed towards only one
      individual; and the other an action addressed to an end infinitely greater,
      a national collectivity, but for that very reason ambiguous � and it might
      be frustrated on the way. At the same time, he was hesitating between two
      kinds of morality; on the one side the morality of sympathy, of personal
      devotion and, on the other side, a morality of wider scope but of more
      debatable validity. He had to choose between those two. What could help him
      to choose? Could the Christian doctrine? No. Christian doctrine says: Act
      with charity, love your neighbour, deny yourself for others, choose the way
      which is hardest, and so forth. But which is the harder road? To whom does
      one owe the more brotherly love, the patriot or the mother? Which is the
      more useful aim, the general one of fighting in and for the whole community,
      or the precise aim of helping one particular person to live? Who can give an
      answer to that a priori? No one. Nor is it given in any ethical scripture.
      The Kantian ethic says, Never regard another as a means, but always as an
      end. Very well; if I remain with my mother, I shall be regarding her as the
      end and not as a means: but by the same token I am in danger of treating as
      means those who are fighting on my behalf; and the converse is also true,
      that if I go to the aid of the combatants I shall be treating them as the
      end at the risk of treating my mother as a means. If values are uncertain,
      if they are still too abstract to determine the particular, concrete case
      under consideration, nothing remains but to trust in our instincts. That is
      what this young man tried to do; and when I saw him he said, �In the end, it
      is feeling that counts; the direction in which it is really pushing me is
      the one I ought to choose. If I feel that I love my mother enough to
      sacrifice everything else for her � my will to be avenged, all my longings
      for action and adventure then I stay with her. If, on the contrary, I feel
      that my love for her is not enough, I go.� But how does one estimate the
      strength of a feeling? The value of his feeling for his mother was
      determined precisely by the fact that he was standing by her. I may say that
      I love a certain friend enough to sacrifice such or such a sum of money for
      him, but I cannot prove that unless I have done it. I may say, �I love my
      mother enough to remain with her,� if actually I have remained with her. I
      can only estimate the strength of this affection if I have performed an
      action by which it is defined and ratified. But if I then appeal to this
      affection to justify my action, I find myself drawn into a vicious circle."
      unquote.

      whether the person choose to remain with his mother, or to fight in a war,
      is something tt no "rationality" can 'teach' or 'guide' him. both courses of
      action are rational in their own right. it is one of those existential
      position all man find himself in, INCLUDING the terrorists who decide to
      bomb himself in order to kill innocent: to do, or not to do; hell, CHOOSE!!.
      i imagine them (arab/muslim terrorist) thinking along something like this:
      should i obey kant's moral imperative, or should i obey allah? (now, whether
      allah really did want them to act in such manner is beside the pt here; the
      pt is, those terrorists believed so. and it is hard to fathom allah's mind,
      if there is allah in the first place. terrorists who commit act of 'self
      sacrifice' all believe it is the religious thing to do, rightly or wrongly;
      and they chose allah over ur conventional morality - that is, if they freely
      chose; it is a different story if they did what they did because they were
      conditioned to act thus). if any knowledge & reasoning at all is required,
      it is only required insofar as it empowers one to better commit/efficiently
      execute one to one's chosen committment (values/beliefs). to quote
      kierkegaard, truth is subjectivity; and from hume, reason is and ought to be
      the slave of the passions (choices).

      i will just coin/differentiate two kind of choosing. one, the
      "sub-choosing", the other, the "ultimate choosing". one's choice of life
      (ultimate choosing) as opposed to one's choice of a specific course of
      action within a well-established value framework (sub-choosing). the big
      picture value framework is an example of ultimate choosing. eg, i can choose
      christ as my god and saviour - this is an example of ultimate choosing; if i
      choose to avoid pornography (even when no one is watching), if i choose to
      devote my entire life in the service of others (such as mother teresa), if i
      choose to give away money to help those who are needy, if i resist to seduce
      my secrataries when i am in the power position to do so because i have a
      wife, etc, they are choosing tt are rational and internally consistent
      within my ultimate value system. can anyone say mother teresa is foolish or
      irrational to spend her life in tt way?!! but how she chose to spend her
      life is perfectly rational/reasonable/logically consistent with her ultimate
      choosing - christ (which in itself is irrational, in the sense tt there is
      no higher criteria by which she appealed to choose). she sub choose helping
      because she had a criteria: to love ur neighbour; she sub chose this
      criteria because it is laid down by christ; but so what if it is christ who
      said it? why should anyone listen to christ? because christ is god himself?
      maybe so, but it is here tt reason stop short: who can prove christ is god?
      no one, and it is over here that ultimate choosing come into the picture:
      she did not have the evidences, she did not have the logic, she did not have
      the proofs, and yet she chose to believe, yes, irrationally (in the absence
      of all reasons), that CHRIST IS GOD.

      so, m teresa chose, freely chose, so tt even if there is god, god did not,
      nay, would not; nay, CANNOT in all his omnipotence, interfere with such kind
      of ultimate choosing, for when he creates man, he creates him free. and once
      chosen, all tt follows is then logically, rationally consistent. she gave
      her entire life to help, christ's wish is her command, lovingly. given tt
      one knows what one ultimately wants, all the more particular (sub choosing)
      choices can be made more or less mechanically, by appeal to the rationality
      & efficiacy of one alternative over another in obtaining the desired
      ultimate end (in m teresa's case, to please christ; and in christ's case, in
      cruxification, to please his father in heaven, to save mankind by his
      blood).

      but how does one come to such ultimate set of goals or way of life (and
      death)? because these are ultimate, one cannot appeal them to some more
      ultimate consideration. to appeal them on rationality, as chris suggested?
      but why should one have to follow reason's dictates? in other words, EVEN IF
      we grant tt certain principles can be defended by appeal to reason, one can
      then turn around & challenge the value of reason itself. "granted tt i ought
      to do 'x' because it is the moral thing to do, but why should i do the moral
      thing?" if i ought to do the moral thing because it is the
      reasonable/rational thing, why should i be reasonable? if being reasonable
      may keep me alive longer, the terrorist may ask, why should i want to be
      alive when allah asked me to die for him???? no answer can be given, for the
      value of reason can be challenged as any more ethical principles might be
      challenged. how then, does one decide whether to be reasonble, rational, to
      follow the dictates of reason & be moral? no way. we simply have to choose
      when it comes to our ultimate criterias, without appeal to further
      standards, without reasons, without justification, as sartre saw so clearly
      when he posed the hypothetical situation above. all proofs/reasoning, as
      bertrand russell noted, must start with premises tt are themselves unproven.
      we simply have to decide, 'irrationally'. this is what kierkegaard meant by
      "truth is subjectivity", and subjectivity is reality, for what is a abstract
      thought? a thought without a thinker!! if the individual behind the thought
      is to exist, he must choose, "leap to" a way of life, and tt is what make
      him an individual with a self. for the existentialist, the worst fate tt can
      befall a man is not early or cruel death, but to die without a self. to
      exist is to will more than to reason. now, let me just say i know tte
      importance of rationality, a value which chris cherish; what i am just
      saying is tt all things have their right/appropriate place under the sun.

      james.



      From: "swmaerske" <swmirsky@...>
      Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
      To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [WisdomForum] Choosing and Reason
      Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 00:05:12 -0000

      Yes, it has been an interesting place to "meet" others and exchange
      ideas. Having given up philosophy a long time ago, I find that our
      discourse here has rekindled that old passion of mine and I've begun
      to read philosophy a bit again. So I have this forum and you
      colleagues of mine on it to thank for that. Especially Chris who went
      out of his way to invite me over here, even knowing my intransigent
      passion for the philosophy of Wittgenstein. Must have been hard for
      such a Popperian as he is. (Of course he isn't really, as I've lately
      discovered through perusing the Critical Rationalist forum on Yahoo
      where dozens of truly passionate believers in Popper now seem to
      haunt the ether. They make Chris look like a downright dilletante, or
      at least more of the renaissance man he seems to be, allowing for his
      blindspot where Wittgenstein is concerned, of course!)

      One thing I would like to note here though: I do generally agree with
      Chris' comments concerning the matter of choice and reason and
      disagree with your, and Tommy'sm view on this (insofar as I am clear
      on it at this point). I think that we make our choices, most of the
      time, based on reasons. However, as has already been shown here, not
      every belief requires reasons or even rational proof. As Wittgenstein
      has more or less conclusively demonstrated (to my way of thinking),
      it is absurd to not believe in the physical world in which we find
      ourselves and, indeed, our very belief in it is presupposed by our
      langauge, our way of talking about it. Similarly, there are many
      things we do and say that reflect our playing by the rules of the
      aspects of language we are expressing ourselves in. Therefore, in
      many cases there are no reasons to be identified and debated for why
      we do some things and not others. We do them because that's what we
      do (by the nature of the "game" we are playing).

      But there are certainly many things we do because we think we have
      good reason to do them. I happen to think that valuing and moral
      valuing in particular reflects this. On my view, valuing is something
      we do because we are playing by certain "rules", but the assignment
      of value to one thing instead of another requires reasons. But we use
      different kinds of reasons, depending on the type of valuing we are
      engaged in. I think some types of valuing are driven by principles of
      preference and utility (they are related to one another for obvious
      reasons). But other types require other kinds of reasons. Moral
      valuing is the quintessential example of a type of valuing which does
      not admit of preference or utility since introducing these kinds of
      reasons as our basis for making moral judgements immediately yields
      moral claims that are largely counter-intuitive. That is to say that
      any statement about a good person or a good action cannot be
      justified, ultimately, based on a claim of preference or utility
      since these immediately abrogate the moral claim. So either there is
      no such thing as moral claims, or a different kind of reason to
      justify is required.

      This gets us to the issue you and Tommy have raised, that ultimately
      we make choices independent of our reasoning. I think that's not
      entirely true. With Chris, I think that all our choices at the level
      where we have real choice are driven by the reasoning process.
      Indeed, choosing is valuing and without the ability to choose we
      would be unable to act in the world. So valuing is a necessary
      corollary of our reaaoning process. You must have it in order for
      reasoning, itself, to function as our tool for negotiating our way
      through the world in which we find ourselves.

      I am very cognizant, however, that there are some things that are
      very hard to argue about and one of these is values. I think where we
      get to the point that this becomes difficult is where we take our
      beliefs back to some metaphysical presuppositions about the world
      which do not admit of proof, by definition. Now I have stated here
      before that I think we can talk about metaphysics, though only if we
      are being REALLY careful. And by being able to talk about these
      things we can also share information about them. In sharing
      information, we can alter one another's views. But NOT by rigorous
      proofs. Rather I think there is an area where insight comes into
      play, that is sometimes you just have to "see" it! But when we get to
      the point where two people do not "see" the same thing, then we have
      a divide. The divide can be bridged by consistent discourse, I think,
      and insights can be developed and shared. But this is a much more
      complex and difficult thing to do then merely proving something
      logically or via physical evidence.

      SWM

      --- In WisdomForum@y..., "james tan" <tyjfk@h...> wrote:
      >
      > swm,
      >
      > u said:
      > "But my point in all this is that there is much to learn here from
      one
      > another and I think most of us who have hung around can say we've
      > learned something."
      >
      >
      > indeed. what actually strike me here is the very strong command of
      english
      > demonstrated by all contributors, which is an issue for an asian
      picking up
      > english as a second language. and also the superb reasoning coupled
      with
      > good ground knowledge available. this is a good place to learn
      english and
      > know philosophy.
      >
      > james.
      >
      >
      > From: "swmaerske" <swmirsky@a...>
      > Reply-To: WisdomForum@y...
      > To: WisdomForum@y...
      > Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Fwd: Fw: [MuslimMediaWatch] Robert
      Fisk:America's
      > case for
      > Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 02:00:47 -0000
      >
      > It's not a "disturbance" James. But to me it seemed like just more
      of
      > the same irrelevant tripe promulgated by the apologists for Muslim
      > fanaticism and terrorism. It's out there, of course, so there's no
      > reason not to deal with it occasionally. But I, for one, will call
      it
      > as I see it and, in this case, we saw this same nonsense before. If
      > others here want to spend time re-treading this same ground, I will
      > not oppose that. But I probably won't "play", either, in the future,
      > if I don't see any progress in our knowledge being made. I think
      > there will always be those who cling to past positions (as well as
      > new folks occasionally coming on here who don't recall all the
      > discussions we've had on these same claims in the past). But,
      > frankly, I think we dealt with these issues of Fisk's before and
      > effectively set them aside.
      >
      > We have seen new ideas broached here and all of us have changed to
      > some degree, I think, and that is the measure of progress. I have
      > learned a new respect for Popper and his mode of thinking,
      especially
      > in regard to ethics, and I've come to feel even less comfortable
      with
      > Hegelianism than in the past. I like to think that Chris has gained
      a
      > little respect for Wittgenstein (but I'm not getting my hopes up). I
      > know that Tommy has suggested that he thinks better of Wittgenstein
      > and analytical philosophy generally than he has in the past. I think
      > you've more fully formulated your opinion about the matter of
      Islamic
      > terrorism and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (if I am remembering
      > right). Karun is new here so I'm not sure if he's grown in anything
      > but frustrated. Matt, unfortunately, seems to have given this forum
      > up out of that same frustration, partly, I think from Chris'
      vehement
      > attacks on Wittgenstein which somehow fell on poor Matt who really
      > started out here as opposed to Wittgenstein as Chris was. (I am the
      > one who views his philosophy favorably, if you'll recall.) As to
      > others here, many seem to have gone away long ago, perhaps as our
      > discourse became more and more technical, while others may have
      given
      > up participating because we weren't technical enough.
      >
      > But my point in all this is that there is much to learn here from
      one
      > another and I think most of us who have hung around can say we've
      > learned something. But Fisk and his ilk is just a summoning back to
      > an earlier stage in our debates here and I see no value in going
      > backwards.
      >
      > SWM
      >
      > --- In WisdomForum@y..., "james tan" <tyjfk@h...> wrote:
      > >
      >
      >
      > _________________________________________________________________
      > Send and receive Hotmail on your mobile device:
      http://mobile.msn.com





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    • james tan
      swm said: In the end, I am of the opinion that many moral choices are by nature unclear in this way and that what makes a decision morally better or worse may
      Message 2 of 29 , Sep 27, 2002
        swm said:
        "In the end, I am of the opinion that many moral choices are by nature
        unclear in this way and that what makes a decision morally better or worse
        may just be the "purity" of the intention which lies behind it, no matter
        what the objective consequences."

        i agree with u, swm. but dont u agree tt if u peel the onion one more layer
        than u have already done, u would realise tt this intention is really ALSO
        guided by values? what then are ur guides or criteria to those very values
        that guide ur intentions? intention is really the manifestation of values,
        it is just one way of saying another. are values in the realm of KNOWLEDGE?
        so tt we can objectively/rationally say one value is 'true' or 'untrue', or
        more true, less true, as u would make an empirical statement, as everyone,
        if he is unbiased, would acknowledge tt he is 'right'? or, are values really
        a matter of individual choices through their action, if u peel away the
        layers deep enough.

        i was hearing a conversation which a friend tried to mediate for a married
        couple which went something like this (summarised):

        woman: i am so hurt by his act of infidelity. doesnt he know i will be hurt?
        i am SO angry with him, i feel so lousy about myself!!

        man: when i did what i did, i knew u would be hurt. but we have been married
        for 40 yrs, and i have no more feeling for u. i want out of this marriage.

        friend (to man): do u think it is rational to do something like tt to ur
        wife? she is suicidal.

        m : i feel sorry for her, but the sooner she comes to accept this, the
        better it is for her; it is up to her. as to whether it is rational, i think
        it is perfectly rational. i am now 58, i speculate tt i might live up to
        about 80, and tt leaves me 22 yrs left: what is more rational than to make
        sure tt i enjoy those remaining time? she is suicidal, but does not
        rationally mean i got to stuck with her in this remaining 22 yrs?! i am
        having an affair with a 30 yrs old woman, and frankly, even without this
        affair, i would rather be alone.

        w (hysterical): u ungrateful old bones !! i gave my youth, my life, my
        everything to u, and now, when i am old and haggard u are telling me this?!
        am i ur car tyre where u just discard after it is torn and used?? i am
        human, u know? i deserve something better than this!!

        m : u are entirely right tt i am ungrateful: i do not deny tt...but what
        make u think "being grateful" is my value for my life?

        f : but being grateful is the moral thing to do.

        w (to m) : what kind of man are u!!!

        m : i am a man who do not cares about abstract moral principles, & dont even
        bother to mention them to me, for it means nothing to me, just as there are
        many things out there which is meaningless personally to me. i am only aware
        of what i want NOW. 40 yrs ago, i wanted u, w, but now, i am done with u.
        yes, it is i, i, i that is important to ME.

        w : u fucking selfish bastard !!

        m : am i ashamed of tt? i would rather be a happy fucking selfish bastard
        fucking a 30 yrs old sexy woman than to live with u for the rest of my life.
        yes, i admit: it may not be rational, may not be moral, but for goodness'
        sake, WHO CARES about morality & rationality if it means i am gonna to be
        stick with u, w? hey, w, moral or not, rational or not, i am not going to
        let all this abstract, moral or religious principles tie me down, u get it?
        u get ME? it may be TRUE tt being moral is good, but ...let's get REAL: i
        know what i want, and if i make decision, it is MINE decision, not ur god or
        ur morality or ur rationality, or social norms, or our culture,..i dont give
        a fu~k to them...

        f : what if she commit suicide? u know, it is a life & death matter....

        m (interrupting) : look here!! this is her life, she owns it, there is no
        laws in the universe tt says she ought to or ought not to commit suicide
        given this situation tt she must/should commit suicide. if she is going to
        manipulate me emotionally to change my mind, she can just forget it!! this
        is my life, and i am leaving her!! i know who i am, what i want. get it? get
        ME? i am responsible for my own life..

        w : but u made a promise in the marriage ceremony tt we will be together
        till death we shall not part? what about integrity, tt u should keep to ur
        promise? (sob, sob). what about the promise....(more sob).

        m : i know i made that promise. really, i am sorry. but that was then, now
        is NOW. what about keeping to promise? what about integrity? what do i think
        of them? u should know what i think of them: i am leaving u. action speaks,
        and i am leaving u now for good. what is good? my responsibility for my own
        life, whatever is the conventional ethics. i know i will be socially
        ostrazised, etc, but i am making this decision with my eyes wide open of all
        possible consequences. but if u commit suicide, tt will be YOUR decision in
        the way u want to deal with my decision about leaving u.

        the end.

        swm, u see, "existence precede essence" (sartre). what is rationality? what
        is morality? what are values? for the existentialist, they are MORE
        concerned with, WHOSE rationality, WHOSE morality? WHOSE values? it is
        perfectly legitimate tt we want to get rid of saddam hussein, osama bin
        laden, & their likes, because THEIR rationality, morality, values endanger
        not only america's, but the free world's rationality, morality, values; but,
        let's just admit tt they DO have THEIR rationality, morality, values. (whose
        values win or take effect then becomes a question of whose military might &
        intelligence are more powerful). but as in the above divorce case i brought
        out, don u agree tt the man his OWN rationality, morality, values? dont u
        think tt one can be true (abstract moral principles) without being real (the
        living, concrete individual)? imagine a person who do all the 'right' thing;
        he knows what he ought to do, what he is supposed to do, but never what he
        WANTs to do? sartre, nietzsche, heidegger, kierkegaard talks about the man
        who is lost in the crowd, in the herds, and in the process of being
        socialised, he lost his entire individuality. kierkegaard said tt truth is
        subjectivity, meaning (if i dont get him wrong) tt we cant use the
        scientific methods or paradigm of objectivity to apply to the individual
        without losing his existential individual uniqueness and concreteness;
        truth, if it is to be useful & relevant truth, depends upon the existing
        person (contra the scientific psychological approach which search for
        general laws of human behaviours), existing in a given situation at THAT
        time. there is a gap between what is abstractly true and what is
        existentially real for the given living person.

        what tt man decided to go for divorce, no rationality, no principles, no
        values make sense to him other than his own. his choice and action create
        values for him, his freedom is the foundation of his values. he owns his
        decision, his values, his behaviours, his emotions: he is at least
        authentic, if not morally, religiously, politically right. there is nothing
        'universally' objective, rational about him, he is just concretly, uniquely
        being himself. he doest cares about the 'universal values', objective, to
        guide his actions or choices (which doesnt necessarily mean his own values
        will definitely and entirely clash with the universal values); when he made
        those choices, he created the values. as it is said, he does not do what is
        good because it is good, but it is good because he does it. and when a
        situation requires tt he make a choice, he sub choose it base on his
        ultimate choice - if this ultimate choosing seem not clearcut, it is because
        it is ultimate where there is no higher court of appeal: one is left facing
        the abyss. as pearls says: "i do my own thing and u do ur thing, i am not in
        this world to live up to ur expectations, and u are not in this world to
        live up to mine. u are u, i am i, and if by chance we find each other
        (meaning, having similar values and viewpt), it's beautiful. if not, it cant
        be helped." perls here advocated personal responsibility and authenticity to
        one's life (viewpt and values) and happiness.

        chris said:
        "choosing "the big picture", like what kind of person will one be."

        kierkegaard also felt tt this is one of the most important. he coined up
        three main life 'paradigm': the aesthestic, the ethical, the religious.
        apparently, the divorce man above belongs to the aesthetics. but the pt i am
        trying to make is tt, if u peel the onions deep enough, u will come to a pt
        tt there is nothing else to guide u except ur own nothingness (ie,
        consciousness, ie, freedom). all values are man-made, we constitute our own
        reality and meaning, we ourselves are biologically hardwired (perceptual
        neuropsychological organisation) to perceive in meaning (gestalt) and
        values: if there isnt any inherent meaning or values, we create one. there
        are some values which can be said to be almost universal, such as survival.
        but even this value itself is chosen: i can choose to commit suicide; and
        there is nothing irrational about it; for what is so rational about
        continuing living, unless one WANTS it?!! and what i want or dont want may
        not have any reasons beyond my will. to exist is to will, and reason merely
        help me to achieve what i will; reason does not dictate what i will. we are
        forlorn (heidegger), no one ask whether we want to exist, we just find
        ourselves existing in a universe, we find we have freedom, we need to act
        (for in not acting, we are acting), we realise we need meaning in all these
        (although there is none, really), not only because we are hardwired to have
        such existential needs, but also because from meaning schema we can have a
        basis to generate a hierarchy of values, they provide us with a blueprint
        for life conduct; values tell us not only WHY we live but HOW we live. how
        does a being who requires meaning find meaning in a universe tt has no
        meaning (camus)? by reasoning? no, by choosing, by deciding, by acting
        (sartre)!!

        chris said:
        "Whether we desire to be a private person or a social person is, in part, a
        function of what we care about."

        that is just another way of saying what we value about. for what we care
        about is what we value.

        chris said:
        "And these desires are not entirely irrational or without reasonable
        foundation. Complex considerations factor into actual moral decisions."

        yes, there may be complex consideration, such as one's experiences, one's
        developmental history (freud), maybe even one's unconscious (freud). but
        WHOSE unconscious is tt? WHOSE history is tt? one is entirely responsible
        for his situation, even his unconscious, not to mention values & his meaning
        in life (the sources from which all his behaviours spring). man is
        transcendence; ie, whatever his situation, he is BEYOND his situation
        (unless his forebrain is damaged, whereaupon his mid brain will take over, a
        brain which is very similar to all animals', where conditioning will show
        its brute effects). paradoxically, any reasonble foundation is never in
        reason itself for the living individual, but on his will or wants. all
        logical derivation follow necessarily from premises, but the premises are
        THEMSELVES "not necessary". lets just hope tt he will on love, though not
        necessarily.

        when i use the word "irrational" here, what i mean is tt REASON is
        inappropriate as an aid to the most important choices of our lives. eg,
        believing tt jesus is god; there is NO way it can be 'proved' tt it is the
        case. the reason for this inappropriateness is the absence of any objective
        standard for making these choices, by virtue of the fact tt they themselves
        are ultimate. i assert here once again, lest there is misunderstanding, tt
        reason HAS its place in human thought and guide in human conduct, but denies
        only its relevance to the specific problems of existence; a choice of
        values. and again, tt is not to say tt all values are arbitrary, therefore
        it doesnt matter which value system, which way of life one choose. choice of
        values MUST matter. it may well be the case tt these choices are ultimately
        unjustifiable (and not just not clearcut, as u suggest, swm), but
        existentially they are our responsiblity, and the 'arbitrariness' of choice,
        far from alleviating us from concern, imposes on us the most terrifying
        burdens. this is the existential angst. dont u agree tt the choice of a way
        of life can be made only by and on the basis of the person who has to live
        it? how would u comment on the decision of the divorce man, wife, the
        'counsel' of his friend above? my opinion is this: while values can be
        rational in a sense, it cannot be objective, ie, true for all men.

        chris said:
        "what we care about may not be immediately under our voluntary
        control, and that our choices are often revised or abandoned in light
        of how our decisions interact with reality and what we care about."

        tend to agree. between an extreme of total freedom, and another of strict
        determinism, man seems to lie on a continuum between these two extremes.

        james.




        From: "swmaerske" <swmirsky@...>
        Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
        To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
        Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 03:29:55 -0000

        I would just add that, in the example offered by James from Sartre,
        there are a lot of facts which would also need to be elucidated in
        order to crystallize a decision. For instance, what is the mental and
        physical state of the mother in this example and what is the expected
        contribution the student might make in either of the two situations?
        What, in addition, is the background of the mother-son relationship
        which colors the relationship at the time of the choice? And what are
        the external risks to the mother? Nevertheless, when all these things
        have been clarified and weighed, I suspect they still do not
        necessarily yield a morally clear decision. Indeed, making moral
        decisions, reflecting the moral valuing process, is rarely clearcut
        and often involves weighing and deciding between several unpleasant
        alternatives, in this case leaving one's mother to the exigencies of
        a problematic situation vs. foregoing the opportunity to make a
        difference in an important battle or conflict. In the end, I am of
        the opinion that many moral choices are by nature unclear in this way
        and that what makes a decision morally better or worse may just be
        the "purity" of the intention which lies behind it, no matter what
        the objective consequences. In fact, I believe that moral valuing is
        very much a matter of honing certain sensibilities which we have by
        nature and of applying them in certain ways in real situations. So
        both choices here may be equally good or equally bad. But what
        enables the student to make a choice may just be other factors which,
        so long as those factors do not obviate the purity of the intention
        behind the choice, render either choice a good one. At least he
        wasn't considering shooting his mother to put her out of her misery
        so that she would not grieve for him or be at undue risk if he chose
        to go off and fight in the resistance! -- SWM

        --- In WisdomForum@y..., "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@m...> wrote:
        > James offers the example of Sartre's student, which is often
        discussed by philosophers. Sartre offers to example, presumably, to
        illustrate a kind of unprincipled choice that can confront people on
        the moral level. One philosopher, Harry Frankfurt, in "The
        Importance of What We Care About" suggests that the solution to the
        student's dilemma "does not merely require, then that he decide what
        to do. It requires that he really are more about one of the
        alternatives confronting him than about the other: and it requires
        further the he understand which of those alternatives it is that he
        really cares about more." What determines what a person cares about
        is a "complex set of cognitive, affective, and volitional
        dispositions and states." Part of what we care about is what kind of
        person we will be. Our choices are often thought to contribute to or
        detract from the type of person that we would like to be. And this
        concern, or care, extends over long periods of time. James gave us
        the example of being moral and avoiding pornography even when no one
        is looking, or remaining faithful to one's wife even when one
        believes that one could get away with adultery. Frankfurt suggests
        that what we care about may not be immediately under our voluntary
        control, and that our choices are often revised or abandoned in light
        of how our decisions interact with reality and what we care about.
        Frankfurt offers these observations to point out that we often place
        exaggerated importance on decisions and choices.
        >
        > James alludes to the distinction between making choices between
        particular courses of action and choosing "the big picture", like
        what kind of person will one be. Will one be moral or immoral? Will
        one be a political person or primarily a private person? Whether we
        desire to be a private person or a social person is, in part, a
        function of what we care about. And these desires are not entirely
        irrational or without reasonable foundation. Complex considerations
        factor into actual moral decisions.
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: james tan
        > Sent: Friday, September 20, 2002 12:50 AM
        > To: WisdomForum@y...
        > Subject: [WisdomForum] Choosing and Reason
        >
        >
        >
        > i tried to follow ur discourse with chris, matt, tommy, etc, re
        > wittgenstein; but i must admit tt i lost my way after a while, with
        all its
        > twists and turns. i continue to read, but it became harder & harder
        to make
        > heads with tails, to connect one pt with the rest. but it has been
        > interesting, nonetheless. if time permits, i will like to pick up
        and study
        > wittgenstein in more depth.
        >
        > re choosing and reason: i will use an example from sartre in his
        > "existentialism is humanism".
        >
        > i quote in full a particular section to illustrate:
        >
        > "...better understand this state of abandonment, I will refer to
        the case of
        > a pupil of mine, who sought me out in the following circumstances.
        His
        > father was quarrelling with his mother and was also inclined to be
        a
        > ���collaborator���; his elder brother had been killed in the German
        offensive of
        > 1940 and this young man, with a sentiment somewhat primitive but
        generous,
        > burned to avenge him. His mother was living alone with him, deeply
        afflicted
        > by the semi-treason of his father and by the death of her eldest
        son, and
        > her one consolation was in this young man. But he, at this moment,
        had the
        > choice between going to England to join the Free French Forces or
        of staying
        > near his mother and helping her to live. He fully realised that
        this woman
        > lived only for him and that his disappearance ��" or perhaps his
        death ��" would
        > plunge her into despair. He also realised that, concretely and in
        fact,
        > every action he performed on his mother���s behalf would be sure of
        effect in
        > the sense of aiding her to live, whereas anything he did in order
        to go and
        > fight would be an ambiguous action which night vanish like water
        into sand
        > and serve no purpose. For instance, to set out for England he would
        have to
        > wait indefinitely in a Spanish camp on the way through Spain; or,
        on
        > arriving in England or in Algiers he might be put into an office to
        fill up
        > forms. Consequently, he found himself confronted by two very
        different modes
        > of action; the one concrete, immediate, but directed towards only
        one
        > individual; and the other an action addressed to an end infinitely
        greater,
        > a national collectivity, but for that very reason ambiguous ��" and
        it might
        > be frustrated on the way. At the same time, he was hesitating
        between two
        > kinds of morality; on the one side the morality of sympathy, of
        personal
        > devotion and, on the other side, a morality of wider scope but of
        more
        > debatable validity. He had to choose between those two. What could
        help him
        > to choose? Could the Christian doctrine? No. Christian doctrine
        says: Act
        > with charity, love your neighbour, deny yourself for others, choose
        the way
        > which is hardest, and so forth. But which is the harder road? To
        whom does
        > one owe the more brotherly love, the patriot or the mother? Which
        is the
        > more useful aim, the general one of fighting in and for the whole
        community,
        > or the precise aim of helping one particular person to live? Who
        can give an
        > answer to that a priori? No one. Nor is it given in any ethical
        scripture.
        > The Kantian ethic says, Never regard another as a means, but always
        as an
        > end. Very well; if I remain with my mother, I shall be regarding
        her as the
        > end and not as a means: but by the same token I am in danger of
        treating as
        > means those who are fighting on my behalf; and the converse is also
        true,
        > that if I go to the aid of the combatants I shall be treating them
        as the
        > end at the risk of treating my mother as a means. If values are
        uncertain,
        > if they are still too abstract to determine the particular,
        concrete case
        > under consideration, nothing remains but to trust in our instincts.
        That is
        > what this young man tried to do; and when I saw him he said, ���In
        the end, it
        > is feeling that counts; the direction in which it is really pushing
        me is
        > the one I ought to choose. If I feel that I love my mother enough
        to
        > sacrifice everything else for her ��" my will to be avenged, all my
        longings
        > for action and adventure then I stay with her. If, on the contrary,
        I feel
        > that my love for her is not enough, I go.��� But how does one
        estimate the
        > strength of a feeling? The value of his feeling for his mother was
        > determined precisely by the fact that he was standing by her. I may
        say that
        > I love a certain friend enough to sacrifice such or such a sum of
        money for
        > him, but I cannot prove that unless I have done it. I may say, ���I
        love my
        > mother enough to remain with her,��� if actually I have remained
        with her. I
        > can only estimate the strength of this affection if I have
        performed an
        > action by which it is defined and ratified. But if I then appeal to
        this
        > affection to justify my action, I find myself drawn into a vicious
        circle."
        > unquote.
        >
        > whether the person choose to remain with his mother, or to fight in
        a war,
        > is something tt no "rationality" can 'teach' or 'guide' him. both
        courses of
        > action are rational in their own right. it is one of those
        existential
        > position all man find himself in, INCLUDING the terrorists who
        decide to
        > bomb himself in order to kill innocent: to do, or not to do; hell,
        CHOOSE!!.
        > i imagine them (arab/muslim terrorist) thinking along something
        like this:
        > should i obey kant's moral imperative, or should i obey allah?
        (now, whether
        > allah really did want them to act in such manner is beside the pt
        here; the
        > pt is, those terrorists believed so. and it is hard to fathom
        allah's mind,
        > if there is allah in the first place. terrorists who commit act
        of 'self
        > sacrifice' all believe it is the religious thing to do, rightly or
        wrongly;
        > and they chose allah over ur conventional morality - that is, if
        they freely
        > chose; it is a different story if they did what they did because
        they were
        > conditioned to act thus). if any knowledge & reasoning at all is
        required,
        > it is only required insofar as it empowers one to better
        commit/efficiently
        > execute one to one's chosen committment (values/beliefs). to quote
        > kierkegaard, truth is subjectivity; and from hume, reason is and
        ought to be
        > the slave of the passions (choices).
        >
        > i will just coin/differentiate two kind of choosing. one, the
        > "sub-choosing", the other, the "ultimate choosing". one's choice of
        life
        > (ultimate choosing) as opposed to one's choice of a specific course
        of
        > action within a well-established value framework (sub-choosing).
        the big
        > picture value framework is an example of ultimate choosing. eg, i
        can choose
        > christ as my god and saviour - this is an example of ultimate
        choosing; if i
        > choose to avoid pornography (even when no one is watching), if i
        choose to
        > devote my entire life in the service of others (such as mother
        teresa), if i
        > choose to give away money to help those who are needy, if i resist
        to seduce
        > my secrataries when i am in the power position to do so because i
        have a
        > wife, etc, they are choosing tt are rational and internally
        consistent
        > within my ultimate value system. can anyone say mother teresa is
        foolish or
        > irrational to spend her life in tt way?!! but how she chose to
        spend her
        > life is perfectly rational/reasonable/logically consistent with her
        ultimate
        > choosing - christ (which in itself is irrational, in the sense tt
        there is
        > no higher criteria by which she appealed to choose). she sub choose
        helping
        > because she had a criteria: to love ur neighbour; she sub chose
        this
        > criteria because it is laid down by christ; but so what if it is
        christ who
        > said it? why should anyone listen to christ? because christ is god
        himself?
        > maybe so, but it is here tt reason stop short: who can prove christ
        is god?
        > no one, and it is over here that ultimate choosing come into the
        picture:
        > she did not have the evidences, she did not have the logic, she did
        not have
        > the proofs, and yet she chose to believe, yes, irrationally (in the
        absence
        > of all reasons), that CHRIST IS GOD.
        >
        > so, m teresa chose, freely chose, so tt even if there is god, god
        did not,
        > nay, would not; nay, CANNOT in all his omnipotence, interfere with
        such kind
        > of ultimate choosing, for when he creates man, he creates him free.
        and once
        > chosen, all tt follows is then logically, rationally consistent.
        she gave
        > her entire life to help, christ's wish is her command, lovingly.
        given tt
        > one knows what one ultimately wants, all the more particular (sub
        choosing)
        > choices can be made more or less mechanically, by appeal to the
        rationality
        > & efficiacy of one alternative over another in obtaining the
        desired
        > ultimate end (in m teresa's case, to please christ; and in christ's
        case, in
        > cruxification, to please his father in heaven, to save mankind by
        his
        > blood).
        >
        > but how does one come to such ultimate set of goals or way of life
        (and
        > death)? because these are ultimate, one cannot appeal them to some
        more
        > ultimate consideration. to appeal them on rationality, as chris
        suggested?
        > but why should one have to follow reason's dictates? in other
        words, EVEN IF
        > we grant tt certain principles can be defended by appeal to reason,
        one can
        > then turn around & challenge the value of reason itself. "granted
        tt i ought
        > to do 'x' because it is the moral thing to do, but why should i do
        the moral
        > thing?" if i ought to do the moral thing because it is the
        > reasonable/rational thing, why should i be reasonable? if being
        reasonable
        > may keep me alive longer, the terrorist may ask, why should i want
        to be
        > alive when allah asked me to die for him???? no answer can be
        given, for the
        > value of reason can be challenged as any more ethical principles
        might be
        > challenged. how then, does one decide whether to be reasonble,
        rational, to
        > follow the dictates of reason & be moral? no way. we simply have to
        choose
        > when it comes to our ultimate criterias, without appeal to further
        > standards, without reasons, without justification, as sartre saw so
        clearly
        > when he posed the hypothetical situation above. all
        proofs/reasoning, as
        > bertrand russell noted, must start with premises tt are themselves
        unproven.
        > we simply have to decide, 'irrationally'. this is what kierkegaard
        meant by
        > "truth is subjectivity", and subjectivity is reality, for what is a
        abstract
        > thought? a thought without a thinker!! if the individual behind the
        thought
        > is to exist, he must choose, "leap to" a way of life, and tt is
        what make
        > him an individual with a self. for the existentialist, the worst
        fate tt can
        > befall a man is not early or cruel death, but to die without a
        self. to
        > exist is to will more than to reason. now, let me just say i know
        tte
        > importance of rationality, a value which chris cherish; what i am
        just
        > saying is tt all things have their right/appropriate place under
        the sun.
        >
        > james.





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      • james tan
        i tend to think tt terrorists are more conditioned (mid brain) than anything. their strong, intense background their whole lives in radical islam is also a
        Message 3 of 29 , Sep 27, 2002
          i tend to think tt terrorists are more conditioned (mid brain) than
          anything. their strong, intense background their whole lives in radical
          islam is also a major contributing factor. it is a closed society they live
          in, and radical islam is their only world, and their whole world.

          james.


          From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
          Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
          To: "Wisdom Forum" <WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com>
          Subject: Re: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
          Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 23:08:57 -0700

          I have never studied the mentality of terrorists; however, I am suspicious
          of James' suggestion that terrorist undergo some kind of difficult decision
          making process where the consider whether the terrorist act that they commit
          is right or wrong. Terrorists are generally portrayed as very one
          dimensional and uncomplicated fanatics. Rarely, if ever, are we presented
          with the picture of a terrorist who attempted to convey some message through
          peaceful means and then only out of frustration resorts to terrorism. It
          seems that terrorists go straight from being non-descript and apathetic
          individuals to murderous fanatics. Let us take the symbol of terrorism,
          Osama bin Laden. There does not ever seem to be a case where he tried to
          communicate with those whom he hates in an effort to persuade them
          rationally to change their ways. I am not aware of him writing any letters
          to the U.N. or the U.S. President making any political demands or trying to
          persuade them of anything. He did not take out any full page ads in the New
          York Times or write any editorials where we he tried to convince people of
          the rationality of his position. The first we hear of him is when he
          decides to make a video calling on his followers to kill Americans wherever
          they are.

          And if I may bring in Karun's suggestion that the only real crimes are fraud
          and coercion. This approach overlooks situations where people want nothing
          from you other than your demise. They are not trying to take anything away
          from you through fraud or coercion, such people as Osama bin Laden are
          simply trying to kill people they regard as infidels. This is why no modern
          legal system is built solely upon the bases that fraud and coercion are the
          only crimes. An accurate assessment of the full range of human actions and
          motions must recognize that there are some people who commit murder, plain
          and simple. If the other wants nothing from you except your demise, there
          is nothing to communicate about and no values to discuss.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: swmaerske
          Sent: Sunday, September 22, 2002 6:01 PM
          To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason

          Sorry, have been preoccupied for a few days but have some time this
          eveing to address your very good points. I think it is exactly true
          that we may have different world views, different fundamental
          understandings of what it means to be in the world and that these
          inform our particular choices, made in the course of actually living
          in the world. I do not think the terrorists who blew up the two
          towers of the World Trade center were irrational at all, at least not
          in the sense that they could not make a reasonable argument for
          either their specific actions or their general belief that they were
          right and America wrong and that there was good reason, on their
          view, to attack America in a terrorist fashion in order to further
          their basic beliefs about America and the world. As you rightly
          suggest, choosing actions in the world reflect core beliefs about the
          nature of this world and, attached to these, are values (defined as
          statements about what we ought or ought not to do which are
          consistent with our core understandings of the world). Such core
          beliefs are what I meant in referencing a metaphysical aspect to our
          general thinking.

          Where I demur, though, from your view and Tommy's, is in the matter
          of our ability to make progress through rationality in discussing the
          core metaphysical beliefs and the values that attach to them. I
          think, in the end, that we are able to talk about core issues and
          that they are not just a matter of personal choice. That is, we
          don't, in my view, just choose any old thing. We need reasons, even
          when we are dealing on the core or metaphysical level. But reasons on
          this level do not have the same quality or potency as reasons when
          discussing empirical matters or logical issues. This goes to my point
          about metaphysical discourse and the way in which we achieve
          conviction on that level, namely the reliance on "seeing" the way
          things are. At a certain gut level, I think the "world" may be said
          to click into place for us (achieved through discourse or other
          means) and that, while we can talk about all this, we cannot "prove"
          one world view instead of another. But what we can do is build "that"
          world view and disassemble others as part of the activity of
          discussing these matters. In any kind of discourse, logic does come
          into play and, where empirical data would be expected, it also must
          be sought for and considered for its verifying or falsifying
          capability.

          So, we can talk about things like Allah and Christ and Buddha, etc.,
          and also materialism and atheism, etc. These different world views
          all imply somewhat different sets of values, different understandings
          of the way the world is and our role in it, and so they also imply
          different kinds of actions to be undertaken in support of each.

          Now my point is that in the course of discourse, we may view and
          compare different core claims about the nature of the world and of
          being. While we may not be able to definitively prove or disprove one
          claim in favor of another, we can isolate systems of claims and
          determine their relative benefits. This, I think, is consistent with
          what Chris claimed Popper was aiming at, i.e., that those values are
          best which support the kind of society which best serves human
          beings, open societies where the opportunities are greatest for
          freedom and material comfort. Although I do not think this gives a
          full account of the moral process, I think it does add something
          worth paying attention to. Following this approach, one can, indeed,
          make relatively objective claims re: value statements and
          demonstrate, with a high degree of probability, that some sets of
          claims are better than others. Granted this all assumes certain
          commmon beliefs and attitudes but there are some which all humans
          have in common simply in light of their humanity. And, when entering
          into such discourse, the rules of logic, the rational realm, do
          obtain. So one can make intelligible affirmative claims about moral
          issues and one can apply criteria of logic to the claims and come to
          resolutions.

          Will that be fully convincing? It will not if one wants absolute
          objective proof or if one demands empirical evidence of the core
          underlying claims. But I think that if people can be brought to a
          point where there is a broad enough sharing of core beliefs (and some
          are just a result of our being human, as already noted), then one can
          get agreement on moral claims. And this is so because some of this
          world view stuff is just a matter of insight, of seeing things one
          way instead of another. And one can get to this point through
          discourse, among other means. In fact, I think discourse is a very
          effective way to get us there!

          Back to our terrorists though: I think that there are certain
          fanatical belief systems in the world that are so extreme, they make
          it all but impossible to find metaphysical common ground. When this
          happens, we are faced with a different kind of choice. If
          the "others" offer us no harm, then there is no reason to do anything
          but disregard their beliefs. But if, on the other hand, their beliefs
          lead them to represent a threat to us, then we must deal with them as
          we would any threat to our survival. The fact that they are humans
          and not merely natural phenomena makes this more difficult because we
          have a natural sentiment to avoid harming our fellows. Still, if they
          mean harm to us, what choice is there really? Either allow them to
          make us over into what they are or to kill us, but if we cannot allow
          either, then we must resist them, even if it means killing them.

          Now there are some world views that say nothing is worse than killing
          and so it is better to allow oneself to be killed than to kill. I do
          not subscribe to that one because I don't see the world in that way.
          It is not impossible that I could be brought to that point through
          appropriate encounters with those who do, discourse with them, etc.,
          but for now I do not and, further, I am firmly convinced, at this
          time, of the world view I do hold.

          So I take the view that if they mean to harm me, I cannot simply
          allow them to do that. This brings us to a second level of moral
          thinking and that is, how far can I go in defending myself without
          violating my own values? That is, shall I hit them first? Shall I
          strike in a manner in which innocents may also be harmed? Shall I be
          ruthless in my response or restrained? These, too, are moral matters
          and worthy of discussion.

          So, on balance, I side with Chris on this that there is a major place
          here for rationality. I do not agree with Tommy's claim that we each
          have our own rationality. Rationality is not just my subjectivity vs.
          yours. The rules of rationality are part of the language of our
          discourse and must be adhered to. These rules cover all of us,
          including those who subscribe to very different world views. So while
          their premises may be different from ours (their core beliefs), the
          same rules of rationality obtain. If they did not, then we could
          never talk meaningfully with one another and we'd each be trapped in
          our own solipsistic linguistic world. I do not think that is how it
          is.

          So yes, Sartre's point about moral choosing is a sound one and we may
          have many good moral choices and many bad ones and deciding between
          competing good ones (or bad ones) is not simply a matter of applying
          a mechanical formula. But this is not to say that rationality is
          irrelevant or that we cannot talk about and even hope to convince
          others of our core beliefs and corresponding moral values.

          SWM




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        • james tan
          chris said: if he had employed a consequentialist morality, the problem may have been resolvable through a rational method of decision. but this begs the
          Message 4 of 29 , Sep 27, 2002
            chris said:
            "if he had employed a consequentialist morality, the problem may have been
            resolvable through a rational method of decision."

            but this begs the question. it is not so much tt sartre did not think of the
            consequences as in what kind of consequences one wants, which bring us back
            to values. and if there is such a thing as a consequentialist morality, the
            question still remains why would one want to adopt such a morality.

            james.

            From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
            Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
            To: "Wisdom Forum" <WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: Re: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
            Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 22:48:24 -0700

            It is also noteworthy that Sartre considers the problem from essentially
            only a deontological point of view. He compares Christian with Kantian
            values and concludes that they do not resolve the conflict and that
            therefore there is no rational way to resolve the conflict. However, if he
            had employed a consequentialist morality, the problem may have been
            resolvable through a rational method of decision. The utilitarian would
            have chosen that course of action which maximizes the greatest amount of
            happiness for the most number of people. If the choice is between making
            only one person (the mother) happy as opposed to making many people (say the
            village that one might liberate as a member of the French Army in exile)
            happy, the choice would be clear and that would be a rational way of
            deciding what to do. And, even approaching the issue from a
            non-consequentialist point of view that focuses on say "what we care about",
            the problem can enriched by considering some of the additional factors that
            SWM points out. Can the mother get along without the son, or would she die
            if he went off to fight? Do the students peers want him to join them, and
            thereby make a unit of true comrades? Perhaps here Sartre has really
            exaggerated the importance of making an unprincipled or radical choice.
            There appears to be substantial reason to think that Sartre has given up on
            reason far too soon.

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: swmaerske
            Sent: Monday, September 23, 2002 8:30 PM
            To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason

            I would just add that, in the example offered by James from Sartre,
            there are a lot of facts which would also need to be elucidated in
            order to crystallize a decision. For instance, what is the mental and
            physical state of the mother in this example and what is the expected
            contribution the student might make in either of the two situations?
            What, in addition, is the background of the mother-son relationship
            which colors the relationship at the time of the choice? And what are
            the external risks to the mother? Nevertheless, when all these things
            have been clarified and weighed, I suspect they still do not
            necessarily yield a morally clear decision. Indeed, making moral
            decisions, reflecting the moral valuing process, is rarely clearcut
            and often involves weighing and deciding between several unpleasant
            alternatives, in this case leaving one's mother to the exigencies of
            a problematic situation vs. foregoing the opportunity to make a
            difference in an important battle or conflict. In the end, I am of
            the opinion that many moral choices are by nature unclear in this way
            and that what makes a decision morally better or worse may just be
            the "purity" of the intention which lies behind it, no matter what
            the objective consequences. In fact, I believe that moral valuing is
            very much a matter of honing certain sensibilities which we have by
            nature and of applying them in certain ways in real situations. So
            both choices here may be equally good or equally bad. But what
            enables the student to make a choice may just be other factors which,
            so long as those factors do not obviate the purity of the intention
            behind the choice, render either choice a good one. At least he
            wasn't considering shooting his mother to put her out of her misery
            so that she would not grieve for him or be at undue risk if he chose
            to go off and fight in the resistance! -- SWM

            --- In WisdomForum@y..., "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@m...> wrote:
            > James offers the example of Sartre's student, which is often
            discussed by philosophers. Sartre offers to example, presumably, to
            illustrate a kind of unprincipled choice that can confront people on
            the moral level. One philosopher, Harry Frankfurt, in "The
            Importance of What We Care About" suggests that the solution to the
            student's dilemma "does not merely require, then that he decide what
            to do. It requires that he really are more about one of the
            alternatives confronting him than about the other: and it requires
            further the he understand which of those alternatives it is that he
            really cares about more." What determines what a person cares about
            is a "complex set of cognitive, affective, and volitional
            dispositions and states." Part of what we care about is what kind of
            person we will be. Our choices are often thought to contribute to or
            detract from the type of person that we would like to be. And this
            concern, or care, extends over long periods of time. James gave us
            the example of being moral and avoiding pornography even when no one
            is looking, or remaining faithful to one's wife even when one
            believes that one could get away with adultery. Frankfurt suggests
            that what we care about may not be immediately under our voluntary
            control, and that our choices are often revised or abandoned in light
            of how our decisions interact with reality and what we care about.
            Frankfurt offers these observations to point out that we often place
            exaggerated importance on decisions and choices.
            >
            > James alludes to the distinction between making choices between
            particular courses of action and choosing "the big picture", like
            what kind of person will one be. Will one be moral or immoral? Will
            one be a political person or primarily a private person? Whether we
            desire to be a private person or a social person is, in part, a
            function of what we care about. And these desires are not entirely
            irrational or without reasonable foundation. Complex considerations
            factor into actual moral decisions.
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: james tan
            > Sent: Friday, September 20, 2002 12:50 AM
            > To: WisdomForum@y...
            > Subject: [WisdomForum] Choosing and Reason
            >
            >




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          • james tan
            thanks for the reply, which i heartily agree. now i get what u are trying to say about metaphysical common ground. james. From: swmaerske
            Message 5 of 29 , Sep 27, 2002
              thanks for the reply, which i heartily agree. now i get what u are trying to
              say about metaphysical common ground.

              james.

              From: "swmaerske" <swmirsky@...>
              Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
              To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
              Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 01:01:33 -0000

              Sorry, have been preoccupied for a few days but have some time this
              eveing to address your very good points. I think it is exactly true
              that we may have different world views, different fundamental
              understandings of what it means to be in the world and that these
              inform our particular choices, made in the course of actually living
              in the world. I do not think the terrorists who blew up the two
              towers of the World Trade center were irrational at all, at least not
              in the sense that they could not make a reasonable argument for
              either their specific actions or their general belief that they were
              right and America wrong and that there was good reason, on their
              view, to attack America in a terrorist fashion in order to further
              their basic beliefs about America and the world. As you rightly
              suggest, choosing actions in the world reflect core beliefs about the
              nature of this world and, attached to these, are values (defined as
              statements about what we ought or ought not to do which are
              consistent with our core understandings of the world). Such core
              beliefs are what I meant in referencing a metaphysical aspect to our
              general thinking.

              Where I demur, though, from your view and Tommy's, is in the matter
              of our ability to make progress through rationality in discussing the
              core metaphysical beliefs and the values that attach to them. I
              think, in the end, that we are able to talk about core issues and
              that they are not just a matter of personal choice. That is, we
              don't, in my view, just choose any old thing. We need reasons, even
              when we are dealing on the core or metaphysical level. But reasons on
              this level do not have the same quality or potency as reasons when
              discussing empirical matters or logical issues. This goes to my point
              about metaphysical discourse and the way in which we achieve
              conviction on that level, namely the reliance on "seeing" the way
              things are. At a certain gut level, I think the "world" may be said
              to click into place for us (achieved through discourse or other
              means) and that, while we can talk about all this, we cannot "prove"
              one world view instead of another. But what we can do is build "that"
              world view and disassemble others as part of the activity of
              discussing these matters. In any kind of discourse, logic does come
              into play and, where empirical data would be expected, it also must
              be sought for and considered for its verifying or falsifying
              capability.

              So, we can talk about things like Allah and Christ and Buddha, etc.,
              and also materialism and atheism, etc. These different world views
              all imply somewhat different sets of values, different understandings
              of the way the world is and our role in it, and so they also imply
              different kinds of actions to be undertaken in support of each.

              Now my point is that in the course of discourse, we may view and
              compare different core claims about the nature of the world and of
              being. While we may not be able to definitively prove or disprove one
              claim in favor of another, we can isolate systems of claims and
              determine their relative benefits. This, I think, is consistent with
              what Chris claimed Popper was aiming at, i.e., that those values are
              best which support the kind of society which best serves human
              beings, open societies where the opportunities are greatest for
              freedom and material comfort. Although I do not think this gives a
              full account of the moral process, I think it does add something
              worth paying attention to. Following this approach, one can, indeed,
              make relatively objective claims re: value statements and
              demonstrate, with a high degree of probability, that some sets of
              claims are better than others. Granted this all assumes certain
              commmon beliefs and attitudes but there are some which all humans
              have in common simply in light of their humanity. And, when entering
              into such discourse, the rules of logic, the rational realm, do
              obtain. So one can make intelligible affirmative claims about moral
              issues and one can apply criteria of logic to the claims and come to
              resolutions.

              Will that be fully convincing? It will not if one wants absolute
              objective proof or if one demands empirical evidence of the core
              underlying claims. But I think that if people can be brought to a
              point where there is a broad enough sharing of core beliefs (and some
              are just a result of our being human, as already noted), then one can
              get agreement on moral claims. And this is so because some of this
              world view stuff is just a matter of insight, of seeing things one
              way instead of another. And one can get to this point through
              discourse, among other means. In fact, I think discourse is a very
              effective way to get us there!

              Back to our terrorists though: I think that there are certain
              fanatical belief systems in the world that are so extreme, they make
              it all but impossible to find metaphysical common ground. When this
              happens, we are faced with a different kind of choice. If
              the "others" offer us no harm, then there is no reason to do anything
              but disregard their beliefs. But if, on the other hand, their beliefs
              lead them to represent a threat to us, then we must deal with them as
              we would any threat to our survival. The fact that they are humans
              and not merely natural phenomena makes this more difficult because we
              have a natural sentiment to avoid harming our fellows. Still, if they
              mean harm to us, what choice is there really? Either allow them to
              make us over into what they are or to kill us, but if we cannot allow
              either, then we must resist them, even if it means killing them.

              Now there are some world views that say nothing is worse than killing
              and so it is better to allow oneself to be killed than to kill. I do
              not subscribe to that one because I don't see the world in that way.
              It is not impossible that I could be brought to that point through
              appropriate encounters with those who do, discourse with them, etc.,
              but for now I do not and, further, I am firmly convinced, at this
              time, of the world view I do hold.

              So I take the view that if they mean to harm me, I cannot simply
              allow them to do that. This brings us to a second level of moral
              thinking and that is, how far can I go in defending myself without
              violating my own values? That is, shall I hit them first? Shall I
              strike in a manner in which innocents may also be harmed? Shall I be
              ruthless in my response or restrained? These, too, are moral matters
              and worthy of discussion.

              So, on balance, I side with Chris on this that there is a major place
              here for rationality. I do not agree with Tommy's claim that we each
              have our own rationality. Rationality is not just my subjectivity vs.
              yours. The rules of rationality are part of the language of our
              discourse and must be adhered to. These rules cover all of us,
              including those who subscribe to very different world views. So while
              their premises may be different from ours (their core beliefs), the
              same rules of rationality obtain. If they did not, then we could
              never talk meaningfully with one another and we'd each be trapped in
              our own solipsistic linguistic world. I do not think that is how it
              is.

              So yes, Sartre's point about moral choosing is a sound one and we may
              have many good moral choices and many bad ones and deciding between
              competing good ones (or bad ones) is not simply a matter of applying
              a mechanical formula. But this is not to say that rationality is
              irrelevant or that we cannot talk about and even hope to convince
              others of our core beliefs and corresponding moral values.

              SWM







              _________________________________________________________________
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            • Bill Harris
              James, I recently finished my third viewing of Ken Burns The Civil War . It is a sobering series that elicits a great many thoughts. i tend to think tt
              Message 6 of 29 , Sep 27, 2002
                James, I recently finished my third viewing of Ken Burns "The Civil War" .
                It is a sobering series that elicits a great many thoughts.
                i tend to think tt confederates are more conditioned[mid brain] than
                anything. their strong, intense background their whole lives in radical,
                slave owning states is also a major contributing factor. it is a closed,
                secessionist society they live in, and rebellious slave owning is their
                only world, and their whole world.
                There is no moral justification for war, there is propaganda to fuel the
                fires of homicidal emotion. It is a survivalist, bottom line enterprise of
                death. Bill
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "james tan" <tyjfk@...>
                To: <WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 2:41 AM
                Subject: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason


                >
                > i tend to think tt terrorists are more conditioned (mid brain) than
                > anything. their strong, intense background their whole lives in radical
                > islam is also a major contributing factor. it is a closed society they
                live
                > in, and radical islam is their only world, and their whole world.
                >
                > james.
                >
                >
                > From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
                > Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                > To: "Wisdom Forum" <WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com>
                > Subject: Re: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                > Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 23:08:57 -0700
                >
                > I have never studied the mentality of terrorists; however, I am suspicious
                > of James' suggestion that terrorist undergo some kind of difficult
                decision
                > making process where the consider whether the terrorist act that they
                commit
                > is right or wrong. Terrorists are generally portrayed as very one
                > dimensional and uncomplicated fanatics. Rarely, if ever, are we presented
                > with the picture of a terrorist who attempted to convey some message
                through
                > peaceful means and then only out of frustration resorts to terrorism. It
                > seems that terrorists go straight from being non-descript and apathetic
                > individuals to murderous fanatics. Let us take the symbol of terrorism,
                > Osama bin Laden. There does not ever seem to be a case where he tried to
                > communicate with those whom he hates in an effort to persuade them
                > rationally to change their ways. I am not aware of him writing any
                letters
                > to the U.N. or the U.S. President making any political demands or trying
                to
                > persuade them of anything. He did not take out any full page ads in the
                New
                > York Times or write any editorials where we he tried to convince people of
                > the rationality of his position. The first we hear of him is when he
                > decides to make a video calling on his followers to kill Americans
                wherever
                > they are.
                >
                > And if I may bring in Karun's suggestion that the only real crimes are
                fraud
                > and coercion. This approach overlooks situations where people want
                nothing
                > from you other than your demise. They are not trying to take anything
                away
                > from you through fraud or coercion, such people as Osama bin Laden are
                > simply trying to kill people they regard as infidels. This is why no
                modern
                > legal system is built solely upon the bases that fraud and coercion are
                the
                > only crimes. An accurate assessment of the full range of human actions and
                > motions must recognize that there are some people who commit murder, plain
                > and simple. If the other wants nothing from you except your demise, there
                > is nothing to communicate about and no values to discuss.
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: swmaerske
                > Sent: Sunday, September 22, 2002 6:01 PM
                > To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                >
                > Sorry, have been preoccupied for a few days but have some time this
                > eveing to address your very good points. I think it is exactly true
                > that we may have different world views, different fundamental
                > understandings of what it means to be in the world and that these
                > inform our particular choices, made in the course of actually living
                > in the world. I do not think the terrorists who blew up the two
                > towers of the World Trade center were irrational at all, at least not
                > in the sense that they could not make a reasonable argument for
                > either their specific actions or their general belief that they were
                > right and America wrong and that there was good reason, on their
                > view, to attack America in a terrorist fashion in order to further
                > their basic beliefs about America and the world. As you rightly
                > suggest, choosing actions in the world reflect core beliefs about the
                > nature of this world and, attached to these, are values (defined as
                > statements about what we ought or ought not to do which are
                > consistent with our core understandings of the world). Such core
                > beliefs are what I meant in referencing a metaphysical aspect to our
                > general thinking.
                >
                > Where I demur, though, from your view and Tommy's, is in the matter
                > of our ability to make progress through rationality in discussing the
                > core metaphysical beliefs and the values that attach to them. I
                > think, in the end, that we are able to talk about core issues and
                > that they are not just a matter of personal choice. That is, we
                > don't, in my view, just choose any old thing. We need reasons, even
                > when we are dealing on the core or metaphysical level. But reasons on
                > this level do not have the same quality or potency as reasons when
                > discussing empirical matters or logical issues. This goes to my point
                > about metaphysical discourse and the way in which we achieve
                > conviction on that level, namely the reliance on "seeing" the way
                > things are. At a certain gut level, I think the "world" may be said
                > to click into place for us (achieved through discourse or other
                > means) and that, while we can talk about all this, we cannot "prove"
                > one world view instead of another. But what we can do is build "that"
                > world view and disassemble others as part of the activity of
                > discussing these matters. In any kind of discourse, logic does come
                > into play and, where empirical data would be expected, it also must
                > be sought for and considered for its verifying or falsifying
                > capability.
                >
                > So, we can talk about things like Allah and Christ and Buddha, etc.,
                > and also materialism and atheism, etc. These different world views
                > all imply somewhat different sets of values, different understandings
                > of the way the world is and our role in it, and so they also imply
                > different kinds of actions to be undertaken in support of each.
                >
                > Now my point is that in the course of discourse, we may view and
                > compare different core claims about the nature of the world and of
                > being. While we may not be able to definitively prove or disprove one
                > claim in favor of another, we can isolate systems of claims and
                > determine their relative benefits. This, I think, is consistent with
                > what Chris claimed Popper was aiming at, i.e., that those values are
                > best which support the kind of society which best serves human
                > beings, open societies where the opportunities are greatest for
                > freedom and material comfort. Although I do not think this gives a
                > full account of the moral process, I think it does add something
                > worth paying attention to. Following this approach, one can, indeed,
                > make relatively objective claims re: value statements and
                > demonstrate, with a high degree of probability, that some sets of
                > claims are better than others. Granted this all assumes certain
                > commmon beliefs and attitudes but there are some which all humans
                > have in common simply in light of their humanity. And, when entering
                > into such discourse, the rules of logic, the rational realm, do
                > obtain. So one can make intelligible affirmative claims about moral
                > issues and one can apply criteria of logic to the claims and come to
                > resolutions.
                >
                > Will that be fully convincing? It will not if one wants absolute
                > objective proof or if one demands empirical evidence of the core
                > underlying claims. But I think that if people can be brought to a
                > point where there is a broad enough sharing of core beliefs (and some
                > are just a result of our being human, as already noted), then one can
                > get agreement on moral claims. And this is so because some of this
                > world view stuff is just a matter of insight, of seeing things one
                > way instead of another. And one can get to this point through
                > discourse, among other means. In fact, I think discourse is a very
                > effective way to get us there!
                >
                > Back to our terrorists though: I think that there are certain
                > fanatical belief systems in the world that are so extreme, they make
                > it all but impossible to find metaphysical common ground. When this
                > happens, we are faced with a different kind of choice. If
                > the "others" offer us no harm, then there is no reason to do anything
                > but disregard their beliefs. But if, on the other hand, their beliefs
                > lead them to represent a threat to us, then we must deal with them as
                > we would any threat to our survival. The fact that they are humans
                > and not merely natural phenomena makes this more difficult because we
                > have a natural sentiment to avoid harming our fellows. Still, if they
                > mean harm to us, what choice is there really? Either allow them to
                > make us over into what they are or to kill us, but if we cannot allow
                > either, then we must resist them, even if it means killing them.
                >
                > Now there are some world views that say nothing is worse than killing
                > and so it is better to allow oneself to be killed than to kill. I do
                > not subscribe to that one because I don't see the world in that way.
                > It is not impossible that I could be brought to that point through
                > appropriate encounters with those who do, discourse with them, etc.,
                > but for now I do not and, further, I am firmly convinced, at this
                > time, of the world view I do hold.
                >
                > So I take the view that if they mean to harm me, I cannot simply
                > allow them to do that. This brings us to a second level of moral
                > thinking and that is, how far can I go in defending myself without
                > violating my own values? That is, shall I hit them first? Shall I
                > strike in a manner in which innocents may also be harmed? Shall I be
                > ruthless in my response or restrained? These, too, are moral matters
                > and worthy of discussion.
                >
                > So, on balance, I side with Chris on this that there is a major place
                > here for rationality. I do not agree with Tommy's claim that we each
                > have our own rationality. Rationality is not just my subjectivity vs.
                > yours. The rules of rationality are part of the language of our
                > discourse and must be adhered to. These rules cover all of us,
                > including those who subscribe to very different world views. So while
                > their premises may be different from ours (their core beliefs), the
                > same rules of rationality obtain. If they did not, then we could
                > never talk meaningfully with one another and we'd each be trapped in
                > our own solipsistic linguistic world. I do not think that is how it
                > is.
                >
                > So yes, Sartre's point about moral choosing is a sound one and we may
                > have many good moral choices and many bad ones and deciding between
                > competing good ones (or bad ones) is not simply a matter of applying
                > a mechanical formula. But this is not to say that rationality is
                > irrelevant or that we cannot talk about and even hope to convince
                > others of our core beliefs and corresponding moral values.
                >
                > SWM
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > _________________________________________________________________
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                >
              • eduard
                Bill, I saw it on PBS channel. Everyone has a mind-set. It was interesting to note that the North was not that keen on freeing the slaves. The proclamation
                Message 7 of 29 , Sep 27, 2002
                  Bill,

                  I saw it on PBS channel.

                  Everyone has a mind-set. It was interesting to
                  note that the North was not that keen on freeing
                  the slaves. The proclamation almost did them in.
                  To the North, the issue was jobs. Thus the cause
                  of the riots in New York in 1863 or thereabouts.
                  It is amazing ... a lesser treatment of any
                  segment of society never works out. Slavery had
                  been long shown to financially disadvantageous,
                  but once it becomes part of a culture, then it is
                  difficult to see one's way to getting rid of it.
                  The same could be said for the cultural mind-set
                  which is being generated in the so-called war on
                  terrorism.

                  eduard

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Bill Harris
                  [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                  Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:01 AM
                  To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason


                  James, I recently finished my third viewing of Ken
                  Burns "The Civil War" .
                  It is a sobering series that elicits a great many
                  thoughts.
                  i tend to think tt confederates are more
                  conditioned[mid brain] than
                  anything. their strong, intense background their
                  whole lives in radical,
                  slave owning states is also a major contributing
                  factor. it is a closed,
                  secessionist society they live in, and
                  rebellious slave owning is their
                  only world, and their whole world.
                  There is no moral justification for war, there is
                  propaganda to fuel the
                  fires of homicidal emotion. It is a survivalist,
                  bottom line enterprise of
                  death. Bill
                • james tan
                  u said: Killers are always misguided because they are always proceeding from the motive of fear. gee, maybe i am reading u out of context; but what u said
                  Message 8 of 29 , Sep 28, 2002
                    u said:
                    "Killers are always misguided because they are always proceeding from
                    the motive of fear. "

                    gee, maybe i am reading u out of context; but what u said about fear being
                    the one and only reason for killer to kill is...just not true. while some
                    may kill out of fear, there are others who kill because it serves their
                    agenda, and can do so without any fear or losing nerve. killing can be just
                    expedient, if it is well planned - just like a chess move where one has to
                    'kill'. killers are not always misguided.

                    james.

                    From: Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...>
                    Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                    To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                    Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 12:06:10 +0100

                    At 12:48 pm +0000 26/9/02, swmaerske wrote:
                    >Sometimes the killer may just be sadistic or crazy or both.
                    >Sometimes, too, the killer may be misguided, e.g., Hitler's view that
                    >the Jews represented an organic threat to the purity of the "Aryan
                    >race", culture and civilization.

                    Killers are always misguided because they are always proceeding from
                    the motive of fear. While it is perfectly easy to understand people
                    who act from the motive of fear - and we have all no doubt had first
                    hand experience of this - it is never necessary.

                    This is the most unfortunate consequence of an ethical system that
                    places the survival of the individual uppermost.

                    Tommy




                    _________________________________________________________________
                    Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: http://messenger.msn.com
                  • eduard
                    james, I find it amazing that we are still speaking of Hitler as the killer . Not a killer, but the killer . The holocaust was not the product of one
                    Message 9 of 29 , Sep 28, 2002
                      james,

                      I find it amazing that we are still speaking of
                      Hitler as the "killer". Not "a" killer, but "the"
                      killer". The holocaust was not the product of one
                      man, but of a society that sought to eliminate
                      what was seen as an alien element in their midst.
                      Hitler [and I am not being apologetic about him]
                      was a catalyst or perhaps a focal point for action
                      that was acceptable to the German society. What
                      Hitler did was to say that it was Ok to kill the
                      Jews. There is always some propensity to take
                      violent action within a society, but normally the
                      leadership tries to maintain a higher course.
                      Sort of, to keep a lid on things. Hitler not only
                      took the lid off, but threw it away.

                      I think that an individual killer works in the
                      same way. All of us have a bit of a dark side,
                      and would take some direct action if given the
                      opportunity and social approval. I am not
                      suggesting that we are all killers at the bottom.
                      I would love to express some harsh words at the
                      clerk who just throws my change at me ... but I
                      don't do it because of the scene it might make.
                      It takes a special type of person to kill and that
                      is due to a lot of other factors.

                      In a crowd of people [e.g. a riot] there is a
                      perception of approval or at least an absence of
                      immediate disapproval. In such a situation that
                      special person will kill.

                      I think the same thing happens even when an
                      individual is not part of a crowd. A killer tends
                      to be a loner, in the sense that he/she reduces
                      his/her society to only a few individuals ...
                      which obviously includes the victim. In such a
                      reduced society, it is easy for the individual to
                      come to the conclusion that there is an approval.
                      In fact, the only one who might be seen a voicing
                      an objection is the victim, but since the victim
                      is the target, their objection can be discounted.
                      It is only when the killer is arrested that they
                      are made aware that there is a larger society that
                      disapproves.

                      As to the WTC incident, I can see those that took
                      over the aircraft as being able to isolate
                      themselves from the world around them and the
                      passengers in the aircraft. They most certainly
                      had been primed to think of those others as
                      somehow alien to their own perspective. Within
                      their own reduced society fostered by Osama ben
                      Ladin they have both opportunity and approval.

                      Which a long way around to say that I agree with
                      you ... that people don't kill out of fear. It is
                      done in a clear and rational manner.

                      eduard

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
                      Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2002 8:20 AM
                      To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason

                      u said:
                      "Killers are always misguided because they are
                      always proceeding from
                      the motive of fear. "

                      gee, maybe i am reading u out of context; but what
                      u said about fear being
                      the one and only reason for killer to kill
                      is...just not true. while some
                      may kill out of fear, there are others who kill
                      because it serves their
                      agenda, and can do so without any fear or losing
                      nerve. killing can be just
                      expedient, if it is well planned - just like a
                      chess move where one has to
                      'kill'. killers are not always misguided.

                      james.

                      From: Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...>
                      Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                      To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                      Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 12:06:10 +0100

                      At 12:48 pm +0000 26/9/02, swmaerske wrote:
                      >Sometimes the killer may just be sadistic or
                      crazy or both.
                      >Sometimes, too, the killer may be misguided,
                      e.g., Hitler's view that
                      >the Jews represented an organic threat to the
                      purity of the "Aryan
                      >race", culture and civilization.

                      Killers are always misguided because they are
                      always proceeding from
                      the motive of fear. While it is perfectly easy to
                      understand people
                      who act from the motive of fear - and we have all
                      no doubt had first
                      hand experience of this - it is never necessary.

                      This is the most unfortunate consequence of an
                      ethical system that
                      places the survival of the individual uppermost.

                      Tommy




                      __________________________________________________
                      _______________
                      Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger:
                      http://messenger.msn.com


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                    • Bill Harris
                      Eduard, War on this , war on that. When will we have a war on stupidity? Bill ... From: eduard To: Sent:
                      Message 10 of 29 , Sep 30, 2002
                        Eduard, War on this , war on that. When will we have a war on stupidity?
                        Bill
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                        To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 11:42 AM
                        Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason


                        > Bill,
                        >
                        > I saw it on PBS channel.
                        >
                        > Everyone has a mind-set. It was interesting to
                        > note that the North was not that keen on freeing
                        > the slaves. The proclamation almost did them in.
                        > To the North, the issue was jobs. Thus the cause
                        > of the riots in New York in 1863 or thereabouts.
                        > It is amazing ... a lesser treatment of any
                        > segment of society never works out. Slavery had
                        > been long shown to financially disadvantageous,
                        > but once it becomes part of a culture, then it is
                        > difficult to see one's way to getting rid of it.
                        > The same could be said for the cultural mind-set
                        > which is being generated in the so-called war on
                        > terrorism.
                        >
                        > eduard
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: Bill Harris
                        > [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                        > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:01 AM
                        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason
                        >
                        >
                        > James, I recently finished my third viewing of Ken
                        > Burns "The Civil War" .
                        > It is a sobering series that elicits a great many
                        > thoughts.
                        > i tend to think tt confederates are more
                        > conditioned[mid brain] than
                        > anything. their strong, intense background their
                        > whole lives in radical,
                        > slave owning states is also a major contributing
                        > factor. it is a closed,
                        > secessionist society they live in, and
                        > rebellious slave owning is their
                        > only world, and their whole world.
                        > There is no moral justification for war, there is
                        > propaganda to fuel the
                        > fires of homicidal emotion. It is a survivalist,
                        > bottom line enterprise of
                        > death. Bill
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > 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 http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Pogo Stick
                        Bill, The shameful result is that we d all get comparably dumber in the process. I don t see a lot of smart people
                        Message 11 of 29 , Sep 30, 2002
                          <<When will we have a war on stupidity?>>

                          Bill,

                          The shameful result is that we'd all get comparably dumber in the
                          process. I don't see a lot of smart people pushing for this because,
                          selfishly, it would eraticate an advantage.

                          Mentation Segmented
                          ------------------------------
                        • Bill Harris
                          Pogo Stick, How survivalist of you. I appreciate enlightened self interest. I don t want to eradicate the stupid, I just do not want them in charge. It seems
                          Message 12 of 29 , Sep 30, 2002
                            Pogo Stick, How survivalist of you. I appreciate enlightened self interest. I don't want to eradicate the stupid, I just do not want them in charge. It seems we have sunk to the lowest common denominator of intelligence in the US. Since they forced their way into power and have been doing so since the Kennedy assignation, the far right needs to be forced from the executive branch. We have made a home for authoritarian nuts in the CIA and DIA , and FBI, and NSA. Giving them a right wing , ideologue as president is asking for a coup from the right.
                            The religious crazies did not like Clinton`s sexual habits but they got used to government surpluses, rising stock markets, international tranquility, and moderate taxes. We will see if these less than bright, people of faith can see through their moral dilemma to vote their pocket books.
                            I am from Iowa where we consider basic reading skill to be superlative accomplishment. After 16 years of authoritarian rule from the right, the economy and demographics of the state are in a shambles. The people of faith seem to be choosing their own survival over bible morality. Early polls show right wingers behind by significant margins.
                            This state may be a microcosm of the perils present in faith based government. So many think philosophy a game played by frivolous egg heads. Yet is not sound philosophy and it`s corollary, rational thinking what are in desperate demand now? Bill
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Pogo Stick
                            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 11:53 AM
                            Subject: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason


                            <<When will we have a war on stupidity?>>

                            Bill,

                            The shameful result is that we'd all get comparably dumber in the
                            process. I don't see a lot of smart people pushing for this because,
                            selfishly, it would eraticate an advantage.

                            Mentation Segmented
                            ------------------------------


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                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • eduard
                            Bill, I think we had that war on stupidity and their side won .... eduard ... From: Bill Harris [mailto:valleywestdental@qwest.net] Sent: Monday, September 30,
                            Message 13 of 29 , Sep 30, 2002
                              Bill,

                              I think we had that war on stupidity and their
                              side won ....

                              eduard

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Bill Harris
                              [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                              Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 10:18 AM
                              To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason


                              Eduard, War on this , war on that. When will we
                              have a war on stupidity?
                              Bill
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                              To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 11:42 AM
                              Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason


                              > Bill,
                              >
                              > I saw it on PBS channel.
                              >
                              > Everyone has a mind-set. It was interesting to
                              > note that the North was not that keen on freeing
                              > the slaves. The proclamation almost did them
                              in.
                              > To the North, the issue was jobs. Thus the
                              cause
                              > of the riots in New York in 1863 or thereabouts.
                              > It is amazing ... a lesser treatment of any
                              > segment of society never works out. Slavery had
                              > been long shown to financially disadvantageous,
                              > but once it becomes part of a culture, then it
                              is
                              > difficult to see one's way to getting rid of it.
                              > The same could be said for the cultural mind-set
                              > which is being generated in the so-called war on
                              > terrorism.
                              >
                              > eduard
                              >
                              > -----Original Message-----
                              > From: Bill Harris
                              > [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                              > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:01 AM
                              > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                              > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason
                              >
                              >
                              > James, I recently finished my third viewing of
                              Ken
                              > Burns "The Civil War" .
                              > It is a sobering series that elicits a great
                              many
                              > thoughts.
                              > i tend to think tt confederates are more
                              > conditioned[mid brain] than
                              > anything. their strong, intense background their
                              > whole lives in radical,
                              > slave owning states is also a major contributing
                              > factor. it is a closed,
                              > secessionist society they live in, and
                              > rebellious slave owning is their
                              > only world, and their whole world.
                              > There is no moral justification for war, there
                              is
                              > propaganda to fuel the
                              > fires of homicidal emotion. It is a survivalist,
                              > bottom line enterprise of
                              > death. Bill
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > 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
                              http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >
                              >


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                            • Bill Harris
                              Eduard, Please see reply to Pogo Stick, Bill ... From: eduard To: Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 12:52 PM
                              Message 14 of 29 , Sep 30, 2002
                                Eduard, Please see reply to Pogo Stick, Bill
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                                To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 12:52 PM
                                Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason


                                > Bill,
                                >
                                > I think we had that war on stupidity and their
                                > side won ....
                                >
                                > eduard
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: Bill Harris
                                > [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                                > Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 10:18 AM
                                > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                >
                                >
                                > Eduard, War on this , war on that. When will we
                                > have a war on stupidity?
                                > Bill
                                > ----- Original Message -----
                                > From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                                > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 11:42 AM
                                > Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                >
                                >
                                > > Bill,
                                > >
                                > > I saw it on PBS channel.
                                > >
                                > > Everyone has a mind-set. It was interesting to
                                > > note that the North was not that keen on freeing
                                > > the slaves. The proclamation almost did them
                                > in.
                                > > To the North, the issue was jobs. Thus the
                                > cause
                                > > of the riots in New York in 1863 or thereabouts.
                                > > It is amazing ... a lesser treatment of any
                                > > segment of society never works out. Slavery had
                                > > been long shown to financially disadvantageous,
                                > > but once it becomes part of a culture, then it
                                > is
                                > > difficult to see one's way to getting rid of it.
                                > > The same could be said for the cultural mind-set
                                > > which is being generated in the so-called war on
                                > > terrorism.
                                > >
                                > > eduard
                                > >
                                > > -----Original Message-----
                                > > From: Bill Harris
                                > > [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                                > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:01 AM
                                > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > James, I recently finished my third viewing of
                                > Ken
                                > > Burns "The Civil War" .
                                > > It is a sobering series that elicits a great
                                > many
                                > > thoughts.
                                > > i tend to think tt confederates are more
                                > > conditioned[mid brain] than
                                > > anything. their strong, intense background their
                                > > whole lives in radical,
                                > > slave owning states is also a major contributing
                                > > factor. it is a closed,
                                > > secessionist society they live in, and
                                > > rebellious slave owning is their
                                > > only world, and their whole world.
                                > > There is no moral justification for war, there
                                > is
                                > > propaganda to fuel the
                                > > fires of homicidal emotion. It is a survivalist,
                                > > bottom line enterprise of
                                > > death. Bill
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > 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
                                > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                                >
                                > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups
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                              • eduard
                                Bill, Yes, I saw it ... eduard
                                Message 15 of 29 , Sep 30, 2002
                                  Bill,

                                  <<< Eduard, Please see reply to Pogo Stick, >>>

                                  Yes, I saw it ...

                                  eduard
                                • Charles
                                  Bill, War is what life is all about. You still seem to be dreaming about that idealistic Repubilc of the philosopher King ( Democrats in power are just as
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Sep 30, 2002
                                    Bill,

                                    War is what life is all about. You still seem
                                    to be dreaming about that idealistic Repubilc
                                    of the philosopher
                                    King ( Democrats in power are just as stupid
                                    as the Republicans ). Either politician
                                    enjoys the comforts of
                                    his own possessions and riches, while
                                    preaching poverty in front of the parliament
                                    or congress. ( I might just
                                    as well become a Catholic priest). A little
                                    sense of history might do the trick.

                                    Charles


                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: "Bill Harris"
                                    <valleywestdental@...>
                                    To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 10:18 AM
                                    Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                    Reason


                                    Eduard, War on this , war on that. When will
                                    we have a war on stupidity?
                                    Bill
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                                    To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 11:42 AM
                                    Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                    Reason


                                    > Bill,
                                    >
                                    > I saw it on PBS channel.
                                    >
                                    > Everyone has a mind-set. It was
                                    interesting to
                                    > note that the North was not that keen on
                                    freeing
                                    > the slaves. The proclamation almost did
                                    them in.
                                    > To the North, the issue was jobs. Thus the
                                    cause
                                    > of the riots in New York in 1863 or
                                    thereabouts.
                                    > It is amazing ... a lesser treatment of any
                                    > segment of society never works out.
                                    Slavery had
                                    > been long shown to financially
                                    disadvantageous,
                                    > but once it becomes part of a culture, then
                                    it is
                                    > difficult to see one's way to getting rid
                                    of it.
                                    > The same could be said for the cultural
                                    mind-set
                                    > which is being generated in the so-called
                                    war on
                                    > terrorism.
                                    >
                                    > eduard
                                    >
                                    > -----Original Message-----
                                    > From: Bill Harris
                                    > [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                                    > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:01 AM
                                    > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                    Reason
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > James, I recently finished my third viewing
                                    of Ken
                                    > Burns "The Civil War" .
                                    > It is a sobering series that elicits a
                                    great many
                                    > thoughts.
                                    > i tend to think tt confederates are more
                                    > conditioned[mid brain] than
                                    > anything. their strong, intense background
                                    their
                                    > whole lives in radical,
                                    > slave owning states is also a major
                                    contributing
                                    > factor. it is a closed,
                                    > secessionist society they live in, and
                                    > rebellious slave owning is their
                                    > only world, and their whole world.
                                    > There is no moral justification for war,
                                    there is
                                    > propaganda to fuel the
                                    > fires of homicidal emotion. It is a
                                    survivalist,
                                    > bottom line enterprise of
                                    > death. Bill
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > 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
                                    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >


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                                  • Bill Harris
                                    Charles, War seems to take it`s portion, no matter what. In a lifetime it is truly a feat to avoid war. But then you are a coward, Right? The Spartans would
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Oct 1 11:13 AM
                                      Charles, War seems to take it`s portion, no matter what. In a lifetime it is
                                      truly a feat to avoid war. But then you are a coward, Right?
                                      The Spartans would give up their marriage bed to a man of greater worth as
                                      a warrior. But even warriors must sleep, you cant just fuck and fight. War
                                      can come at night and kill you when your sword is sheathed. Were you a
                                      warrior with that death? Bill
                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: "Charles" <cvas2002@...>
                                      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 3:34 PM
                                      Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason


                                      > Bill,
                                      >
                                      > War is what life is all about. You still seem
                                      > to be dreaming about that idealistic Repubilc
                                      > of the philosopher
                                      > King ( Democrats in power are just as stupid
                                      > as the Republicans ). Either politician
                                      > enjoys the comforts of
                                      > his own possessions and riches, while
                                      > preaching poverty in front of the parliament
                                      > or congress. ( I might just
                                      > as well become a Catholic priest). A little
                                      > sense of history might do the trick.
                                      >
                                      > Charles
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ----- Original Message -----
                                      > From: "Bill Harris"
                                      > <valleywestdental@...>
                                      > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                      > Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 10:18 AM
                                      > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                      > Reason
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Eduard, War on this , war on that. When will
                                      > we have a war on stupidity?
                                      > Bill
                                      > ----- Original Message -----
                                      > From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                                      > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                      > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 11:42 AM
                                      > Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                      > Reason
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > > Bill,
                                      > >
                                      > > I saw it on PBS channel.
                                      > >
                                      > > Everyone has a mind-set. It was
                                      > interesting to
                                      > > note that the North was not that keen on
                                      > freeing
                                      > > the slaves. The proclamation almost did
                                      > them in.
                                      > > To the North, the issue was jobs. Thus the
                                      > cause
                                      > > of the riots in New York in 1863 or
                                      > thereabouts.
                                      > > It is amazing ... a lesser treatment of any
                                      > > segment of society never works out.
                                      > Slavery had
                                      > > been long shown to financially
                                      > disadvantageous,
                                      > > but once it becomes part of a culture, then
                                      > it is
                                      > > difficult to see one's way to getting rid
                                      > of it.
                                      > > The same could be said for the cultural
                                      > mind-set
                                      > > which is being generated in the so-called
                                      > war on
                                      > > terrorism.
                                      > >
                                      > > eduard
                                      > >
                                      > > -----Original Message-----
                                      > > From: Bill Harris
                                      > > [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                                      > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:01 AM
                                      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                      > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                      > Reason
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > James, I recently finished my third viewing
                                      > of Ken
                                      > > Burns "The Civil War" .
                                      > > It is a sobering series that elicits a
                                      > great many
                                      > > thoughts.
                                      > > i tend to think tt confederates are more
                                      > > conditioned[mid brain] than
                                      > > anything. their strong, intense background
                                      > their
                                      > > whole lives in radical,
                                      > > slave owning states is also a major
                                      > contributing
                                      > > factor. it is a closed,
                                      > > secessionist society they live in, and
                                      > > rebellious slave owning is their
                                      > > only world, and their whole world.
                                      > > There is no moral justification for war,
                                      > there is
                                      > > propaganda to fuel the
                                      > > fires of homicidal emotion. It is a
                                      > survivalist,
                                      > > bottom line enterprise of
                                      > > death. Bill
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
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                                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
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                                    • Charles
                                      Bill, I am still fighting with stupidity, no with death. To wage a war on stupidity one has to be a brave stupid. All this is about politics; a radical
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Oct 1 3:21 PM
                                        Bill,

                                        I am still fighting with stupidity, no with
                                        death. To wage a war on stupidity one has to
                                        be a brave stupid.
                                        All this is about politics; a radical
                                        Democrat like yourself could start by
                                        explaining to me the differences
                                        between the two main polical parties in this
                                        country, if there are any. The Spartans can
                                        go to hell. ("war
                                        is the father of all and king of all"). Even
                                        at the lowest level of society, lets say,
                                        marriage or personal
                                        relatioships, means a constant reasurance for
                                        superiority, for being in power, for getting
                                        the upper hand,
                                        for being better than others, for WAR. (peace
                                        is the hidding place of the weak and
                                        efeminate).

                                        Charles



                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: "Bill Harris"
                                        <valleywestdental@...>
                                        To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 2:13 PM
                                        Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                        Reason


                                        Charles, War seems to take it`s portion, no
                                        matter what. In a lifetime it is
                                        truly a feat to avoid war. But then you are a
                                        coward, Right?
                                        The Spartans would give up their marriage
                                        bed to a man of greater worth as
                                        a warrior. But even warriors must sleep, you
                                        cant just fuck and fight. War
                                        can come at night and kill you when your
                                        sword is sheathed. Were you a
                                        warrior with that death? Bill
                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: "Charles" <cvas2002@...>
                                        To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 3:34 PM
                                        Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                        Reason


                                        > Bill,
                                        >
                                        > War is what life is all about. You still
                                        seem
                                        > to be dreaming about that idealistic
                                        Repubilc
                                        > of the philosopher
                                        > King ( Democrats in power are just as
                                        stupid
                                        > as the Republicans ). Either politician
                                        > enjoys the comforts of
                                        > his own possessions and riches, while
                                        > preaching poverty in front of the
                                        parliament
                                        > or congress. ( I might just
                                        > as well become a Catholic priest). A little
                                        > sense of history might do the trick.
                                        >
                                        > Charles
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > ----- Original Message -----
                                        > From: "Bill Harris"
                                        > <valleywestdental@...>
                                        > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                        > Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 10:18 AM
                                        > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                        > Reason
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Eduard, War on this , war on that. When
                                        will
                                        > we have a war on stupidity?
                                        > Bill
                                        > ----- Original Message -----
                                        > From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                                        > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                        > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 11:42 AM
                                        > Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                        > Reason
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > > Bill,
                                        > >
                                        > > I saw it on PBS channel.
                                        > >
                                        > > Everyone has a mind-set. It was
                                        > interesting to
                                        > > note that the North was not that keen on
                                        > freeing
                                        > > the slaves. The proclamation almost did
                                        > them in.
                                        > > To the North, the issue was jobs. Thus
                                        the
                                        > cause
                                        > > of the riots in New York in 1863 or
                                        > thereabouts.
                                        > > It is amazing ... a lesser treatment of
                                        any
                                        > > segment of society never works out.
                                        > Slavery had
                                        > > been long shown to financially
                                        > disadvantageous,
                                        > > but once it becomes part of a culture,
                                        then
                                        > it is
                                        > > difficult to see one's way to getting rid
                                        > of it.
                                        > > The same could be said for the cultural
                                        > mind-set
                                        > > which is being generated in the so-called
                                        > war on
                                        > > terrorism.
                                        > >
                                        > > eduard
                                        > >
                                        > > -----Original Message-----
                                        > > From: Bill Harris
                                        > > [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                                        > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:01 AM
                                        > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                        > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                        > Reason
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > James, I recently finished my third
                                        viewing
                                        > of Ken
                                        > > Burns "The Civil War" .
                                        > > It is a sobering series that elicits a
                                        > great many
                                        > > thoughts.
                                        > > i tend to think tt confederates are more
                                        > > conditioned[mid brain] than
                                        > > anything. their strong, intense
                                        background
                                        > their
                                        > > whole lives in radical,
                                        > > slave owning states is also a major
                                        > contributing
                                        > > factor. it is a closed,
                                        > > secessionist society they live in, and
                                        > > rebellious slave owning is their
                                        > > only world, and their whole world.
                                        > > There is no moral justification for war,
                                        > there is
                                        > > propaganda to fuel the
                                        > > fires of homicidal emotion. It is a
                                        > survivalist,
                                        > > bottom line enterprise of
                                        > > death. Bill
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > 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
                                        > >
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                                        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        >
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                                      • eduard
                                        Charles, I presume that you are advocating a constant state of war; to make us strong and manly.
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Oct 1 4:44 PM
                                          Charles,

                                          <<< (peace is the hidding place of the weak and
                                          efeminate).>>>

                                          I presume that you are advocating a constant state
                                          of war; to make us strong and manly. Or have I
                                          mis-interpreted??

                                          eduard
                                        • james tan
                                          eduard, thanks for sharing ur views. james. From: eduard Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com To: existlist@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE:
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Oct 1 5:36 PM
                                            eduard,

                                            thanks for sharing ur views.

                                            james.


                                            From: eduard <yeoman@...>
                                            Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                            Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2002 09:48:45 -0400

                                            james,

                                            I find it amazing that we are still speaking of
                                            Hitler as the "killer". Not "a" killer, but "the"
                                            killer". The holocaust was not the product of one
                                            man, but of a society that sought to eliminate
                                            what was seen as an alien element in their midst.
                                            Hitler [and I am not being apologetic about him]
                                            was a catalyst or perhaps a focal point for action
                                            that was acceptable to the German society. What
                                            Hitler did was to say that it was Ok to kill the
                                            Jews. There is always some propensity to take
                                            violent action within a society, but normally the
                                            leadership tries to maintain a higher course.
                                            Sort of, to keep a lid on things. Hitler not only
                                            took the lid off, but threw it away.

                                            I think that an individual killer works in the
                                            same way. All of us have a bit of a dark side,
                                            and would take some direct action if given the
                                            opportunity and social approval. I am not
                                            suggesting that we are all killers at the bottom.
                                            I would love to express some harsh words at the
                                            clerk who just throws my change at me ... but I
                                            don't do it because of the scene it might make.
                                            It takes a special type of person to kill and that
                                            is due to a lot of other factors.

                                            In a crowd of people [e.g. a riot] there is a
                                            perception of approval or at least an absence of
                                            immediate disapproval. In such a situation that
                                            special person will kill.

                                            I think the same thing happens even when an
                                            individual is not part of a crowd. A killer tends
                                            to be a loner, in the sense that he/she reduces
                                            his/her society to only a few individuals ...
                                            which obviously includes the victim. In such a
                                            reduced society, it is easy for the individual to
                                            come to the conclusion that there is an approval.
                                            In fact, the only one who might be seen a voicing
                                            an objection is the victim, but since the victim
                                            is the target, their objection can be discounted.
                                            It is only when the killer is arrested that they
                                            are made aware that there is a larger society that
                                            disapproves.

                                            As to the WTC incident, I can see those that took
                                            over the aircraft as being able to isolate
                                            themselves from the world around them and the
                                            passengers in the aircraft. They most certainly
                                            had been primed to think of those others as
                                            somehow alien to their own perspective. Within
                                            their own reduced society fostered by Osama ben
                                            Ladin they have both opportunity and approval.

                                            Which a long way around to say that I agree with
                                            you ... that people don't kill out of fear. It is
                                            done in a clear and rational manner.

                                            eduard

                                            -----Original Message-----
                                            From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
                                            Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2002 8:20 AM
                                            To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason

                                            u said:
                                            "Killers are always misguided because they are
                                            always proceeding from
                                            the motive of fear. "

                                            gee, maybe i am reading u out of context; but what
                                            u said about fear being
                                            the one and only reason for killer to kill
                                            is...just not true. while some
                                            may kill out of fear, there are others who kill
                                            because it serves their
                                            agenda, and can do so without any fear or losing
                                            nerve. killing can be just
                                            expedient, if it is well planned - just like a
                                            chess move where one has to
                                            'kill'. killers are not always misguided.

                                            james.

                                            From: Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...>
                                            Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                                            To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                            Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 12:06:10 +0100

                                            At 12:48 pm +0000 26/9/02, swmaerske wrote:
                                            >Sometimes the killer may just be sadistic or
                                            crazy or both.
                                            >Sometimes, too, the killer may be misguided,
                                            e.g., Hitler's view that
                                            >the Jews represented an organic threat to the
                                            purity of the "Aryan
                                            >race", culture and civilization.

                                            Killers are always misguided because they are
                                            always proceeding from
                                            the motive of fear. While it is perfectly easy to
                                            understand people
                                            who act from the motive of fear - and we have all
                                            no doubt had first
                                            hand experience of this - it is never necessary.

                                            This is the most unfortunate consequence of an
                                            ethical system that
                                            places the survival of the individual uppermost.

                                            Tommy




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                                          • Charles
                                            eduard, I am not advocating a constant state of war; I am not the lawyer of becoming , which is the continuous struggle of one man against another; it is the
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Oct 1 6:01 PM
                                              eduard,

                                              I am not advocating a constant state of war;
                                              I am not the lawyer of "becoming", which is
                                              the continuous
                                              struggle of one man against another; it is
                                              the law of nature ( a continuous current of
                                              electricity without
                                              interference of space or time?) Hostile is
                                              nature, hostile is wisdom herself, hostile is
                                              life. The contemporary
                                              state of confusion in this respect is a
                                              simple example. Peace, on the other hand, is
                                              just an empty and
                                              meaningless word like justice and freedom, no
                                              to mention equality. And the character of a
                                              nation can be
                                              judged by the way they manage to survive, and
                                              more importantly, by the way they treat the
                                              delicacy,
                                              fineness, and pleasant appearance of the
                                              female of the species. (call me old fashion.)

                                              Charles

                                              ----- Original Message -----
                                              From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                                              To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                              Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 7:44 PM
                                              Subject: [existlist] war and peace


                                              Charles,

                                              <<< (peace is the hidding place of the weak
                                              and
                                              efeminate).>>>

                                              I presume that you are advocating a constant
                                              state
                                              of war; to make us strong and manly. Or have
                                              I
                                              mis-interpreted??

                                              eduard


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                                            • eduard
                                              Charles, I am not understanding. On the one hand you are stating that, Hostile is nature, hostile is wisdom herself, hostile is life. And yet on the other
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Oct 1 6:38 PM
                                                Charles,

                                                I am not understanding.

                                                On the one hand you are stating that, "Hostile is
                                                nature, hostile is wisdom herself, hostile is
                                                life."

                                                And yet on the other you mention that, "And the
                                                character of a nation can be judged by the way
                                                they manage to survive, and
                                                more importantly, by the way they treat the
                                                delicacy, fineness, and pleasant appearance of the
                                                female of the species."

                                                The two would seem to be contradictory. Hostility
                                                in life is represented by the abusive manner in
                                                which we treat others. A proper treatment of
                                                women is inherent in a peaceful society. Although
                                                we tend to think that there is progress in war
                                                years because of the development of military
                                                weapons that are later applied to civil use, the
                                                truth is that in times of peace there is also
                                                advancement which sustains a society.

                                                Although the word "peace" is abstract, in the same
                                                sense as "justice" and "freedom", the state of
                                                peace itself is not empty and meaningless. Rather
                                                it is the normal condition of man which is often
                                                interrupted by war.

                                                eduard
                                              • Bill Harris
                                                Charles, I really like what you say. Having said that I must sulk off in guilt for rejecting the better angels I was brainwashed to accept. Were there a
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Oct 2 7:51 AM
                                                  Charles, I really like what you say. Having said that I must sulk off in
                                                  guilt for rejecting the "better angels" I was brainwashed to accept.
                                                  Were there a hell, the Spartans would certainly be there and they would be
                                                  enjoying it immensely. They would be joined by republicans, nazis,
                                                  confederates, Romans and other male dominated associations. The murderous
                                                  mass would engage in an eternal , lethal game of king of the hill. I would
                                                  like to be there myself because it is so simple and honest. It is the life
                                                  of the hunter, not the gatherer. To exert, in one`s own behalf, is at the
                                                  clean base of existence. Feel the power of the wvermaxct in public
                                                  gymnasium . Marching, fighting, killing, drinking and a sound sleep with
                                                  one`s comrades.
                                                  Now it is back to the created reality of our present. I should smile and
                                                  assent to the weak madness of the girley-boys. I should be a good democrat
                                                  and work endlessly to help the weak and oppressed. I should act like a
                                                  fucking cunt and pretend I care. I should be quiet, and respect the rights
                                                  others have not earned, OR-----
                                                  I should live in this dichotomous world, without direction. Bill
                                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                                  From: "Charles" <cvas2002@...>
                                                  To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                  Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 5:21 PM
                                                  Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason


                                                  > Bill,
                                                  >
                                                  > I am still fighting with stupidity, no with
                                                  > death. To wage a war on stupidity one has to
                                                  > be a brave stupid.
                                                  > All this is about politics; a radical
                                                  > Democrat like yourself could start by
                                                  > explaining to me the differences
                                                  > between the two main polical parties in this
                                                  > country, if there are any. The Spartans can
                                                  > go to hell. ("war
                                                  > is the father of all and king of all"). Even
                                                  > at the lowest level of society, lets say,
                                                  > marriage or personal
                                                  > relatioships, means a constant reasurance for
                                                  > superiority, for being in power, for getting
                                                  > the upper hand,
                                                  > for being better than others, for WAR. (peace
                                                  > is the hidding place of the weak and
                                                  > efeminate).
                                                  >
                                                  > Charles
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > ----- Original Message -----
                                                  > From: "Bill Harris"
                                                  > <valleywestdental@...>
                                                  > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                  > Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 2:13 PM
                                                  > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                  > Reason
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Charles, War seems to take it`s portion, no
                                                  > matter what. In a lifetime it is
                                                  > truly a feat to avoid war. But then you are a
                                                  > coward, Right?
                                                  > The Spartans would give up their marriage
                                                  > bed to a man of greater worth as
                                                  > a warrior. But even warriors must sleep, you
                                                  > cant just fuck and fight. War
                                                  > can come at night and kill you when your
                                                  > sword is sheathed. Were you a
                                                  > warrior with that death? Bill
                                                  > ----- Original Message -----
                                                  > From: "Charles" <cvas2002@...>
                                                  > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                  > Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 3:34 PM
                                                  > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                  > Reason
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > > Bill,
                                                  > >
                                                  > > War is what life is all about. You still
                                                  > seem
                                                  > > to be dreaming about that idealistic
                                                  > Repubilc
                                                  > > of the philosopher
                                                  > > King ( Democrats in power are just as
                                                  > stupid
                                                  > > as the Republicans ). Either politician
                                                  > > enjoys the comforts of
                                                  > > his own possessions and riches, while
                                                  > > preaching poverty in front of the
                                                  > parliament
                                                  > > or congress. ( I might just
                                                  > > as well become a Catholic priest). A little
                                                  > > sense of history might do the trick.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Charles
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > > ----- Original Message -----
                                                  > > From: "Bill Harris"
                                                  > > <valleywestdental@...>
                                                  > > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                  > > Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 10:18 AM
                                                  > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                  > > Reason
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Eduard, War on this , war on that. When
                                                  > will
                                                  > > we have a war on stupidity?
                                                  > > Bill
                                                  > > ----- Original Message -----
                                                  > > From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                                                  > > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                  > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 11:42 AM
                                                  > > Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                  > > Reason
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > > > Bill,
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > I saw it on PBS channel.
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > Everyone has a mind-set. It was
                                                  > > interesting to
                                                  > > > note that the North was not that keen on
                                                  > > freeing
                                                  > > > the slaves. The proclamation almost did
                                                  > > them in.
                                                  > > > To the North, the issue was jobs. Thus
                                                  > the
                                                  > > cause
                                                  > > > of the riots in New York in 1863 or
                                                  > > thereabouts.
                                                  > > > It is amazing ... a lesser treatment of
                                                  > any
                                                  > > > segment of society never works out.
                                                  > > Slavery had
                                                  > > > been long shown to financially
                                                  > > disadvantageous,
                                                  > > > but once it becomes part of a culture,
                                                  > then
                                                  > > it is
                                                  > > > difficult to see one's way to getting rid
                                                  > > of it.
                                                  > > > The same could be said for the cultural
                                                  > > mind-set
                                                  > > > which is being generated in the so-called
                                                  > > war on
                                                  > > > terrorism.
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > eduard
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > -----Original Message-----
                                                  > > > From: Bill Harris
                                                  > > > [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                                                  > > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:01 AM
                                                  > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                  > > Reason
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > James, I recently finished my third
                                                  > viewing
                                                  > > of Ken
                                                  > > > Burns "The Civil War" .
                                                  > > > It is a sobering series that elicits a
                                                  > > great many
                                                  > > > thoughts.
                                                  > > > i tend to think tt confederates are more
                                                  > > > conditioned[mid brain] than
                                                  > > > anything. their strong, intense
                                                  > background
                                                  > > their
                                                  > > > whole lives in radical,
                                                  > > > slave owning states is also a major
                                                  > > contributing
                                                  > > > factor. it is a closed,
                                                  > > > secessionist society they live in, and
                                                  > > > rebellious slave owning is their
                                                  > > > only world, and their whole world.
                                                  > > > There is no moral justification for war,
                                                  > > there is
                                                  > > > propaganda to fuel the
                                                  > > > fires of homicidal emotion. It is a
                                                  > > survivalist,
                                                  > > > bottom line enterprise of
                                                  > > > death. Bill
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > 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
                                                  > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Our Home:
                                                  > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
                                                  > > (Includes community book list, chat, and
                                                  > > more.)
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                                                  > > (Includes community book list, chat, and
                                                  > more.)
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                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                  >
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                                                  > (Includes community book list, chat, and
                                                  > more.)
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                                                  > to:
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                                                • Charles
                                                  ... From: Bill Harris To: Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 10:51 AM Subject: Re: [existlist] Re:
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Oct 2 7:39 PM
                                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                                    From: "Bill Harris"
                                                    <valleywestdental@...>
                                                    To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                    Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 10:51 AM
                                                    Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                    Reason


                                                    Charles, I really like what you say. Having
                                                    said that I must sulk off in
                                                    guilt for rejecting the "better angels" I was
                                                    brainwashed to accept.
                                                    Were there a hell, the Spartans would
                                                    certainly be there and they would be
                                                    enjoying it immensely. They would be joined
                                                    by republicans, nazis,
                                                    confederates, Romans and other male dominated
                                                    associations. The murderous
                                                    mass would engage in an eternal , lethal game
                                                    of king of the hill. I would
                                                    like to be there myself because it is so
                                                    simple and honest. It is the life
                                                    of the hunter, not the gatherer. To exert, in
                                                    one`s own behalf, is at the
                                                    clean base of existence. Feel the power of
                                                    the wvermaxct in public
                                                    gymnasium . Marching, fighting, killing,
                                                    drinking and a sound sleep with
                                                    one`s comrades.
                                                    Now it is back to the created reality of our
                                                    present. I should smile and
                                                    assent to the weak madness of the
                                                    girley-boys. I should be a good democrat
                                                    and work endlessly to help the weak and
                                                    oppressed. I should act like a
                                                    fucking cunt and pretend I care. I should be
                                                    quiet, and respect the rights
                                                    others have not earned, OR-----
                                                    I should live in this dichotomous world,
                                                    without direction. Bill
                                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                                    From: "Charles" <cvas2002@...>
                                                    To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                    Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 5:21 PM
                                                    Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                    Reason


                                                    > Bill,
                                                    >
                                                    > I am still fighting with stupidity, no with
                                                    > death. To wage a war on stupidity one has
                                                    to
                                                    > be a brave stupid.
                                                    > All this is about politics; a radical
                                                    > Democrat like yourself could start by
                                                    > explaining to me the differences
                                                    > between the two main polical parties in
                                                    this
                                                    > country, if there are any. The Spartans can
                                                    > go to hell. ("war
                                                    > is the father of all and king of all").
                                                    Even
                                                    > at the lowest level of society, lets say,
                                                    > marriage or personal
                                                    > relatioships, means a constant reasurance
                                                    for
                                                    > superiority, for being in power, for
                                                    getting
                                                    > the upper hand,
                                                    > for being better than others, for WAR.
                                                    (peace
                                                    > is the hidding place of the weak and
                                                    > efeminate).
                                                    >
                                                    > Charles
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > ----- Original Message -----
                                                    > From: "Bill Harris"
                                                    > <valleywestdental@...>
                                                    > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                    > Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 2:13 PM
                                                    > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                    > Reason
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Charles, War seems to take it`s portion, no
                                                    > matter what. In a lifetime it is
                                                    > truly a feat to avoid war. But then you are
                                                    a
                                                    > coward, Right?
                                                    > The Spartans would give up their marriage
                                                    > bed to a man of greater worth as
                                                    > a warrior. But even warriors must sleep,
                                                    you
                                                    > cant just fuck and fight. War
                                                    > can come at night and kill you when your
                                                    > sword is sheathed. Were you a
                                                    > warrior with that death? Bill
                                                    > ----- Original Message -----
                                                    > From: "Charles" <cvas2002@...>
                                                    > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                    > Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 3:34 PM
                                                    > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                    > Reason
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > > Bill,
                                                    > >
                                                    > > War is what life is all about. You still
                                                    > seem
                                                    > > to be dreaming about that idealistic
                                                    > Repubilc
                                                    > > of the philosopher
                                                    > > King ( Democrats in power are just as
                                                    > stupid
                                                    > > as the Republicans ). Either politician
                                                    > > enjoys the comforts of
                                                    > > his own possessions and riches, while
                                                    > > preaching poverty in front of the
                                                    > parliament
                                                    > > or congress. ( I might just
                                                    > > as well become a Catholic priest). A
                                                    little
                                                    > > sense of history might do the trick.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Charles
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > ----- Original Message -----
                                                    > > From: "Bill Harris"
                                                    > > <valleywestdental@...>
                                                    > > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                    > > Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 10:18 AM
                                                    > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                    > > Reason
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Eduard, War on this , war on that. When
                                                    > will
                                                    > > we have a war on stupidity?
                                                    > > Bill
                                                    > > ----- Original Message -----
                                                    > > From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                                                    > > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                    > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 11:42 AM
                                                    > > Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                    > > Reason
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > > Bill,
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > I saw it on PBS channel.
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > Everyone has a mind-set. It was
                                                    > > interesting to
                                                    > > > note that the North was not that keen
                                                    on
                                                    > > freeing
                                                    > > > the slaves. The proclamation almost
                                                    did
                                                    > > them in.
                                                    > > > To the North, the issue was jobs. Thus
                                                    > the
                                                    > > cause
                                                    > > > of the riots in New York in 1863 or
                                                    > > thereabouts.
                                                    > > > It is amazing ... a lesser treatment of
                                                    > any
                                                    > > > segment of society never works out.
                                                    > > Slavery had
                                                    > > > been long shown to financially
                                                    > > disadvantageous,
                                                    > > > but once it becomes part of a culture,
                                                    > then
                                                    > > it is
                                                    > > > difficult to see one's way to getting
                                                    rid
                                                    > > of it.
                                                    > > > The same could be said for the cultural
                                                    > > mind-set
                                                    > > > which is being generated in the
                                                    so-called
                                                    > > war on
                                                    > > > terrorism.
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > eduard
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > -----Original Message-----
                                                    > > > From: Bill Harris
                                                    > > > [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                                                    > > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:01
                                                    AM
                                                    > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                                    > > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing
                                                    and
                                                    > > Reason
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > James, I recently finished my third
                                                    > viewing
                                                    > > of Ken
                                                    > > > Burns "The Civil War" .
                                                    > > > It is a sobering series that elicits a
                                                    > > great many
                                                    > > > thoughts.
                                                    > > > i tend to think tt confederates are
                                                    more
                                                    > > > conditioned[mid brain] than
                                                    > > > anything. their strong, intense
                                                    > background
                                                    > > their
                                                    > > > whole lives in radical,
                                                    > > > slave owning states is also a major
                                                    > > contributing
                                                    > > > factor. it is a closed,
                                                    > > > secessionist society they live in, and
                                                    > > > rebellious slave owning is their
                                                    > > > only world, and their whole world.
                                                    > > > There is no moral justification for
                                                    war,
                                                    > > there is
                                                    > > > propaganda to fuel the
                                                    > > > fires of homicidal emotion. It is a
                                                    > > survivalist,
                                                    > > > bottom line enterprise of
                                                    > > > death. Bill
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > 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
                                                    > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Our Home:
                                                    > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
                                                    > > (Includes community book list, chat, and
                                                    > > more.)
                                                    > >
                                                    > > TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an
                                                    > email
                                                    > > to:
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                                                    > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Our Home:
                                                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
                                                    > > (Includes community book list, chat, and
                                                    > more.)
                                                    > >
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                                                    > email to:
                                                    > > existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                                    > >
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                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups
                                                    >
                                                    > Our Home:
                                                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
                                                    > (Includes community book list, chat, and
                                                    > more.)
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                                                  • Charles
                                                    Bill, You are right. You should be quiet and respect the rights others have not earned. Or you could be like a Spartan, and go to heaven. ( and don t forget
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , Oct 2 7:48 PM
                                                      Bill,

                                                      You are right. You should be quiet and
                                                      respect the rights others have not earned. Or
                                                      you could be like a
                                                      Spartan, and go to heaven. ( and don't forget
                                                      eduard).

                                                      Charles


                                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                                      From: "Bill Harris"
                                                      <valleywestdental@...>
                                                      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                      Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 10:51 AM
                                                      Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                      Reason


                                                      Charles, I really like what you say. Having
                                                      said that I must sulk off in
                                                      guilt for rejecting the "better angels" I was
                                                      brainwashed to accept.
                                                      Were there a hell, the Spartans would
                                                      certainly be there and they would be
                                                      enjoying it immensely. They would be joined
                                                      by republicans, nazis,
                                                      confederates, Romans and other male dominated
                                                      associations. The murderous
                                                      mass would engage in an eternal , lethal game
                                                      of king of the hill. I would
                                                      like to be there myself because it is so
                                                      simple and honest. It is the life
                                                      of the hunter, not the gatherer. To exert, in
                                                      one`s own behalf, is at the
                                                      clean base of existence. Feel the power of
                                                      the wvermaxct in public
                                                      gymnasium . Marching, fighting, killing,
                                                      drinking and a sound sleep with
                                                      one`s comrades.
                                                      Now it is back to the created reality of our
                                                      present. I should smile and
                                                      assent to the weak madness of the
                                                      girley-boys. I should be a good democrat
                                                      and work endlessly to help the weak and
                                                      oppressed. I should act like a
                                                      fucking cunt and pretend I care. I should be
                                                      quiet, and respect the rights
                                                      others have not earned, OR-----
                                                      I should live in this dichotomous world,
                                                      without direction. Bill
                                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                                      From: "Charles" <cvas2002@...>
                                                      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                      Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 5:21 PM
                                                      Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                      Reason


                                                      > Bill,
                                                      >
                                                      > I am still fighting with stupidity, no with
                                                      > death. To wage a war on stupidity one has
                                                      to
                                                      > be a brave stupid.
                                                      > All this is about politics; a radical
                                                      > Democrat like yourself could start by
                                                      > explaining to me the differences
                                                      > between the two main polical parties in
                                                      this
                                                      > country, if there are any. The Spartans can
                                                      > go to hell. ("war
                                                      > is the father of all and king of all").
                                                      Even
                                                      > at the lowest level of society, lets say,
                                                      > marriage or personal
                                                      > relatioships, means a constant reasurance
                                                      for
                                                      > superiority, for being in power, for
                                                      getting
                                                      > the upper hand,
                                                      > for being better than others, for WAR.
                                                      (peace
                                                      > is the hidding place of the weak and
                                                      > efeminate).
                                                      >
                                                      > Charles
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > ----- Original Message -----
                                                      > From: "Bill Harris"
                                                      > <valleywestdental@...>
                                                      > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                      > Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 2:13 PM
                                                      > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                      > Reason
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Charles, War seems to take it`s portion, no
                                                      > matter what. In a lifetime it is
                                                      > truly a feat to avoid war. But then you are
                                                      a
                                                      > coward, Right?
                                                      > The Spartans would give up their marriage
                                                      > bed to a man of greater worth as
                                                      > a warrior. But even warriors must sleep,
                                                      you
                                                      > cant just fuck and fight. War
                                                      > can come at night and kill you when your
                                                      > sword is sheathed. Were you a
                                                      > warrior with that death? Bill
                                                      > ----- Original Message -----
                                                      > From: "Charles" <cvas2002@...>
                                                      > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                      > Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 3:34 PM
                                                      > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                      > Reason
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > > Bill,
                                                      > >
                                                      > > War is what life is all about. You still
                                                      > seem
                                                      > > to be dreaming about that idealistic
                                                      > Repubilc
                                                      > > of the philosopher
                                                      > > King ( Democrats in power are just as
                                                      > stupid
                                                      > > as the Republicans ). Either politician
                                                      > > enjoys the comforts of
                                                      > > his own possessions and riches, while
                                                      > > preaching poverty in front of the
                                                      > parliament
                                                      > > or congress. ( I might just
                                                      > > as well become a Catholic priest). A
                                                      little
                                                      > > sense of history might do the trick.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Charles
                                                      > >
                                                      > >
                                                      > > ----- Original Message -----
                                                      > > From: "Bill Harris"
                                                      > > <valleywestdental@...>
                                                      > > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                      > > Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 10:18 AM
                                                      > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                      > > Reason
                                                      > >
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Eduard, War on this , war on that. When
                                                      > will
                                                      > > we have a war on stupidity?
                                                      > > Bill
                                                      > > ----- Original Message -----
                                                      > > From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                                                      > > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                      > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 11:42 AM
                                                      > > Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                      > > Reason
                                                      > >
                                                      > >
                                                      > > > Bill,
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > I saw it on PBS channel.
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > Everyone has a mind-set. It was
                                                      > > interesting to
                                                      > > > note that the North was not that keen
                                                      on
                                                      > > freeing
                                                      > > > the slaves. The proclamation almost
                                                      did
                                                      > > them in.
                                                      > > > To the North, the issue was jobs. Thus
                                                      > the
                                                      > > cause
                                                      > > > of the riots in New York in 1863 or
                                                      > > thereabouts.
                                                      > > > It is amazing ... a lesser treatment of
                                                      > any
                                                      > > > segment of society never works out.
                                                      > > Slavery had
                                                      > > > been long shown to financially
                                                      > > disadvantageous,
                                                      > > > but once it becomes part of a culture,
                                                      > then
                                                      > > it is
                                                      > > > difficult to see one's way to getting
                                                      rid
                                                      > > of it.
                                                      > > > The same could be said for the cultural
                                                      > > mind-set
                                                      > > > which is being generated in the
                                                      so-called
                                                      > > war on
                                                      > > > terrorism.
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > eduard
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > -----Original Message-----
                                                      > > > From: Bill Harris
                                                      > > > [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                                                      > > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:01
                                                      AM
                                                      > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                                      > > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing
                                                      and
                                                      > > Reason
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > James, I recently finished my third
                                                      > viewing
                                                      > > of Ken
                                                      > > > Burns "The Civil War" .
                                                      > > > It is a sobering series that elicits a
                                                      > > great many
                                                      > > > thoughts.
                                                      > > > i tend to think tt confederates are
                                                      more
                                                      > > > conditioned[mid brain] than
                                                      > > > anything. their strong, intense
                                                      > background
                                                      > > their
                                                      > > > whole lives in radical,
                                                      > > > slave owning states is also a major
                                                      > > contributing
                                                      > > > factor. it is a closed,
                                                      > > > secessionist society they live in, and
                                                      > > > rebellious slave owning is their
                                                      > > > only world, and their whole world.
                                                      > > > There is no moral justification for
                                                      war,
                                                      > > there is
                                                      > > > propaganda to fuel the
                                                      > > > fires of homicidal emotion. It is a
                                                      > > survivalist,
                                                      > > > bottom line enterprise of
                                                      > > > death. Bill
                                                      > > >
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                                                    • Bill Harris
                                                      Charles, Do not go quietly into that good night Bill ... From: Charles To: Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Oct 3 7:28 AM
                                                        Charles,"Do not go quietly into that good night" Bill
                                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                                        From: "Charles" <cvas2002@...>
                                                        To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 9:48 PM
                                                        Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and Reason


                                                        > Bill,
                                                        >
                                                        > You are right. You should be quiet and
                                                        > respect the rights others have not earned. Or
                                                        > you could be like a
                                                        > Spartan, and go to heaven. ( and don't forget
                                                        > eduard).
                                                        >
                                                        > Charles
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > ----- Original Message -----
                                                        > From: "Bill Harris"
                                                        > <valleywestdental@...>
                                                        > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        > Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 10:51 AM
                                                        > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                        > Reason
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Charles, I really like what you say. Having
                                                        > said that I must sulk off in
                                                        > guilt for rejecting the "better angels" I was
                                                        > brainwashed to accept.
                                                        > Were there a hell, the Spartans would
                                                        > certainly be there and they would be
                                                        > enjoying it immensely. They would be joined
                                                        > by republicans, nazis,
                                                        > confederates, Romans and other male dominated
                                                        > associations. The murderous
                                                        > mass would engage in an eternal , lethal game
                                                        > of king of the hill. I would
                                                        > like to be there myself because it is so
                                                        > simple and honest. It is the life
                                                        > of the hunter, not the gatherer. To exert, in
                                                        > one`s own behalf, is at the
                                                        > clean base of existence. Feel the power of
                                                        > the wvermaxct in public
                                                        > gymnasium . Marching, fighting, killing,
                                                        > drinking and a sound sleep with
                                                        > one`s comrades.
                                                        > Now it is back to the created reality of our
                                                        > present. I should smile and
                                                        > assent to the weak madness of the
                                                        > girley-boys. I should be a good democrat
                                                        > and work endlessly to help the weak and
                                                        > oppressed. I should act like a
                                                        > fucking cunt and pretend I care. I should be
                                                        > quiet, and respect the rights
                                                        > others have not earned, OR-----
                                                        > I should live in this dichotomous world,
                                                        > without direction. Bill
                                                        > ----- Original Message -----
                                                        > From: "Charles" <cvas2002@...>
                                                        > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        > Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 5:21 PM
                                                        > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                        > Reason
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > > Bill,
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I am still fighting with stupidity, no with
                                                        > > death. To wage a war on stupidity one has
                                                        > to
                                                        > > be a brave stupid.
                                                        > > All this is about politics; a radical
                                                        > > Democrat like yourself could start by
                                                        > > explaining to me the differences
                                                        > > between the two main polical parties in
                                                        > this
                                                        > > country, if there are any. The Spartans can
                                                        > > go to hell. ("war
                                                        > > is the father of all and king of all").
                                                        > Even
                                                        > > at the lowest level of society, lets say,
                                                        > > marriage or personal
                                                        > > relatioships, means a constant reasurance
                                                        > for
                                                        > > superiority, for being in power, for
                                                        > getting
                                                        > > the upper hand,
                                                        > > for being better than others, for WAR.
                                                        > (peace
                                                        > > is the hidding place of the weak and
                                                        > > efeminate).
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Charles
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > ----- Original Message -----
                                                        > > From: "Bill Harris"
                                                        > > <valleywestdental@...>
                                                        > > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        > > Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 2:13 PM
                                                        > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                        > > Reason
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Charles, War seems to take it`s portion, no
                                                        > > matter what. In a lifetime it is
                                                        > > truly a feat to avoid war. But then you are
                                                        > a
                                                        > > coward, Right?
                                                        > > The Spartans would give up their marriage
                                                        > > bed to a man of greater worth as
                                                        > > a warrior. But even warriors must sleep,
                                                        > you
                                                        > > cant just fuck and fight. War
                                                        > > can come at night and kill you when your
                                                        > > sword is sheathed. Were you a
                                                        > > warrior with that death? Bill
                                                        > > ----- Original Message -----
                                                        > > From: "Charles" <cvas2002@...>
                                                        > > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        > > Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 3:34 PM
                                                        > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                        > > Reason
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > > Bill,
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > War is what life is all about. You still
                                                        > > seem
                                                        > > > to be dreaming about that idealistic
                                                        > > Repubilc
                                                        > > > of the philosopher
                                                        > > > King ( Democrats in power are just as
                                                        > > stupid
                                                        > > > as the Republicans ). Either politician
                                                        > > > enjoys the comforts of
                                                        > > > his own possessions and riches, while
                                                        > > > preaching poverty in front of the
                                                        > > parliament
                                                        > > > or congress. ( I might just
                                                        > > > as well become a Catholic priest). A
                                                        > little
                                                        > > > sense of history might do the trick.
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > Charles
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > ----- Original Message -----
                                                        > > > From: "Bill Harris"
                                                        > > > <valleywestdental@...>
                                                        > > > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        > > > Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 10:18 AM
                                                        > > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                        > > > Reason
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > Eduard, War on this , war on that. When
                                                        > > will
                                                        > > > we have a war on stupidity?
                                                        > > > Bill
                                                        > > > ----- Original Message -----
                                                        > > > From: "eduard" <yeoman@...>
                                                        > > > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        > > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 11:42 AM
                                                        > > > Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Choosing and
                                                        > > > Reason
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > > Bill,
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > I saw it on PBS channel.
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > Everyone has a mind-set. It was
                                                        > > > interesting to
                                                        > > > > note that the North was not that keen
                                                        > on
                                                        > > > freeing
                                                        > > > > the slaves. The proclamation almost
                                                        > did
                                                        > > > them in.
                                                        > > > > To the North, the issue was jobs. Thus
                                                        > > the
                                                        > > > cause
                                                        > > > > of the riots in New York in 1863 or
                                                        > > > thereabouts.
                                                        > > > > It is amazing ... a lesser treatment of
                                                        > > any
                                                        > > > > segment of society never works out.
                                                        > > > Slavery had
                                                        > > > > been long shown to financially
                                                        > > > disadvantageous,
                                                        > > > > but once it becomes part of a culture,
                                                        > > then
                                                        > > > it is
                                                        > > > > difficult to see one's way to getting
                                                        > rid
                                                        > > > of it.
                                                        > > > > The same could be said for the cultural
                                                        > > > mind-set
                                                        > > > > which is being generated in the
                                                        > so-called
                                                        > > > war on
                                                        > > > > terrorism.
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > eduard
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > -----Original Message-----
                                                        > > > > From: Bill Harris
                                                        > > > > [mailto:valleywestdental@...]
                                                        > > > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 10:01
                                                        > AM
                                                        > > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                                        > > > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Choosing
                                                        > and
                                                        > > > Reason
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > James, I recently finished my third
                                                        > > viewing
                                                        > > > of Ken
                                                        > > > > Burns "The Civil War" .
                                                        > > > > It is a sobering series that elicits a
                                                        > > > great many
                                                        > > > > thoughts.
                                                        > > > > i tend to think tt confederates are
                                                        > more
                                                        > > > > conditioned[mid brain] than
                                                        > > > > anything. their strong, intense
                                                        > > background
                                                        > > > their
                                                        > > > > whole lives in radical,
                                                        > > > > slave owning states is also a major
                                                        > > > contributing
                                                        > > > > factor. it is a closed,
                                                        > > > > secessionist society they live in, and
                                                        > > > > rebellious slave owning is their
                                                        > > > > only world, and their whole world.
                                                        > > > > There is no moral justification for
                                                        > war,
                                                        > > > there is
                                                        > > > > propaganda to fuel the
                                                        > > > > fires of homicidal emotion. It is a
                                                        > > > survivalist,
                                                        > > > > bottom line enterprise of
                                                        > > > > death. Bill
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > Our Home:
                                                        > > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
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                                                      • james tan
                                                        the question still remains why would one want to adopt such a morality ur answer emphasise on the WHY but my emphasis was on the SUCH or why this particular
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , Oct 9 10:23 PM
                                                          "the question still remains why would one want to adopt such a morality"


                                                          ur answer emphasise on the WHY but my emphasis was on the SUCH or why this
                                                          particular morality. i know tt morality theory is to help making moral
                                                          decision. pretty obvious, isnt it?

                                                          james.


                                                          From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
                                                          Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                                                          To: "Wisdom Forum" <WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com>
                                                          Subject: Re: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                                          Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 20:06:51 -0700

                                                          James said:
                                                          >>the
                                                          question still remains why would one want to adopt such a morality.<<

                                                          Obviously, to make moral decisions.


                                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                                          From: james tan
                                                          Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 12:48 AM
                                                          To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                                                          Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason


                                                          chris said:
                                                          "if he had employed a consequentialist morality, the problem may have been
                                                          resolvable through a rational method of decision."

                                                          but this begs the question. it is not so much tt sartre did not think of the
                                                          consequences as in what kind of consequences one wants, which bring us back
                                                          to values. and if there is such a thing as a consequentialist morality, the
                                                          question still remains why would one want to adopt such a morality.

                                                          james.

                                                          From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
                                                          Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                                                          To: "Wisdom Forum" <WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com>
                                                          Subject: Re: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                                          Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 22:48:24 -0700

                                                          It is also noteworthy that Sartre considers the problem from essentially
                                                          only a deontological point of view. He compares Christian with Kantian
                                                          values and concludes that they do not resolve the conflict and that
                                                          therefore there is no rational way to resolve the conflict. However, if he
                                                          had employed a consequentialist morality, the problem may have been
                                                          resolvable through a rational method of decision. The utilitarian would
                                                          have chosen that course of action which maximizes the greatest amount of
                                                          happiness for the most number of people. If the choice is between making
                                                          only one person (the mother) happy as opposed to making many people (say the
                                                          village that one might liberate as a member of the French Army in exile)
                                                          happy, the choice would be clear and that would be a rational way of
                                                          deciding what to do. And, even approaching the issue from a
                                                          non-consequentialist point of view that focuses on say "what we care about",
                                                          the problem can enriched by considering some of the additional factors that
                                                          SWM points out. Can the mother get along without the son, or would she die
                                                          if he went off to fight? Do the students peers want him to join them, and
                                                          thereby make a unit of true comrades? Perhaps here Sartre has really
                                                          exaggerated the importance of making an unprincipled or radical choice.
                                                          There appears to be substantial reason to think that Sartre has given up on
                                                          reason far too soon.




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                                                        • James Martin
                                                          james tan wrote: the question still remains why would one want to adopt such a morality ur answer emphasise on the WHY but my emphasis was on the SUCH or why
                                                          Message 28 of 29 , Oct 10 7:24 AM
                                                            james tan wrote:

                                                            "the question still remains why would one want to adopt such a morality"


                                                            ur answer emphasise on the WHY but my emphasis was on the SUCH or why this
                                                            particular morality. i know tt morality theory is to help making moral
                                                            decision. pretty obvious, isnt it?

                                                            james.


                                                            From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
                                                            Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                                                            To: "Wisdom Forum" <WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com>
                                                            Subject: Re: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                                            Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 20:06:51 -0700

                                                            James said:
                                                            >>the
                                                            question still remains why would one want to adopt such a morality.<<

                                                            Obviously, to make moral decisions.


                                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                                            From: james tan
                                                            Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 12:48 AM
                                                            To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                                                            Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason


                                                            chris said:
                                                            "if he had employed a consequentialist morality, the problem may have been
                                                            resolvable through a rational method of decision."

                                                            but this begs the question. it is not so much tt sartre did not think of the
                                                            consequences as in what kind of consequences one wants, which bring us back
                                                            to values. and if there is such a thing as a consequentialist morality, the
                                                            question still remains why would one want to adopt such a morality.

                                                            james.

                                                            From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
                                                            Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
                                                            To: "Wisdom Forum" <WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com>
                                                            Subject: Re: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                                            Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 22:48:24 -0700

                                                            It is also noteworthy that Sartre considers the problem from essentially
                                                            only a deontological point of view. He compares Christian with Kantian
                                                            values and concludes that they do not resolve the conflict and that
                                                            therefore there is no rational way to resolve the conflict. However, if he
                                                            had employed a consequentialist morality, the problem may have been
                                                            resolvable through a rational method of decision. The utilitarian would
                                                            have chosen that course of action which maximizes the greatest amount of
                                                            happiness for the most number of people. If the choice is between making
                                                            only one person (the mother) happy as opposed to making many people (say the
                                                            village that one might liberate as a member of the French Army in exile)
                                                            happy, the choice would be clear and that would be a rational way of
                                                            deciding what to do. And, even approaching the issue from a
                                                            non-consequentialist point of view that focuses on say "what we care about",
                                                            the problem can enriched by considering some of the additional factors that
                                                            SWM points out. Can the mother get along without the son, or would she die
                                                            if he went off to fight? Do the students peers want him to join them, and
                                                            thereby make a unit of true comrades? Perhaps here Sartre has really
                                                            exaggerated the importance of making an unprincipled or radical choice.
                                                            There appears to be substantial reason to think that Sartre has given up on
                                                            reason far too soon.

                                                            Jamar wrote,Morlity as we haevs come to know,has evoled over the years. We have so many sub-groups that we cannot ignore any more.And with that said, morality is the conerstone of this and any society, without it we will an anarchist type of being.

                                                            Jamar




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                                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                          • SKIBO79
                                                            I think that Sartre did a good job to see that choices are neither rational or irrational. Each choice that we make , for me, comes to the decision on if life
                                                            Message 29 of 29 , Oct 10 8:25 AM
                                                              I think that Sartre did a good job to see that choices are neither
                                                              rational or irrational. Each choice that we make , for me, comes to
                                                              the decision on if life is worth living or it isn't. We can see say
                                                              that neither one can ever be made without a subjective faith. Who's
                                                              to say that life is important or isn't. That's why Sartre says that
                                                              life is absurd, and therefore, so is death. A consequentialist
                                                              viewpoint is only taking in some types of variables, but these
                                                              variables are based on what WE THINK is beneficial. Then those
                                                              things are traced to other events that we would see are beneficial,
                                                              ad infinitum to we get to the same idea, is life worth living
                                                              (should I continue breathing or not). Therefore, consequentialism
                                                              becomes personal decision, which is what Sartre tried to get at
                                                              anyway. If you think that utilitarian ideas are superior over other
                                                              ways of morality, isn't that a personal decision, I think so, which
                                                              I just showed.

                                                              Brian
                                                              --- In existlist@y..., "james tan" <tyjfk@h...> wrote:
                                                              >
                                                              > "the question still remains why would one want to adopt such a
                                                              morality"
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              > ur answer emphasise on the WHY but my emphasis was on the SUCH or
                                                              why this
                                                              > particular morality. i know tt morality theory is to help making
                                                              moral
                                                              > decision. pretty obvious, isnt it?
                                                              >
                                                              > james.
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              > From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@m...>
                                                              > Reply-To: WisdomForum@y...
                                                              > To: "Wisdom Forum" <WisdomForum@y...>
                                                              > Subject: Re: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                                              > Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 20:06:51 -0700
                                                              >
                                                              > James said:
                                                              > >>the
                                                              > question still remains why would one want to adopt such a
                                                              morality.<<
                                                              >
                                                              > Obviously, to make moral decisions.
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              > ----- Original Message -----
                                                              > From: james tan
                                                              > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 12:48 AM
                                                              > To: WisdomForum@y...
                                                              > Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              > chris said:
                                                              > "if he had employed a consequentialist morality, the problem may
                                                              have been
                                                              > resolvable through a rational method of decision."
                                                              >
                                                              > but this begs the question. it is not so much tt sartre did not
                                                              think of the
                                                              > consequences as in what kind of consequences one wants, which
                                                              bring us back
                                                              > to values. and if there is such a thing as a consequentialist
                                                              morality, the
                                                              > question still remains why would one want to adopt such a morality.
                                                              >
                                                              > james.
                                                              >
                                                              > From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@m...>
                                                              > Reply-To: WisdomForum@y...
                                                              > To: "Wisdom Forum" <WisdomForum@y...>
                                                              > Subject: Re: [WisdomForum] Re: Choosing and Reason
                                                              > Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 22:48:24 -0700
                                                              >
                                                              > It is also noteworthy that Sartre considers the problem from
                                                              essentially
                                                              > only a deontological point of view. He compares Christian with
                                                              Kantian
                                                              > values and concludes that they do not resolve the conflict and that
                                                              > therefore there is no rational way to resolve the conflict.
                                                              However, if he
                                                              > had employed a consequentialist morality, the problem may have been
                                                              > resolvable through a rational method of decision. The utilitarian
                                                              would
                                                              > have chosen that course of action which maximizes the greatest
                                                              amount of
                                                              > happiness for the most number of people. If the choice is between
                                                              making
                                                              > only one person (the mother) happy as opposed to making many
                                                              people (say the
                                                              > village that one might liberate as a member of the French Army in
                                                              exile)
                                                              > happy, the choice would be clear and that would be a rational way
                                                              of
                                                              > deciding what to do. And, even approaching the issue from a
                                                              > non-consequentialist point of view that focuses on say "what we
                                                              care about",
                                                              > the problem can enriched by considering some of the additional
                                                              factors that
                                                              > SWM points out. Can the mother get along without the son, or
                                                              would she die
                                                              > if he went off to fight? Do the students peers want him to join
                                                              them, and
                                                              > thereby make a unit of true comrades? Perhaps here Sartre has
                                                              really
                                                              > exaggerated the importance of making an unprincipled or radical
                                                              choice.
                                                              > There appears to be substantial reason to think that Sartre has
                                                              given up on
                                                              > reason far too soon.
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              > _________________________________________________________________
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