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Re: Kierkegaard [was Re: A Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Problem]

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  • Nadav Har'El
    ... The difference is not as great as you might think. The goal I want to move the boat to the coast, over there on the east is not that different than a
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 16 8:34 AM
      On Thu, Dec 16, 2004, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Kierkegaard [was Re: A Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Problem]":
      > There's a difference between setting goals and defining rules. For example,

      The difference is not as great as you might think.

      The goal "I want to move the boat to the coast, over there on the east"
      is not that different than a rule "I should row eastward without stopping".
      Some people have both the goal and rule in mind, and some people just do
      one and after some time forget the other. Moreover, you can't achieve the
      "goal" without following the "rule" (or another equivalent rule). If you
      forget that it's important that you row eastward all the time, you may not
      achieve the goal.

      For example, why am I a Mathematician, or a scientist? Was it a "goal" I
      set to myself ("I want to be a Mathematician, so I need to go to study in
      the Technion"), or more basic rules of life that I developed to myself,
      causing me to prefer logical explanations and find beauty in science, and
      that in turn caused me to choose my profession over other professions?

      Do people that become Rabbis or priests or whatever choose that as a goal,
      or does it happen naturally by their enthusiam with following God's rules
      and wanting to share them with others?

      > I think it is a good idea for a person to set goals for himself. However, you
      > don't really need well-defined "rules" to follow these goals. Did Kierkegaard
      > talk about rules or about goals?

      Since I am not a Kierkegaard scholar, I think I better stop representing him
      here. There are plenty of other philosophers, with different opinions on these
      issues. None of these philosophers were idiots like you seem to think they
      were. Because philosophy is not a science, they may actually say contradicting
      things without any of them being "wrong" and the other "right".

      > I don't know how the Pinocchio story of the children there, can be inferred as
      > a proof to what Kierkegaard said. It's just a story.

      A story is not a proof. It's a way to think about a certain issue, one which
      you may not have thought about. Colodi (spelling?) didn't write a random
      story, he wrote a story about the values he believed in, and tried to instill
      those values in his generation's children. Maybe there's still something to
      be learned from his story.

      > Why not? Some of the greatest advancements in history happened due to
      > individuals going against the rules of society. As a result, the acceptable
      > rules by society changed, often for the better.

      Yes, but the person himself suffered (e.g., Galileo). Existentialists talk
      about an individual's existance, not about progress of society as a whole.
      So do you, by the way.

      > > I think you'll be especially interested in Existentialism, which talk about
      > > individualism and individual freedoms. Existentialist philosophers often
      > > tried to explore the *consequences* of freedom, rather than just the need
      > > for freedom (which most modern thinkers take for granted).
      > If we agree that there's a need for freedom, what difference do its
      > consequences make?

      Oh, it's very important! Here a quote from something I wrote last year
      on linux-il (yes, MosheZ, I know that quoting myself doesn't make it right!)

      A common misconception is that freedom requires absolute freedom, with no
      concequences to your choices. This is wrong.
      Freedom always comes with responsibility, to use your freedom properly.
      The fact that you have freedom of speech does not mean that shouting at
      people on the street (or spamming on the net) is nice. The fact that you
      are free to program does not mean that writing computer viruses is good.
      The fact that we have a free market does not make abusing your employees
      a commendable action. The fact that your are free to use your youth to tan
      on the beach instead of studying, doesn't make that a wise move. The
      fact that smoking is perfectly legal doesn't make you live longer if you
      chose to pick up that habit.

      Nadav Har'El | Thursday, Dec 16 2004, 5 Tevet 5765
      nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
      Phone +972-523-790466, ICQ 13349191 |It's fortunate I have bad luck - without
      http://nadav.harel.org.il |it I would have no luck at all!
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