> On the Templeton list where I also lurk, people are, of course, less
> dedicated to rationalism and the Ayn Rand view as the paramount ethical
> value. Rationalism is an superb guidepost, as long as it doesn't become a
> 'hitching-post' to quote an associate of mine.
> So where does that leave people like me (not that anyone need care!)? To
> paraphrase the great philosopher on the American Beer coomercial for Miller
> Beer; "Where is the Love, man?" To which the antagonist replied, "You're not
> getting my beer Bob". My concern here is not love, but a less agreeable
> attribute to desire..pity.
> Someone like the icon of this group, Ayn Rand would no doubt see pity in as a
> grave weakness and a mental dysfunction, as well as a character flaw of
> Richtorian scale.
WRONG. She saw pity as a sad and not very desirable emotion that it
would be better not to have cause to feel. But she did not see it as
weakness or dysfunction or character flaw. It is not desirable to
experience pity. It is more desriable to be able to do something
positive to improve that which has illicited pity. Pity by itself, or
any particular emotion, is not a good guide to decision and action in
> Maybe she would have been correct. However, I look at the human condition,
> nature red in tooth and claw, and such as a fact of life. But like disease
> and death, a fact which needs to be mitigated.
Then change the nature of that reality by creating societies of
abundance. Let any pity simply serve as a goad to move on to something
not so pitiful.
> Now if mysticism can do the job, excellent! If pure technological prowess can
> achieve this, mondo-bondo! If someone comes up with philosophy or drugs or a
> new branch of science that can push back the pain, let me join in.
Someone once said something like "Pain is the whip of God" - meaning
that pain is the impetus to find something better, to movement. We have
tried many things and helped in some ways and harmed in others. So we
adjust and do something slightly different. I don't believe that any
one thing whether science or mysticism or something else will solve
all. We need all the science we can get welded with a really compelling
vision of where we wish to go (rather than souped up replays of where
we've been) and deep dedication to the Work. For it is a Work in the
most time-honored sense, a work of rebuilding self and world and of
transcending all limitation possible of being transcended. Science by
itself will not give you and sustain the sense of mission that is needed
or the sacred dream meme that will join enough people together to make a
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