RELIGION: The meaning of Life

Reilly Jones (
Sat, 15 Feb 1997 05:52:56 -0500

Gregory Houston wrote 2/14/97: <One day, one of the entities might just
develop its offenseive technology faster than the other entity develops its
defensive technology. At this point the *stronger* offensive country has
control to either manipulate or destroy the other country.>

It's called adapting in a co-evolutionary environment, survival of the
fittest. Are you wishing away the physical laws of evolution? Wow, I'm
impressed with what you can do once you've chucked truth out the window.

<Violence is perpetuated by an appreciation or desire for violence.>

You move through life, from conception to death, appropriating space and
time, energy and matter from the living entities in your environment. You
are violently appropriating these all the time, whether or not you have the
capacity to appreciate or desire such violent appropriation. This is the
truth. If you jettison truth, I guess you can usefully delude yourself
that you have not been committing acts of violence all your life against
other living entities, whether you knew you were or not. Your violent
appropriations from other humans may be from unintended consequences, from
indirect "externalities," from studied ignorance, but they are very real.
You can try to define this aspect of life away, but you will not change the
reality of it. What right do you have to exist at all, where did it come

Again, I see here a utopian dream to revoke evolutionary laws. One of the
best descriptions of evolution I have seen, is a famous passage by Joseph
de Maistre from his book "Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg":

"In the whole vast dome of living nature there reigns an open violence, a
kind a prescriptive fury which arms all the creatures to their common doom:
as soon as you leave the inanimate kingdom you find the decree of violent
death inscribed on the very frontiers of life. Over all these numerous
races of animals man is placed, and his destructive hand spares nothing
that lives. He kills to obtain food and he kills to clothe himself; he
kills to adorn himself; he kills in order to attack and he kills to defend
himself; he kills to instruct himself and he kills to amuse himself; he
kills to kill. Proud and terrible king, he wants everything and nothing
resists him his table is covered with corpses And who [in the general
carnage] will exterminate him who exterminates all the others? Himself.
It is man who is charged with the slaughter of man So is accomplished
the great law of the violent destruction of living creatures. The whole
earth, perpetually steeped in blood, is nothing but a vast altar upon which
all that is living must be sacrificed without end, without measure, without
pause, until the consummation of things, until evil is extinct, until the
death of death."

I suspect this view of evolution is uncomfortable for you. It is far
easier to indulge in psycho-babble to divert attention from how things
really work.

RJ: <Gregory has whined utopically about how bad it is to develop violent

Gregory: <The above sounds more like a personal and verbally *violent*
attack than it does a rational argument.>

If you view the truth to be committing violence, and you dislike violence,
no wonder you dislike truth.

<...that person may not be able to keep that resolution do to the force of
underlying, unquestioned, subconscious emotions.>

Modern neuroscience, particularly in the nineties, has pretty much done
away with the last disreputable vestiges of this Freudian propaganda.

<If we ignore [emotions] then they control us without our being aware of
it. Deny it and you remain naive and determined.>

Our emotions don't make us robots, they make us human. Your distaste for
truth again shows itself by inverting reality. Trust your emotions, give
yourself a break. Just because people have claimed that eating Twinkies
caused them to commit heinous criminal acts doesn't mean they can escape
responsibility for their actions.

<This need to show others that we are stronger is caused by excess dopamine
in the central nervous system. It is primitive.>

Sheesh, what do I know, huh? Here I thought it was a fiendishly complex
adaptive evolutionary strategy to survive. The world is so much simpler
when that pesky truth isn't hanging around being such a wet blanket.

<Look at our entertainment industry. It is fueled by our appreciation of

It is fueled by dumping truth in favor of utility. Violence has great
utility for the barbarians of today who have grown up spoon-fed a steady
diet of your brand of relativism.

<Well, perhaps you should check where some of your violent urges come

Physician, heal thyself.

<I believe the desire to do violence is a projection upon others one's
desire to have violence done to him/herself.>

Get a refund from your Psych 101 class.

<People have violent urges when they feel insecure.>

There are a lot of elderly individuals who feel insecure in their own
neighborhoods because of the roving barbaric thugs, steeped in relativism
and chock full of self-esteem, outside their doors. Do the insecure
elderly in this situation have violent urges? Is it these raging grannies
we need to slip an emotive education to?

<It comes from within when a person is unappreciative of themself, when
they feel inadequate, unable to consciously bare the feeling that they want
to die, they will often express this in violent thought, or the
appreciation of violence in entertainment, and when taken to the extreme
they will commit actual acts of violence.>

Are you getting this from "Psychology Today"? Barney the Dinosaur? The
Ricki Lake Show?

<From without it comes when one is threatened by the other, but if one
breaks down emotively and thus rationally and chooses to persist in playing
the violent game with the other, then that fear and paranoia will be
cultivated. If we did not always react to insecure feelings with immidiate
violent feelings, then we might just be able to use that same reactive
mental energy to focus on creating *progressive* non-violent alternatives.>

Do you mean like "Love your neighbor" and "Turn the other cheek"? How

Reilly Jones | Philosophy of Technology: | The rational, moral and political relations
| between 'How we create' and 'Why we create'