Re: RELIGION: The meaning of Life

Guru George (
Sun, 16 Feb 1997 18:45:29 GMT

On Sat, 15 Feb 1997 05:52:56 -0500
Reilly Jones <Reilly@CompuServe.COM> wrote:


>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

Reilly, this view of the world is not wholly true, but only partially
true. Co-operation is also a strong theme in nature. Or did you miss
that part of Biology 101 because it didn't suit you?

>Again, I see here a utopian dream to revoke evolutionary laws.

Try actually reading what people are saying instead of jumping to
conclusions. You are reading Gregory through some sort of half-assed
Objectivist, pseudo-realist filter. What the hell is wrong with
utopianism, so long as it isn't trying to capture the force of law?
Aren't we allowed to try and make things better in your view of the world?
Given your 'realistic' view of things, what would *you* suggest we do
to lessen violence in society?


>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.

You fail to distinguish between how things really work and how *you*
think they really work. You are betraying the very concept of truth you
suppose you uphold. Yes, there is a lot of violence in nature; but co-
operation is also a possibility. Nature wasn't made to satisfy Gregory's
whims, for sure: neither was it made to satisfy yours.


><...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.

Ehh? Pardon me? How *could* neuroscience do that anyway? Certainly
nobody believes Freud's whole story anymore, but no psychologist would
deny the concept of the subconscious in *some* functional sense. What
about MacLean's 'Triune Brain' theory?

><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.

Gregory hasn't said anything anywhere about lack of emotional control excusing
responsibility. You are reading through your filters again. Try to be
more objective.


><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?

Come off it, this is not what he's talking about at all. Barbaric thugs
chock full of self-esteem? Precisely the opposite is true, in *most*
cases. Go back and read your Rand again and try and learn something from
her instead of just picking up her prejudices.


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

Does something have to be novel to be true? The fact of the matter, as
I see it, is that you are quite correct to say that we should always
have in reserve the most powerful weapons we can make. But Gregory is
correct in what he is saying about emotional training, and that it's a
far better strategy when you are dealing with intelligent creatures to
take on the responsibility of cutting of the negative feedback
retaliation loop than to just dumbly let it keep going, eating up
resources. Speak softly and carry a big stick, no?

Guru George