Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

what is philosophy?...

philosophy
Western philosophy 'unimaginative, even xenophobic'

These assumptions are certainly still prevalent, according to Bryan Van Norden, Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.

In his book Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto, he writes, "mainstream philosophy in the so-called West is narrow-minded, unimaginative, and even xenophobic.”


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-10/modern-philosophical-canon-has-always-been-pretty-whitewashed/11678314



So, what is philosophy?...

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Philosophy - Wikipedia



Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom") is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved.


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In short Philosophy asks “WTF are we doing here?”…

We do not need to be philosophers to live happily… We have many ways to relatively fit into a system(s) that provides opportunities to enjoy life as best we choose, whatever this is. The “love of wisdom” is an ultimate art form, a stylistic studied view of the importance of our actions and of our mistakes in our interpretations.

So, the answer to the question “WTF are we doing here?” is simply immaterial, even if we don’t scientifically understand the complex structure of the evolution of life to this point in time — which has no other purpose than to accidentally be, in a reasonably stable (though changing within so far still suitable limits) environment on a small planet, itself the result of energy and matter modification in a huge 13.8 billion year purposeless entropic universe… 

Beyond this, what we do is only relative to what we stylistically choose. We invent choices beyond natural choices as well. Philosophy is the study of these choices. Stylistic choices are a component of evolution of life having reached abilities beyond survival, into idled uncertainty, in which entertainment becomes an important factor. We, as part of this now self-aware evolution, thus can assign values to choices which intrinsically have no extra amount of stuff/crap, but ultimately can be as beneficial or not, than the alternatives. Hence, the numerous social variations in which an accident of birth has placed us into various adaptation levels. Bombarded with information, we learn to believe. For many years, information was “local”, thus our scope was limited. You know the rest.

In a nutshell, beyond pain and contentment in a body with limited reach, we can believe anything we wish we are. Philosophy becomes the study of our active delusions in order to relatively avoid confusion or/and become artful from information — some of which is “true”, “false” and very complex. Languages, themselves a product of evolution, narrow the scope of this confusion by controlling the RELATIVE ideas within a group. Whether we are atheists, Catholics, Muslim or Buddhists, these are format which codify the illusions of who we are and accept to a certain level, as individuals and as groups, willingly or under threat from the codes. 

So? Is mainstream philosophy in the so-called West narrow-minded, unimaginative, and even xenophobic? Sure it was and possibly still is, but the same questions could be asked of the Eastern philosophies, though it appears that the “nastiness” contained in the Western philosophies may have been absent "in the search for perfection". Don’t be fooled. Some of the Middle-Eastern and far Eastern philosophies had their own streak of xenophobia when applied to their social constructs.

There is no absolute philosophical thoughts, though most are based on minimising sufferance and pain — even accepting those when unavoidable, while providing a status for idealised "elevated" contentment. Some philosophies, attached to a religious beliefs, tend to turn death into an illusion of eternity. 

On a more mundane level, artful (stylistic) adaptation is one major factor of our species. Both Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Quotient are important to social relationships and activity success. As technology, including AI, improves how we live, the skills needed to thrive in a society demand a subjective adaptability quotient (AQ) — a set of abilities that help us recognise and adapt in a changing environment. But we might rebel, accept only parts of the changes while trying to change other parts. It has become human to change the environment factors to our needs — often according to our age, health and ability. The important awareness is to know when we change the environment factors beyond our personal and collective comforts, should we wish to maintain these comforts. This is especially important on a planetary level, such as present global warming — and on the loony political level.

In all this, we all have a certain amount of psychopathic/sociopathic ego which will allow us to make unsavoury choices, such as eliminating competition, in order to advance our comforts. This stems from natural self-defence forces that are basic to survival. In a more aware "love of wisdom”, studied or not, this is counterbalance with compassion, in which we allow ourselves to recognise the “others” whether there is a benefit or not. Altruism sometimes beckons...

We learn to negotiate between our selfishness and our generosity. It is the major battle in commerce, war/peace and love — which are the three main components of our relationships, democratic or not.

So, what is Philosophy in Democracy?

Democracy can be dumb... though we work hard to raise the standards...


Gus Leonisky
Local relativistic compassionate sociopath

the philosophy of democracy...

more to come...

saving the planet

 

saving the planet

 

 



relying on nature and evolution as a source of knowledge...

Thank god I am an atheist… 


This is an old joke. But then some christians who claimed to have been atheists once never were so. They subconsciously remained attached to an idea of god, despite “believing” He (god is a male) did not exist. “God loves you…” is a catch phrase that has a twist like a leash. It is meaningless yet it has a link to the important culture(s) that build cathedrals and unfolded from a ridiculous idea: god and its loony derivatives such as angels and demons — and us, in our little corner influenced by geographical location and the weather.

There are religious beliefs in which there is no god, but a transmigration of soul towards perfection. Perfection is not one of human’s best characteristics. We’re crook at perfection… Once one believes in the concept of “soul”, one gets caught in the net of religious beliefs in whichever format. These concepts have been expressed in order to give a “moral code" that suppose to becomes independent of temporality — which is thus denying our resultant natural evolution, but gives us hope that our human misery is only temporary, which it is.

What is our human misery? Good question… Some people are less miserable than others… Some are enjoying every minute of being alive, without an ounce of god or guilt in their head... So? We think we could be better, but we’re held up by the machinery that farts, belches and shits. We eat and fiddle with stuff that is not important in the scheme of things — but can be fun, like watching a horse race on a Tuesday.
So, the construct of religious values are formats of philosophies that do not explain who we are [they try hard to, but they are RIDICULOUSLY RIDICULOUS], and tells us who we "can” (could) be AS LONG AS WE PASS THE COLLECTION PLATE. It’s a neat trick that simplifies knowledge into a vague but often structured illusion of being, in which we ritualise our misery. And it could make us feel good. Our life can thus become sublimated in imagination of ideas rather than dwell in complex and unelevated understanding. Religious dodoism is a lot more tight-arse inspiring than "I am a smart monkey enjoying myself”. Religions are commercial enterprises, like candy shops, except that unlike the candy shops, they are tax exempt…

Back to the “spirituality”…

For example, the Eastern (Indian) belief Sanskrit moksha or Prakrit mokkha refers to the liberation or salvation of a soul from saṃsāra, the cycle of birth and death. [And yet people carry on procreating using enjoyable sex]... It is a blissful state of existence of a soul, attained after the destruction of all karmic bonds. A liberated soul is said to have attained its true and pristine nature of infinite bliss, infinite knowledge and infinite perception. Such a soul is called siddha and is revered in Jainism. [The Cathars seemed to have adopted some of these beliefs plus Buddhism, mixed with the idea that this temporal world was the work of the “devil”]
In Jainism, moksha is the highest and the noblest objective that a soul should strive to achieve. In fact, it is the only objective that a person should have; other objectives are contrary to the true nature of soul. With the right view, knowledge and efforts all souls can attain this state. That is why Jainism is also known as mokṣamārga or the "path to liberation".

According to the Sacred Jain Text, Tattvartha sutra:

Owing to the absence of the cause of bondage and with the functioning of the dissociation of karmas the annihilation of all karmas is liberation.

— Tattvārthsūtra (10-2)[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moksha_(Jainism)

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So what is karma? it’s not a curry but a denial of accidental events. Events are linked. We know...

Should we accept that Karma was the cause of co-founder of Syrian 'White Helmets,' James Le Mesurier’s death in Turkey? Hum... Maybe, maybe not as he would have pissed off a lot of people and some of the others did not want him to talk about his possibly still existing links to the secret services… So whether he killed himself or was pushed, the annihilation of all karmas being liberation — means the ultimate event freed him from the existential slog— true or bullshittic...

Yes, in the end, the dissociation of karmas, the annihilation of all karmas being liberation — means the ultimate event is freedom from existential slog. So far I prefer the existential dumb monkey slog to a deranged delusion that to some extend equals grand nothingness with extasy, while being alive. So:


""""""Karma is the law of moral causation. The theory of Karma is a fundamental doctrine in Buddhism. This belief was prevalent in India before the advent of the Buddha. Nevertheless, it was the Buddha who explained and formulated this doctrine in the complete form in which we have it today. 

What is the cause of the inequality that exists among mankind? 

Why should one person be brought up in the lap of luxury, endowed with fine mental, moral and physical qualities, and another in absolute poverty, steeped in misery? 

Why should one person be a mental prodigy, and another an idiot? 

Why should one person be born with saintly characteristics and another with criminal tendencies? 

Why should some be linguistic, artistic, mathematically inclined, or musical from the very cradle? 

Why should others be congenitally blind, deaf, or deformed?

Why should some be blessed, and others cursed from their births? 


Either this inequality of mankind has a cause, or it is purely accidental. No sensible person would think of attributing this unevenness, this inequality, and this diversity to blind chance or pure accident. """""""""

Crap… This is nature, you fuckwit! It’s not pretty… nor is it “perfect”. Thus I am not “sensible” for attributing this unevenness, this inequality, and this diversity to blind chance or RELATIVE accident, as there are factors like genetics, my friend...


In this world nothing happens to a person that he does not for some reason or other deserve. Usually, men of ordinary intellect [that’s me, BY CHOICE] cannot comprehend the actual reason or reasons. The definite invisible cause or causes of the visible effect is not necessarily confined to the present life, they may be traced to a proximate or remote past birth.
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/karma.htm

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The religious bullshit flies high with the pink flying pigs of porkydom...

Genetic and evolutionary sciences can answer these questions and much more, but they DEMAND, should I say, an enormous amount of difficult, accurate, knowledge, some which is still in flux though definitely on the radarscope of observation, that remove the illusions of whom we are, to tell us our real antecedents and relative families of paramecia and apes.

In all this religiosity, the randomity of nature and its success so far, is extinguished to give a purpose to our existence — apart from the accidental bushfires, which of course god has sent to test our resolve… Hey dummy!

Atheism does not do this extrapolation and could thus appear to have a lesser value than a “god loves you” catch phrase. Fantastic. At least I am not worthless because god loves me — and should I fuck this life up, I can come back and try again as a Buddhist, better… 

Tough titties. This attractive proposition has as much sense as a smelly pool of dead fish. They are dead and the pool is dry. And the sun in the milky way is shinning…. 
So, there is a fake value added to the concept of being “god’s children” or whatever soul searchers in reincarnation… The concept of self-improvement has created the notions of “karma” and of “original sin” which we seek to remove, by believing in Santa Claus. These are designed to make a clear cut between nature and soul. Naughty naughty...

The true atheist, not believing in soul, has to rely on nature and evolution as a source of knowledge and solidity, until we, us, atheists, die into nothingness. The improvement we made to our ephemeral life and improvement to that of others have not been conditional to eternity

"Soli Deo gloria" is a Latin term for Glory to God alone, exclusive to the reformed churches. It has been used by artists like Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Christoph Graupner to signify that the work was produced for the sake of praising God. The phrase has become one of the five solae propounded to summarise the Reformers' basic beliefs during the Protestant Reformation.

As a doctrine, it means that everything is done is for God's glory to the exclusion of mankind's self-glorification and pride. Christians are to be motivated and inspired by God's glory and not their own.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soli_Deo_gloria

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This is a hypocritical humble-big-boots statement. It means that we really don’t matter (which we don't) but do a little bit. God can glorify Himself and polish His (god is a male) own boots. He does not need us but we will nonetheless glorify god and hope for a seat in paradise. Yep...
So in short, a lot (all) of religious philosophies are frauds. Although they didn't really compete with each others as most of them were “local”, they still try very hard to be “universal” and fail the sniff test miserably. 
Here we should mention a nameless fellow who went to Bob Jones University (BJU) and rejected “god” until a guy at a road dinner told him “god loves you… someone is praying for you…” This story is typical of fake atheists who, like good dogs, go and sniff a few wild trees but can't stop themselves to be whistled back to their master…  

Bob Jones University is a private, non-denominational evangelical university in Greenville, South Carolina, United States. It has full on conservative cultural and religious positions. The university's athletic teams, the Bruins, compete in Division II of the National Christian College Athletic Association… Christian beef, that’s what we need like a hole in the head… and the BJU gets good money to teach rubbish...

Alleluyah and all that jazz.  Bark. Woof woof...

Gus Leonisky
Hard core atheist because...
Read also:gus wasn't there so he cannot confirm nor deny...

props for improvements...

Humans need props. Without props we’d still be basic hairless-monkeys (Curabitur glaberus muta) fighting for a space on a branch in an African forest — being subservient to gorillas and chimps. Our main props are clothes, food, shelter and knowledge. Being badly served by nature on the hairy skin-protection front, we had to find ways to survive, including stealing pelts from other animals. 



Becoming aggressive and cunningly psychopathic was thus useful. Survival would have been touch-and-go though… The species HAD TO IMPROVE to minimise this precarious condition — and we did.

Knowledge is a multi-faceted input to improve the human condition. This can be acquired singularly or by the group. Knowledge requires sharing a greater memory that CAN grow.

Communications are knowledge conduits to improve the human condition on a social and personal level. Some communications can be of low value or be limited. Memory can be false, true or falsified. We need to be vigilant, though we can use lies to advance our relative position in the group.


Technology and sciences are tangible ways to improve the human condition, by helping develop props, including seeing glasses, better food and defence weapons — and memory.

Philosophy is the mental exercise that analyses the motivation to improve the human condition, by explaining the choices of various relative values.

Religions are not tangible, though they can be powerful in motivating people to submit to a restricted fake philosophical choice based on lies, by framing it with unscientific, yet attractive baited hocus pocus. We love to be deceived. We were raised on imaginary attractive values.

Commerce, war and peace, and love are the three main levers of civilisations. Our “original" psychopathy is still useful when defending “our” patch. Wisdom tells us to tone down this “aggressive” trait and be more sharing, rather than being submissive… This is the evolution of the human wisdom.

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Technology and sciences: The case for the wisdom of technology. The new Chinese philosophy combining communism and relative freedom using technology.

Qian Xuesen (see also: why are the USA so anti-chinese…?), or Hsue-Shen Tsien (Chinese: 钱学森; 11 December 1911 – 31 October 2009), was a Chinese aerospace engineer and cyberneticist who made significant contributions to the field of aerodynamics and established engineering cybernetics. Recruited from MIT, he joined Theodore von Karman's group at Caltech.[2] During WWII, he was involved in the Manhattan Project, which ultimately led to the successful development of the first atomic bomb in America.[1] Later on, he would eventually return to China, where he would make important contributions to China's missile and space program.

During the Second Red Scare, in the 1950s, the US federal government accused him of communist sympathies. In 1950, despite protests by his colleagues, he was stripped of his security clearance.[3] He decided to return to China, but he was detained at Terminal Island, near Los Angeles.[4]


After spending five years under house arrest,[5] he was released in 1955 in exchange for the repatriation of American pilots who had been captured during the Korean War. He left the United States in September 1955 on the American President Lines passenger liner SS President Cleveland, arriving in China via Hong Kong.[6]


Upon his return, he helped lead the Chinese nuclear weapons program.[citation needed] This effort ultimately led to China's first successful atomic bomb test and hydrogen bomb test, making China the fifth nuclear weapons state, and achieving the fastest fission-to-fusion development in history. Additionally, Qian's work led to the development of the Dongfeng ballistic missile and the Chinese space program. For his contributions, he became known as the "Father of Chinese Rocketry", nicknamed the "King of Rocketry".[7][8] He is recognized as one of the founding fathers of Two Bombs, One Satellite.[9]


In 1957, Qian was elected an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He served as a Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1987 to 1998.


He was the cousin of mechanical engineer Hsue-Chu Tsien, who was involved in the aerospace industries of China and the United States; his nephew is Roger Y. Tsien, the 2008 winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


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The Hsue-Shen Tsien think tank
In general, there are two clear trends in the development of modern science and technology, says Jingyuan Yu, a Chinese systems scientist and mathematician. The first is that scientific disciplines such as physics and biology, for example, have become increasingly subdivided, giving birth to new disciplines, such as thermodynamics and cell biology. “Under the first trend, research is guided by a method of thinking called reductionism. We have gradually come to see its limitations.


For example, the study of the structure of matter has reached the quark level, but knowledge about the quark still cannot explain macro structures,” Yu observes. “We have already conducted life science research at the gene level, but just as with our knowledge of the quark, this research cannot answer the larger question of what life really is,” he says. The second trend is that different disciplines have begun to integrate with each other, such as information technology (IT) and biochemistry.


This second trend appeared later and is guided by systematology. Throughout the 20th century, systems science evolved from simple theories about operational methods into a highly sophisticated discipline. In contrast to the approach of most modern scientists, who break down the world into its basic building blocks to understand how it works, systems theorists are concerned with how the blocks fit together, and why.


Yu recognizes the limits of modern science and is keen for young scholars to observe how systems theories can explain the world in a way that traditional science cannot.


A think tank for systems engineering


Since its origins in the mid-1980s, the Hsue-Shen Tsien Think Tank has focused on how some of the world’s most complex systems— including comprehensive policy systems, engineering systems, and social systems—can be improved to serve humanity. Inspired by the theories of Hsue-Shen Tsien (also known as Xuesen Qian), founder of the Chinese school of systems engineering and one of China’s most revered systems scientists, the Think Tank’s academic team analyzes the challenges facing society using multiple approaches—including industrial and economic development forecasting—and develops theories that can spur systems innovation.


Yonggang Qian, the son of Tsien, is the chair of the Hsue-Shen Tsien Decision-Making Advisory Committee and curator of the Hsue-Shen Tsien Library at Shanghai Jiaotong University. He explains that the application of Tsien’s theories to social systems engineering can solve problems that are inherent to the formation of a modern society.


“We want to provide a scientific basis for changing people’s pattern of thinking about problems,” he explains. “We want to facilitate scientific and wise judgment, and provide the theoretical support to solve social problems.


https://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/CALSSE_infographic_0.pdf

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This is very ambitious. Theoretical solutions to social problems tend to encounter inbuilt opposition from various resentments of being told what to do — or be. But we can be bribed with hope of eternity. As well, the weird human iffy delusions in which absolute freedom-seeking is the centrepiece though it has no fully independent personal value, because we need to rely on the group to subsist, can even rely on a sub-group to protest against “solutions", good or bad. 

As well, the "equalised" social system isn’t fixed, nor predictable when certain characters, in lesser numbers, have more influence than they should. 

For example, the unrests in Bolivia, Hong Kong and Catalonia are stirred by “uncontrolled” passion that are by-passing the “democratic” majority accepted construct. In Bolivia, minorities of rich people resent the “redistribution of wealth”. Here we can sniff that their backers, the USA, aren’t making the same mistake as they did with Pinochet’s Chile. “They” have chosen a woman as their fascist/capitalist leader of the “coloured” revolution.

In Hong Kong, people aimlessly resent "whatever is slowly restricting their freedom” to the point of chanting “god saves the queen” — and in Catalonia, there is a proud historical component of independence...

The social relationships are thus fuzzed by old historical events and illusions, accepted social belonging to sub-groups and personal aspirations contrary to that of the present greater group. Sometimes, revolts are designed to reject new demands placed on privileged people by the social system when trying to provide for all (most), equally. Privileges distort the social fabric. In the 21st century, a time of freedom and enlightenment, religions also distort the narrative of progress and liberalism, because religions hate “change” — while the human condition seeks improvements. It’s in our nature not to know when enough is enough improvements. We are addicted to improvements, because we feel we’re not perfect. We've been at it for more than 300,000 years

Religious solutions to the new social context are thus obsolete by declaring behaviour ultimacy. They do not provide a democratic basis of value, as often their own structures are feudal or based on kingdom's rules. Religious beliefs tend to take away the technology and scientific knowledge, to replace it with esoteric constructs and nonsensical notions.

So what do we do? Philosophically speaking we need to take care of ourselves, care of others and of this SMALL planet, should we wish to have a better (improved) future, not so much for us, old kooks with painful joints and bones, but for the newer generations, who, for what is worth, are also as caring as we were, and even more so. This is why the kids are in the streets, protesting about global warming, created by us in our uncontrolled chase for improvements. The kids may not fully understand why, nor feel the increments of change as we have observed. Unfortunately, some of us and our leaders deny these increments, because the changes are “inconvenient” for burning more of the forest.

Our numbers are changing nonetheless. 

By this is meant that we have to realise that the more humans there are on this planet, the natural parameters that we fiddled with till now are also changing fast and are coming back to bite us on the bum. Our choices of improvements are clear if we pay attention to the real sciences. Technology could provide some answers to prevent extremes in these changes, but in reality they don’t because most of our inventions, in one way or the other, could and will add further major problems down the track. We have to bite the bullet and retreat in improved wisdom, against burning fossil fuels.

On the genomic/genetic front, life is complicated by various resonances between fitness, adaptation, mutation, attacks from other organisms and a slow run towards death. This is nature, this is us… 

How much the system can trust the transient people to be part of the system? How much liberty can be given? Who wants to be a billionaire? Is the technology designed to spy, replacing religion to create responsible or fearful citizens?… Are we all the same?

We all (we should all) know the answers to these questions. 

We cannot afford to be artful. We need to be true to ourselves. We may have to invent new improvement limits… Have a happy technological life.


Read from top.

time to go...

What if you found out that you only had a short time left to live? — What would you do? Rush through your bucket list? Get your affairs in order? Devote all your time to family and friends? Or would you have a more spiritual response? In this episode, Meredith Lake travels to Canberra — to attend the 8th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality…


….that a bolder vision of holistic care needs to be adopted for elders in our midst. But what does that care entail?

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/soul-search/god-in-the-golden-years/11697684

Not only some people want you to become deluded with “spirituality” as you get older, your own terminability tells you your body is degrading from a canter to a gallop — while often the mind does not go down the drain as fast as your knees. So, what do we do? Does a bolder vision of holistic care need to be religious, spiritual — or be a simple care, naturally human, without too many tubes and chart flows? We love you, man...
The three women are religiously oriented. It’s the purpose of the conference — and to possibly unify the various religion versions on your last ticket. They needed an atheistic point of view on this subject. Once you REALLY believe in god, you’re home and hosed. No need for more spirituality, except those whose spirituality is a soul business will try hard to make sure you stay the course and pay your dues in gifts and donations to their tax-exempt organisations. You can rest in peace that your hard-earned cash won’t go to a leftist godless government. So they add more sauce and prayers to your departure. 

So here it is.  Gus tells is like it really is. No illusions or delusions and yet plenty of fun, teases and human joys — and no regrets… No regrets? Well, it goes a bit more like this, for some:
DEATH AND THE DYING MAN (VIII,1)

Death comes not on the wise man unawares ;       
He daily for the messenger prepares, 
           Decided for the passage, waits the hour 
           Death's hour-alas ! all time is in his power. 
           Divide it into days, hours, moments- none
Escape the fatal dues : - all bend before his throne,
And the first instant that the sons of kings
Open their eyelids on the light, 
He oft the order to the palace brings,
           That seals them up in endless night.
           Plead grandeur with him or renown,
           Beauty, youth, virtue plead in vain :
           Unblushing Death still hews them down. 
One day the world around shall swell his train. 
           Nothing to mortals less unknown,
           And, since the truth must be declared,
           Nothing for which they're less prepared.
                 
           A dying man, who had attained
A hundred years, counting on future still,
           To Death complained, 
That he too suddenly called him away, 
       Ere he had made his will, 
And given him no notice of the day. 
" What ! is it fair to strike an unseen blow ? 
            Postpone, O Death, a little, pray ! 
My wife desires that I for her should stay. 
Let me my grandson settle ere I go,
And let me to my house add still a wing : 
Oh ! why are you so pressing, cruel king ?"
"Old man," cried Death, " be not so blind and bold,
To say that I come on thee unawares 
A hundred rolling suns for thee I've told : 
Where find in Paris two so sunk in years ? 
Or where find ten all over France so old ?
I should, you say, the summons have delayed,
Till you the summons were prepared to meet,
Your grandson settled, and your house complete,
           And till your testament was made. 
Old man, could not the cause enlighten thee ? 
When motion left thy power of walking dead, 
           When all before thee seemed to flee, 
Nor life, nor death, nor memory in thy head, 
And hearing, taste, and sight together sped : 
The sun but yielding thee a useless light, 
With all thy senses thus extinguished quite ?
           Before thee I have often laid
           The sick, the dying, and the dead, 
Thy fellows all, who waiting warned thee still ; 
           Then come, old man, and cease thy prayers, 
           The commonwealth but little cares
                   About thee or thy will."

Death argued right. I wish that at such age, 
As from a banquet, men might quit the stage,
Thanking the boat, their packets made and gone ; 
For who that journey can a breath postpone ?
Old murmuring man, behold these youths who die ;
Behold them march, or rather, see them fly
To certain death, a glorions death, 'tis true, 
Yet oft, alas ! too horrible to view ;
But I in vain their great example set,
Death's nearest neighbours die with most regret.


http://www.la-fontaine-ch-thierry.net/eight1_2.htm



Gus is a fierce atheist. Read from top.

Quid est vita?...

how

How to Grow a Human

Adventures in Who We Are and How We Are Made

By: Philip Ball

A cutting-edge examination of what it means to be human and to have a 'self' in the face of new scientific developments in genetic editing, cloning and neural downloading.

After seeing his own cells used to grow clumps of new neurons – essentially mini-brains – Philip Ball begins to examine the concepts of identity and consciousness. Delving into humanity's deep evolutionary past to look at how complex creatures like us emerged from single-celled life, he offers a new perspective on how humans think about ourselves.

In an age when we are increasingly encouraged to regard the 'self' as an abstract sequence of genetic information, or as a pattern of neural activity that might be 'downloaded' to a computer, he return us to the body – to flesh and blood – and anchors a conception of personhood in this unique and ephemeral mortal coil. How to Build a Human brings us back to ourselves – but in doing so, it challenges old preconceptions and values. It asks us to rethink how we exist in the world.

 

Read more:

https://www.booktopia.com.au/how-to-grow-a-human-philip-ball/book/978000...

 

 

 

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hairraising hairesis...

In a long winded article, someone called Jonathan Cole tells us about the problem of political heresy (hairesis), and its catholic antidote... It's a bit (a lot) lacking, but here is the conclusion:

 

....

Hairesis can also potentially offer novel insight into the dynamic of political polarisation. Rather than ideological polarisation being understood as a battle between (political) truth and falsehood, as most partisan protagonists appear to believe, it might simply reflect the fact that groups of like-minded thinkers glimpse different parts of total political reality through narrow windows. Political polarisation might therefore actually represent the clash of partial truths divorced from the larger truth of “total political reality.”

In other words, political polarisation might indicate the diffuse existence of political heresy — the elevation of incomplete truth to the dogmatic status of complete truth, with all of the distorting and destructive effects to which the absolutisation of a limited perspective is liable. 

 

https://www.abc.net.au/religion/the-problem-of-political-heresy-and-its-...

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Gus: Not really. This infantile dissertation, that is on par with a passable first year university thesis, might impress some greenhorn lecturers — but it lacks much practical applied grubby pedestrianism which characterises most of world and local politics, and of human nature in which we all try to get as much as we can out of the system, while relatively giving as little as possible. Political heresy? Sure, we all are heretics in our narrowed political views, as many of us compromise and fiddle, or do not care — as long as we can get food on the table and watch Netflix. 

 

Political choice in democracy is a relatively new concept, barely 150 years old — after the ebbing and flowing traumas of the Western revolutions, the American, the French, the Russian and that of the main Eastern revolution, the Chinese. Some VERY cruel choices have been made on all sides with claims of universality, when relative dumbness is individual and collective.


The TRUTH is always incomplete. Religious beliefs are totally senseless, yet we raise them to a dogmatic status in order to stabilise a human boat lost in the fog of uncertainty — and to get bums on seats for profit. The political landscape is always at the mercy of politicians' own inefficiencies and abilities, and to their psychopathic desire to stay in power with policies that have no ethics, but are decided because of the price of fish.

In modern politics, economics and perceptions of comforts tend to rule politics far more than ideology, though some groups will be less generous than others. The battle between the rich and poor is still being fought in all political spheres around the world. Class “differences” are often guided as to who has the most and can often be seen as a luxury in some structures. Nothing is clean cut, except in some country where a “royal family” controls the loot (Saudi Arabia) under draconian religious dictum.

 

Politics is often dependent of who has the biggest weapons such as controlling the police and the army (including religion — religion IS A WEAPON), despite being a MINORITY, has the most money and has the support of the “main stream” media (or politically ban media as the work of the devil or socialistas when contrary to the views of the thieving elites — such as RT Spanish being banned in Bolivia). 

 

Ideals, including hairesis, catholic or not (in the secular sense), are for planet Utopiamuck.

 

In Australia, The Prime Minister should have sacked or demanded a suspension of his Minister for burning the planet down, Angus Taylor, who has fiddled some facts and figures into a massive lie, to crowed about it in the merde-och media. 

 

Not a good look. Yes, we live on planet Muck. not Utopia. But we can dream...

 

 

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