a new understanding of today, time and space.

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby promethean75 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:14 pm

my question is offered up for you...to get you to question your
basic principles, to question your beliefs, to question your ism's,
prejudice, superstitions, myths and habits

My answer: You better ruuun. Run fast for your mother, fast for your fahTHA. Run for your children for your sisters and buuraTHAS. Leave all your love and your longing behind, you can't carry it with you if you want to survive. The dog days are ovaaHUH... the dog days aaare duhhuun....
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:31 pm

promethean75 wrote:
my question is offered up for you...to get you to question your
basic principles, to question your beliefs, to question your ism's,
prejudice, superstitions, myths and habits

My answer: You better ruuun. Run fast for your mother, fast for your fahTHA. Run for your children for your sisters and buuraTHAS. Leave all your love and your longing behind, you can't carry it with you if you want to survive. The dog days are ovaaHUH... the dog days aaare duhhuun....

K: ok, and moving right along.... I have been trying to connect western philosophy
with eastern philosophy...….for example, the Vedic philosophy/religion that came
before the Buddha, was very concerned with what we would understand as
the pursuit of knowledge, what is knowledge and how do we know it?
In the west, this was the dominent philosophy from Descartes to Kant...
roughly 250 years......we have the Buddha who was concerned with
suffering, which in the west came into focus during the existentialism
period during the 20th century....and we have the ideas of values...
the Buddha doesn't really mention values per se nor does Socatres...
the first person who seems to place values at the forefront of their thinking
seems to be Jesus....

and we, our modern times seems to have forsaken values......
such a shame really.....

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:20 pm

in randomly reading the "Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy"
I came across the entry for Isaiah Berlin...…

This entry had several interesting idea's taken from Berlin's thinking.....

Are values "found" or are they "discovered"
are values discoverable "out there" as ingredients in the universe....

or are values human creations and derive their authority from this
fact? are values like freedom found within the human being or derived
from something else?

are values "subjective" or "objective" which would suggest that subjective
values are values found within us or objective which would suggest that values
are found outside of us?

is freedom an "objective" or an "subjective" value? does the value of freedom
come from the necessity of human nature or does it arise from individuals?

did the Athenians understand freedom the same way we do because
human nature is the same and as such, every human being can find
the value of freedom within their own soul or, or do we
understand freedom through a different lens then the Greeks,
which suggest that freedom is not a universal value.. it is not inherent
within every human being...…...different values for different times
based upon the needs of the individual/society at the time.. and that is
the subjective value at work...…

are values situationally derived, every situation demands different
values and that changes across time...…. or is Gandhi right?
Love is a eternal value, a objective value that exists in every
human being across every time period?

confusion arises because we haven't learned to understand values
in their historical context...is Jesus talking about love the same
way as Gandhi and the same way as Tolstoy talks about it?
and the same way we currently think about love?

how exactly are we to understand values?

what is love, freedom, justice, peace?

how are we going to understand these values?

subjectively or objectively? or as both subjective and objective
which is situational values...…

Berlin also spoke about pluralism values vs mono values....
Berlin rejected any attempt to understand the universe
by any monotheist value or one method of understanding
the universe... He would have rejected Spinoza for
offering up a single viewpoint of the universe.....

we understand pluralistic values as a western
tendency to tolerance of values as being an essential
aspect of the inheritance from the Enlightenment.....

those who reject the Enlightenment program reject
tolerance and pluralistic values.... these rejecters
of the Enlightenment are supporters of a mono value.....

this is an authoritarian vision of values....
one value fits all...…..and the authorities
tell us what that value is...… usually the value chosen
is obedience, usually...…..and usually the values chosen is objective value

for subjective values are subject to being chosen by anybody and
the authoritarian wants to be the one to pick the value to be
in effect for that society...….thus the tendency in authoritarian
society is to preach objective values and to give that objective value
some validity in either god or some historical understanding...
the Stalinists made "dialectical materialism" their value to be
their objective value and no other value was tolerated.....
and as the Stalinists were the only ones allowed to interpret
"dialectical materialism" thus they picked the value to be
be honored within society.....

and although we in America proclaim our society as being tolerant,
the value that has dominated America is Martial value,
we give priority to security and defense and soldiers and policemen....
as indicated by that moral document, the US budget in which
the dominant value is military, defense, security...….

in America we have been at war 222 years out of 239 years
of American history... we have been in peace less then 20 years
of our entire history.....

in other words, the greatest threat to peace in the world is America...
and that is our value, war and violence....

are your values, mono or pluralistic?

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:12 pm

so let us attempt to problem solve with values, be it
mono or pluralistic values...….

let us take this mono idea that god is everything...
every path runs through god and all we have to to do is
to trust god.......so in regards to a problem like say,
global warming.... the answer for a mono thinker is to
trust god..... for with mono thinkers, there is but one
path, one vision, one solution....now this is true of any
mono thinkers be it communist or be it a born again Christian....

now for a pluralistic thinker, there is more then one path,
more then one vision, multiple solutions, multiple possibilities....
so let us try the problem of global warming with someone
who is a pluralistic thinker....you try to depend upon god,
but it seems to a pluralistic thinker that the solution to
global warming can involved trying several different paths,
solutions.. for no one path seems to offer us a silver bullet
of a solution for global warming.....

so it seems that in regards to problem solving, pluralistic
thinking would better be able to solve problems then mono
thinking. so let us continue this thought... what of value conflict,
two values conflict say, liberty with equality/public order or
mercy with justice, love with impartiality/fairness.....
we can have conflicting values, freedom vs security....
is a common conflicting value in America today...
we have many who with mono thinking have
endorsed security above freedom...

but let us take a closer look at this....
we cannot judge between the two values as
far as taking one over the other... both values,
freedom and security have useful value to human beings...…
we need both, but in conflict, which one should we choose?

mono thinkers on the right have picked security
as their guiding value... again see that moral document,
the US budget, and see that the value prized most in that
document is security....

but pluralistic thinkers will accept the need for security, but
also accept the need for freedom and love and possibilities
and other values...…. in other words, pluralistic thinkers
accept more then one possibility, more then just one path, more
then just one vision, more then just one solution.....

that enables pluralistic thinkers to cast about for multiple
solutions for every problem...it has been my experience in life,
all 60 years, that solutions are often found within different, diverse,
possibilities of life....mono thinkers cannot see outside of their own
path to see different solutions to problems..... in other words,
pluralistic thinkers seen to be better able to find solutions to
problems because they have a wider field of solutions to work

if there is one thing we can learn from evolution is this, one of the major
traits that allow species the chance to survive is adaptability... those who
can adapt, survive..... mono thinkers have less adaptability then
pluralistic thinkers because there is only one solution for a mono
thinker.. and that isn't adapting.....

so one of the basic skills of being human is problem solving,
we are forced to problem solve all our lives...…
"what am I to do?" "What can I hope for?" "What should my values be?"

those are problems and mono thinkers might believe that "what am I to do?"
the only solution is the religious one, which is to worship god and obey god,
prepare the soul for heaven...… and how does that one path solve
the problem of overpopulation or pollution or global warming?

so let us return to the conflict between security and freedom.....
let us face the fact that no matter how we try, we cannot
be 100% secure... it is an impossibility to be totally secure,
look at America today, even with all these attempts to force
security, we are less secure today then we were two years ago...…

and let us address why we are less secure, guns..... pure and simple,
we have conflated the gun culture in America to the point,
where gun advocates want guns in the hands of everyone in America...
this supposed to increase security......and everyone being
children and those with mental issues and basically anyone over the age
of 10...……….

this has quite clearly allowed guns to fall into the hands of violent
right wing domestic terrorist.... think of the shootings that have happened
in schools and public places, in which the GOP is quick to proclaim these
people as having mental issues but in reality they are white, right wing
domestic terrorist..... anyone who kills for an ism an ideology is
a terrorist... thus anyone who in the Incel culture who kills in the name of
that ism is a terrorist.....acts of violence committed in the name of an ism
or ideology is by definition, a terrorist....but what about those who are
violent or kill in the name of money...…. they too are acting from an ism,
an ideology, the materialistic ism of capitalism which prays to mammon
and worships money/profits...……..they too are terrorist for they have
committed violence in the name of a failed ism...….

and the solution to terrorism? as we have already mentioned,
security cannot be total, we cannot be completely safe and secure
from our domestic terrorism problem...……

but we can find other solutions.... allow people the
freedom to engage in ism's or ideologies... but we take away
the means of committing massive violence... that means gun control....

the solution to gun violence is to lessen the amount of guns in
America... but single minded mono thinkers cannot
grasp that solution because in their mono thinking
guns is a means of security....but guns and more guns,
decreases the safety, security of everyone involved.....
the mono thinking that guns protects people is leading to
a decrease in security and safety in the America society...…
but mono thinkers are unable to see, think that way....
they are fixated on their one and only path, their only
solution....whereas pluralistic thinkers can see, think
of other solutions that will in fact make America safer.....

but mono thinkers, in their set mono thinking are unable to see any
other path besides the path they are set upon.....

so to engage in the conflict between values, we must
engage with pluralistic problem solving, not mono thinking
about the conflict between values.....we must be adaptable
and flexible in our thinking about values.....for values are
situational values...… like situational ethics, different values/ethics
are required during different times and different situations.....

our values can certainly give us some base line understanding of
any situation, but sometimes we must use different values
for different situations.....

there is no firm, set rules for engagement with values, just as
there is no firm, set rules for situational ethics...……

but in our actions, let us engage in the higher values in our
engagement with situations...… we can have the higher values
become our guide to any situation.... so we can use love or hope
or justice or peace or equality to guide our actions... just as we
can avoid the lower values in situations.... anger, hate, lust, greed,

so that is our guide, we can use any number of higher values to
engage with a situation instead of using the lower values...
that means we can decide upon several different values to
work out an situation....so we are not committed to any one given value,
but we are committed to using the higher values to explore solutions
to any given situation....that is pluralistic thinking... we don't commit
to any one higher value, we simply see which higher value will work in
a situation.. meanwhile avoiding lower value solutions to a problem...……

thus we avoid the mono thinker solution to any give problem is with
a lower value solution... thus he answers a situation with fear or with hate,
and that is how a mono thinker reacts to a situation.. with only one value..
whereas a given situation may require multiple possibilities of values.....

so we find our multiple possibilities within the higher values of human existence
and not in the lower values of human/animal existence......

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:03 pm

while thinking about it, even Buddhism is mono thinking,
given the goal is to relieve suffering, all of life is suffering..
and yet that isn't true....life has multiple possibilities including
happiness and love and beauty and peace as well as the lower
instincts of the human being, anger, hate, violence, fear, greed
and lust, to name a few......so to single out suffering as our main
form of human existence is to simply ignore all our other possibilities....

possibilities that are multiple are pluralistic possibilities and must
be worked out as pluralistic thinking.....and not mono thinking...….

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:08 pm

Ok, let us take another question which the Buddha tried
to answer.... can life be ultimately satisfying?

Given the Buddhist understanding that suffering is the key part
of life... can life be ultimately satisfying given that we are always
in a state of suffering?

Kinda depends on how you define "ultimately satisfying?

I think you need to remove the word "ultimately" because
that word doesn't really mean anything in this context...
so, the question now is, "can life be satisfying even with the suffering?"

and the answer is quite clear, yes... life can be satisfying even with
the inevitable suffering..... we all suffer and so what?

it is the price of admission to this play called life.....

we can bond as human beings over our shared suffering..
for I too shall be born, grow old, become diseased and die...
we share our sufferings... plays and movies and books
are made in which we share our suffering and in sharing
we reduce the grief because we know that our suffering is shared
and that comfort us...it gives us solace when we
can share our burden and cry together...…

recall the basic fundamental fact of human existence, that we
are social creatures and we don't and can't exist independently
of other human beings.... my burden is your burden and your burden
is my burden.... for we suffer, just at different times...
and that is both the curse of and the benefit of being human beings....

think of the great suffering we face and what we have done with
that suffering is to create great ART.... every piece of art stems
from suffering of some sort....

by creating art, we overcome suffering... and overcoming is part
of the human gig... at every level of a human's life, we overcome...
and one of the means of overcoming our pain and sorrow and suffering
is to transform that pain and sorrow and suffering into art.....

we release the burden by making it into something tangible and real...
and that lessen the burden of our life... it is taking something felt
and intangible and turning it into a physical presence which frees us
from the weight of the suffering....that turning it into the physical, that takes
suffering out of our body and puts it somewhere outside of us...….

the art, become a physical embodiment of our pain and suffering....
and it becomes separate, apart from us...…

thus we don't have to remove or attempt to remove suffering..
we can simply transform it into something useful and thus becoming
free of it...…..

pain and suffering can become a source of strength and wisdom by
us overcoming the pain and suffering with art or some other
act of turning that pain and suffering into something else.....

suffering is not the weakness that the Buddhists proclaim it is,
suffering can be overcome into strength and wisdom and courage
and fortitude and toughness and energy....

or we can allow suffering to become the lower instincts of hate,
anger, fear, greed and lust...…

and that becomes the question, do we turn our inevitable suffering
into something positive or into something negative?

do we overcome suffering or do we allow suffering to dominate our lives
by turning to the lower instincts to redeem our suffering?

I know what direction I want to exchange my suffering into, but do you
know what direction you want to exchange your suffering into?

positive values or negative values?

your choice....

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Dan~ » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:08 pm

Pain does not make life any less or more valid.
Pain is a mechanism, not an ideology.
Buddha didn't seem to know this.
I like http://www.accuradio.com , internet radio.
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:01 pm

Dan~ wrote:Pain does not make life any less or more valid.
Pain is a mechanism, not an ideology.
Buddha didn't seem to know this.

K: quite observant Dan... yes, pain is a mechanism we human use to
teach us about ourselves and the world.... pain is an evolutionary
product.... we stay away from painful things, for example, we see bee's
and we have learn to connect the bee's to pain and so we stay away from them....

pain is an mechanism but feelings have been turned into ideology...
guilt for example is one of the driving forces of Christianity...….
(one of my younger sisters is a born again christian and guilt was one of her
driving forces to become Christian.. a fact I'm sure she would deny)

as far as pain making life valid or not, I can only say that pain is certainly
one of the driving forces of human beings... we strive very hard to avoid
pain, well most of us, some take pleasure in pain and not just sexual pleasure,
pain reminds us we are still alive..... at times, we need
pain to wake us up from our walking dreams of working and living.....
we are sleepwalkers, that might be the definition of our time as a
human being and pain wakes us up from this sleepwalking, we spend our
days doing.....

and what did the Buddha know and when did he know it?
sounds like a future impeachment trial of the Buddha...…

actually that is not a bad idea, put the religious types, the Buddha
and Jesus and Mohammed on trial ...let them defend themselves
from their crimes of waking people and forcing people to confront themselves.....

yes, that should be a crime.... waking people up from their sleepwalking
and forcing them to take a hard look at their lives...…. god forbid, we
actually take the time to take a long, hard look at our time on earth...

to force people to ask the existential questions about themselves...

"What am I to do?" or "what should I hope for?" or "what values should we hold?"

how dare the Buddha wake me up and force me to try to make sense of my life..
I was perfectly happy just drifting along, engage with only my pursuit
of finding my happiness.... never asking is, happiness really the goal I should
be pursuing?

who does he think he is?

who do you think you are.. once you have been awoken from your walking dream?

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:29 pm

a new problem:

how do we get human beings who are involved in their own little world,
engaged in their private search for happiness which quite often means
the private search to fulfill their desires, it is money or material goods or
homes or cars or TV's sets...

the search for happiness is equated with the fulfillment of desires,
and in the west, that desire is for material goods/wealth.....

and how do we get those fixated upon achieving their desires to
exists peacefully within a society? where in the desire
to fulfill your happiness can come into conflict with the society's
need for order. how do we get people to give up their selfish needs
to engage with what society needs? Let us take taxes for example,
people see the taking of taxes from a selfish desire to keep money as long
as possible in their own hands....those who oppose taxes see this issue from
a personal need to have money so they can engage in their desires to
happiness...….and by paying taxes, the money they want to engage in their
own form of desire for happiness, that money is taken from them...…

so how do we get people who are engaged in their own pursuit of
happiness, which usually involves money, to engage with the state, to
become willing participants within the state, thus compromising people
ability to pursue their own understanding of happiness....

"the social contract" by Rousseau is one such attempt to get people to
engage with the state even though it might be against their own self interest
to do so...….the state becomes the higher goal for the people to reach which
means that the people freely will walk away from their own attempts at
happiness to serve the state... this idea of a higher cause has been the
working theory of how we get people to forsake their own selfish engagement
with the fulfillment of their own desires...

another attempt to get people to freely deny their own pursuit of happiness
is another example of the "higher cause" theory which is the reason
that religion is tied into the state... the French revolution was a classic
example of turning the people need for a religion on a religious basis
to having the state replace the religious pursuit of god into a secular
pursuit of the goals and functions of the state...… instead of religion being
individualist, we have a collective religion of the state in which we pray
to the state....this attempt to transform the religious into the
same feeling about the religious into a state worship is quite
evident in America today..... every single Politician today ends
their speech with the exact same words, "god bless America"

that is an attempt to turn our religious feeling toward god toward
an religious feeling toward the state... to pray to a higher power,
replacing the church with the state as the higher power...….

this, in part, is why the religious right has mixed feeling toward the state....
they can feel that the worship that should be directed toward god, in their minds,
is being directed toward the state... and the continuous demand for a more religious
country but in reality that is really about the demand to make god the subject of
our prayers and thoughts, not the state.....

it has been said, the goal has been for the last 200 years to find some method
of taking the religious feeling toward religions and god and find some way to
redirect that toward the state.... hence we see Marx making such an attempt,
turning the feeling of religiousness we have into the same feeling toward the state.....

a secular religion as it were with the state being the divine power being prayed
to and with money also being prayed to..... think of the father, the son, the holy ghost,
where we pray to the father, played by the state, the son, played by money,
and the holy ghost is capitalism....

we have a new trinity... a secular trinity to which we can pray to and worship
as divine.. just transform the feeling we have to god, toward the state/money.....

and this attempt to transform has been going on for hundreds of years and
we see it every single day in America..... we see IQ45 being the new god
and all should hail this god, at least according to the radical right wing...
replace god with IQ45..... that is the agenda going on today.....

but one wonders, how could this take place?

the answer is actually quite evident.... once a commitment to
a prior ism or ideology is lost, then it can be replaced by another
ism or ideology.... for example, Christianity couldn't have done what
it did in ancient Rome without the fact that people no longer
believed in or could commit to the old gods... that gave Christianity
the chance to replace the old pagan gods... when people no longer believe,
they turn to new religions to replace the old religions.....

in other words, people in America has lost their faith in god, religion,
the state.... and they are trying to replace that lost faith with a new faith,
a new religion with the worship of a supreme leader who replaces god....

we have lost our high moral ground and we feel it, and so we are trying
to replace it with something else...…

"what should we believe in?" another Kantian/Kropotkin question..
being played out in the streets of America today... should we hold firm
to the old gods, the old ism's and ideologies of democracy and freedom
and liberty... or should we abandon the old gods for the new gods,
dictatorship, security, certainty...…

people must have something to believe in and this is why the attempt
to find a new religion comes into play... replace the church with the state.....

"so what secular religion should we believe?"

our 21st century problem....

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:48 pm

just allowing my mind to ramble, I was thinking about the fact
that the U.S has been at war 93% of the time since 1776, or
222 years out of 239 years...… and that fact got me to thinking,
about what it means to be in a democracy while having gone to war
93% of the time? as for the UK, since 1707 which is when the union
began, it is almost impossible to tell how many years of war because
the UK too has been in constant war.... for example, during Queen Victoria reign,
in those 64 years, the UK fought in roughly 230 wars.... every single year of her
reign was involved in some sort of conflict....

so given that the two leading constitutional democracies in the world have
constantly been involved in wars over the last 200 years, what does
it say about these countries that they require to be in war...
recall the basic premise of the American "experiment" is that the the power
of the goverment derived their consent from the people... did the people
actually given their consent to be in continuous wars over the duration of the
last 200 years?

is it the mark of a constitutional democracy to constantly be at war?

I am haunted by the words in the Declaration of Independence:

"...... that to secure these rights (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness)
Governments are instituted aong Men, deriving their just powers from
the consent of the governed__that whenever any form of government
becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter
or to abolish it, and to institute new government laying its foundations
on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall
seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness......…"

if our democratically elected officials keep taking us into war, perhaps
that government has become destructive and we the people, have the right
to alter or, or abolish it and institute a new government that will engage
in such principles that will keep the peace and engage in our happiness....

to engage in constant war over our entire history is not conducive to the
safety and happiness of the people in question.....

the long war in Iraq and Afghanistan reminds me of nothing more then the
foolish Peloponnesian war Athens fought when they sent an expeditionary to
attack Syracuse Sicily which depleted the resources of Athens and brought about
its fall.....

we too are wasting resources in a foolish and unnecessary war across the world
and the end result will simply be the destruction of America just as the final
result of the Peloponnesian war was the destruction of Athens.....

As a democracy, are we so committed to war or should we try a different
tack and pursue peace with the same energy we have pursue war over
these last 200 years.

must democracies have wars to even exist? this seems to be the lesson
of the last 200 years of our American democracy.. to survive we must
engage in wars of all kinds, is that the reason for our existence?
to engage in wars? I found it really hard to believe that the only
way democracies can exist is by engaging in wars...…

when the very basic point of democracy is to hold certain principles
in common... we hold these principles in common with our fellow
citizen... we voluntarily agree to these principles and we agree to
obey the law and suffer the consequences of disobeying the law...

democracies exists because we commonly agree to consent...
and yet we seem to be unable to come to some sort of agreement with
other countries or peoples which has lead to the constant wars of America....

"we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal"

if this is true, then why the constant wars? I would suggest another factor
is involved besides the consent of the governed... and that is
our foolish belief that we are somehow special as American's.....
and this American exceptionalism allows us to act as we please with
no possible consequences for our actions...….we are not inherently
different then other countries.. for we have proven that by our constant
warfare over our entire history.... we don't have a unique mission to transform
the world because we have forsaken our principles by our actions over
these last few years, invading countries that had nothing to do with 9/11,
suspending constitutional rights in some vain attempt to secure our safety,
which does nothing to secure our safety... our sense of our history and
our mission gives us some superiority over all other nations....
and yet, we have engaged in the practice of torture of prisoners in Iraq
and we have systemically stripped people their right to vote and
we have elected a president who violates every single decent
rule of being a human being... we now tolerate lies from the president,
we now tolerate sexism and racism in America, the KKK is on the rise,
radical nationalism is on the rise, all the lower values are the ones we
now celebrate... not the values of the "better angels of our nature"

we celebrate the lower values of hate and anger and lust and greed
and violence by our silence to those who practice those values...
we cannot be silent to those who engage in the debasement of American

"we the people in order to form a more perfect union"

we the people... we the people must fight for the
rights and values of our democracy... but that leads us
back to the constant wars of America.... so we are left with
a quandary... a question...… which America is the "real"
America? is our America, the America that is the shinning
city on the hill or are we simply the country that has spent
our entire history engaged in wars?

what is our "real" morals and values?

are we really so debased that we must fight war after war after war,
or do we practice what we preach and begin the long struggle to find
"peace in our time" and not only peace in our time, but peace for all time.....

that very contradiction that lies in the heart of America,
must be engaged with, understood, before we become the latest superpower
to collapse under the weight of our own contradiction...…

are we a peaceful nation or are we a warlike nation?

are we going to bow down to the lower forces of our nature or
are we going to rise to the better angels of our nature?

are we going to practice what we preach or
do we continue to engage in hypocrisy?

which America do you want?

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 7180
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state

Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:18 pm

The question we philosophers and scientist and thinkers face are
rational questions... but how do we, the rational thinkers face the
quite human problem of irrationalism?

politically, the left accuses the right of irrationalism and the right accuses
the left of extreme rationalism,

this is an example of this question of rationalism vs irrationalism....

it has been called on occasion, the Athens vs Jerusalem problem....

to simplify the debate, it goes like this....

the citizens of Athens begin with the Socratic notion of true knowledge begins
when we admit we know nothing....

while the citizens of Jerusalem believe in the humble obedience to the
revelation and the word of god.....

faith vs science...….

this is the shorthand of this debate... faith vs science.....

the left is about the evidence and the right is about the faith.....

but this debate runs deeper then just simple politics....

the Kantian/Kropotkin questions offer us another example of this....

"What can I know?" vs "what should I believe in?"

we on the left see the danger behind extreme faith, the fear
and hate and anger... the lower notions of our instincts

the right see's the danger of extreme intellect....the coldness
and heartless actions that come from only operating from the intellect.....

the right accuses the left of acting without a soul and the left accuses
the right of acting without intellect...…

and yet given the current reality, who is behind the concentration camps
of children and the demonization of immigrants and the demonization of
any who hold different ism's or ideologies or look different or love different?

the right has forsaken their compassion and love for fear and hate...
so the right has forsaken not only intellect, but has forsaken
the ideals of Jerusalem... following the laws of god...…
for Jesus was quite clear about the ideals in which mankind must
follow to follow in his footsteps.....

in his parables, the parable of the good Samaritan tells of a man
beaten and robbed, left half dead by the side of the road...
first a priest and then a Levite come by, but both avoid the man,
finally a Samaritan happens by the traveler, well the Jews and
the Samaritans despise each other but the Samaritan helps the
beaten traveler....and the question is asked, "Who is my neighbour?"

the religious question.... who should I love? the right has forsaken this
parable in favor of hate and fear and anger.... values which are specifically
rejected by Jesus.....and who has risen to accept the challenge of
the good Samaritan? certainly not the right, but the left...………

and does the left act from belief in Jerusalem?

No, we hold no such belief...…. and yet, we are acting,
may I say it, irrationally..... we hold this belief to be
self evident, "that all men are created equal"

and we then connect the ethical behavior of human beings
with the political beliefs...… justice requires that we
treat everyone equally.... another ethical belief become

the right holds to the laws.... we must obey the laws,
recall the right used to hold to the value of the "law and order"
party... that was how Nixon got elected.... by proclaiming the
GOP was the "law and order" party....the right would advocate
that one was required to obey the laws, be it the laws of man
or be it the laws of god.... and yet, we have a gutless coward
president who proclaims himself above the law and he is supported
by the right in his lawless reign as president.....

if the right has forsaken its values... the belief in obedience to the law
be it to man or be it to god and if the right has forsaken Jerusalem,
and has forsaken Athens, then what exactly does the right hold as truth?

for today, we are faced with the crisis of irrationalism....
when the right has adapted the cause of irrationalism
but not the values of Jerusalem.. for those values are
obedience to the law and the right has forsaken those values....

so we have two distinct and separate values at work here...
the values of Athens, rationalism and the values of Jerusalem,
the cause of obedience to the laws of god.... the left is of Athens....
and because of the failure of the right to commit to the laws
of Jerusalem, the left has taken over the value of compassion
and love but without, without any obedience to god and his laws.....

we have accepted the value that "all men are created equal" without
recourse to religious ideals and this is the path into the future.....
we can hold to the parable of the "good Samaritan" without recourse
to holding any belief in god.....holding religious values without
any religion...… a secular value system in which the dignity of man
is value because he is a living, breathing member of life.....
and that is the value to which we must aspire.....

not engaging in the highest belief in human beings as members
of a tribe or a city or the color of their skin or any arbitrary
values system...….. in other words, you are part of the club
by simply being alive....by being alive, you are valued...

regardless of how different you look or who you love or
how many legs you have... Life is sacred regardless of what that
life looks like...…. and we understand sacred, not in terms
of any given god or religion but we understand sacred
as in being life......

one might proclaim the left of hypocrisy because of the abortion issue
but the left is far more consistent then the right on this issue.....

one of the primary issues facing us and the one that is neglected by
the right is the issue of the quality of life.... I don't hold to eternal life
because I don't think that by extending one's life you gain any quality of life...

and for me, it isn't the length of life that counts, but the quality of life...
it isn't about numbers, how many people there are or how long they live,
it is about people's quality of life.....if we run short of resources, then
our quality of life becomes impacted and for me, that is far more important
then how many people live to be a 100 or how many millions of people live
to be a 100....

I am not interested in how many people find god or how many people
discover religion, but in people's quality of life...

if we shift our values to include the quality of life, much of what we do
seems to be wrong...…….and quality of life issues are not just Athens or
Jerusalem issues, but both of their issues.....

we can count quality of life issues to both Athens and Jerusalem...
this is in part, why I think the retirement age should be much younger then
65..... I am old and I am discovering that because of my physical infirmities,
I am already limited in what is physically possible for me.... to wait several more
years to retire means, I will be unable to engage physically in the activities
that I would want to engage with when I retire...….. even now, travel is
getting harder to do as I age...……

my quality of life has decreased because of my physical issues and will
continue to decrease as I grow older...…...that is the sad truth of
growing old... one's quality of life decreases every year due to
physical and mental issues...…..

if we were to judge life based on the quality of life, then
billions of people have a terrible quality of life...
for we have massive poverty and poverty impacts their quality of life...
we can no longer judge human existence based on the high quality of life
that some or a few have... we must judge human existence based on
the quality of life that the majority have..... and I believe that
the majority of people have a limited quality of life because of such
ism's and ideologies as communism or capitalism or Buddhism
or Catholicism...… I belief that we should judge the quality of
people life based on the quality of life... the idea of Maslow's
hierarchy of needs is an excellent place to start...where we
judge the quality of life based on meeting certain human needs..
such as the bottom need which are the physiological needs,
food, water, warmth, rest... and the next step of the needs
is the safety needs, security, safety...
then the next step is belonging and love needs, relationships with
family and friends....
then the next need is the esteem needs, prestige and feeling of
accomplishment and the final stage of human needs is the
self actualization needs achieving one's full potential including
creative activities...…..

today, we are failing in even being able to have people reach the
first stage of their needs which is the physiological needs of
food, water, warmth and rest and education...we are failing in
those basic necessities, little less reaching any other stage
of human needs...…..

and what of the quality of life needs which I have stressed?

I believe that to reach one's quality of life, we must actively
engage in the idea of income inequality... we must reduce
income inequality to reach our overall goal of increasing the
quality of life for everyone.... that is in part, why we must
understand what goal we want to reach... because the goal
dictates the means of how we reach our goal.....

and to improve our quality of life, for everyone, means
we must think about how we can increase everyone
quality of life....and the reduction in the income inequality is
one such path to a better quality of life for everyone.....

the goal dictates the path taken....

what goal to you want dictates the path you take

and what goal do you want?

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 7180
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state

Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:09 pm

and so, in an attempt to further understand this
idea of the "quality of life" we try to focus on
what the left see's as quality of issues.....

we see in addition to just putting food on the table
and clean water and shelter, but we see quality of life
issues in education and medical care....

as someone who has dwelt with medical issues all my life,
from hearing loss to multiple surgeries, I can attest to the fact
that part of the quality of life is good health...and during my last
health issues, my medical bills ran to roughly 360,000 dollars
even with medical insurance, our part of that bill was over 70,000 dollars...
we received medical bills for a couple of years after my 3 surgeries and
a roughly 4 separate week long hospital stays......and how those immense
medical costs impacted our quality of life cannot be underestimated.....
we were able to pay those bills but just barely.. and what of families or
individuals who cannot afford to pay those medical bills? they are forced
to declare bankruptcy and ruin their financial life.... and why? because of
unavoidable health issues.... the left see's health as a quality of life
issue and it is...we see the medical needs of people as being as important
as putting food on the table or getting clean, drinkable water or finding

and the other quality of life issue we see is education...…… one of the goal's
of human being is to discover their possibilities, to discover their potential
and one of the major ways to discover our possibilities or potentials is by
education.....but to force people to go into debt to discover their possibilities
is simply wrong... to force people to limit their quality of life to discover their
possibilities is cruel and unnecessary.... we can do better and we must do better...
so we include medical care and education into the lower physiological needs of food
and water and warmth and rest.... and the right does not...…

the right denies that people even have the possibility of quality of life because the right
is willing to deny people the basic needs of life, food, clean water, shelter... little less the
basic fundamental needs of education and medical care....

and the right does so based on ism's and ideologies like capitalism and religion....

but if the question of Jerusalem is to obey the word of god/religion
then the right must obey the values of Jesus in terms of loving thy neighbor or
following the 10 commandments... thou shall not lie, thou shall not kill,
thou shall not covet...whatever.....

and the path of the Buddha is also the path of thou shall not covet..
for it is desire, that is part of the reason for suffering in the world
on the Buddha road to understanding... it is desire that leads us
to suffer and by not coveting, more easily can we achieve our
victory over suffering and find the path to salvation and god.....

the road for Jesus and the Buddha is the same road.... and the path
to a quality of life is the same path...for it is by desiring our own
wealth and our own happiness that we increase income inequality
which decreases the overall quality of life for human beings and other
life on planet earth......and we must be mindful of the quality of life
for ourselves and for other life on planet earth...….

for part of the equation of life must include an understanding
of the quality of life for all concern.....

does some action of mine improve or decrease the quality of life
for people and life? that must become part of our equation for
our own personal actions and beliefs...…

hence we include education and medical care in our understanding
of human needs and include education and medical care into the
bottom run of our needs... the basic and lowest level of Maslow's
hierarchy of needs....

so make every valuation of life and every action based on some
understanding of the quality of life for yourself and/or other people.....

that is one path.... that there are other paths is clear...

so what path of understanding are you taking?

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 7180
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state


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