=== begin quoted passage (italicized words in the original enclosed in
[Bertrand Russell, in his own voice]:
The ethical, as opposed to the political, question is one as to *sym
pathy*. Sympathy, in the sense of being made unhappy by the sufferi
ngs of others, is to some extent natural to human beings; young
children are troubled when they hear other children crying. But the
development of this feeling is very different in different people.
Some find pleasure in the infliction of torture; others, like Buddha,
feel that they cannot be completely happy so long as any living thing
is suffering. Most people divide mankind emotionally into friends and
enemies, feeling sympathy for the former, but not for the latter. An
ethic such as that of Christianity or Buddhism has its emotional basis
in universal sympathy; Nietzsche's, in a complete absence of sym
pathy. (He frequently preaches against sympathy, and in this respect
one feels that he has no difficulty in obeying his own precepts.) The
question is: If Buddha and Nietzsche were confronted, could either
produce any argument that ought to appeal to the impartial listener? I
am not thinking of political arguments. We can imagine them appearing
before the Almighty, as in the first chapter of the Book of Job, and
offering advice as to the sort of world He should create. What could
[Bertrand Russell's imaginary dialogue between Buddha and Nietzsche]:
Buddha would open the argument by speaking of the lepers, outcast and
miserable; the poor, toiling with aching limbs and barely kept alive
by scanty nourishment; the wounded in battle, dying in slow agony; the
orphans, ill-treated by cruel guardians; and even the most successful
haunted by the thought of failure and death. From all this load of
sorrow, he would say, a way of salvation must be found, and salvation
can only come through love.
Nietzsche, whom only Omnipotence could restrain from interrupting,
would burst out when his turn came: "Good heavens, man, you must learn
to be of tougher fibre. Why go about snivelling because trivial people
suffer? Or, for that matter, because great men suffer? Trivial people
suffer trivially, great men suffer greatly, and great sufferings are
not to be regretted, because they are noble. Your ideal is a purely
negative one, absence of suffering, which can be completely secured by
non-existence. I, on the other hand, have positive ideals: I admire
Alcibiades, and the Emperor Frederick II, and Napoleon. For the sake
of such men, any misery is worth while. I appeal to You, Lord, as the
greatest of creative artists, do not let Your artistic impulses be
curbed by the degenerate fear-ridden maunderings of this wretched
Buddha, who in the courts of Heaven has learnt all history since his
death, and has mastered science with delight in the knowledge and
sorrow at the use to which men have put it, replies with calm
urbanity: "You are mistaken, Professor Nietzsche, in thinking my ideal
a purely negative one. True, it includes a negative element, the
absence of suffering; but it has in addition quite as much that is
positive as is to be found in your doctrine. Though I have no special
admiration for Alcibiades and Napoleon, I, too, have my heroes: my
successor Jesus, because he told men to love their enemies; the men
who discovered how to master the forces of nature and secure food with
less labour; the medical men who have shown how to diminish disease;
the poets and artists and musicians who have caught glimpses of the
Divine beatitude. Love and knowledge and delight in beauty are not
negations; they are enough to fill the lives of the greatest men that
have ever lived."
"All the same," Nietzsche replies, "your world would be insipid. You
should study Heraclitus, whose works survive complete in the celestial
library. Your love is compassion, which is elicited by pain; your
truth, if you are honest, is unpleasant, and only to be known through
suffering; and as to beauty, what is more beautiful than the tiger,
who owes his splendour to his fierceness? No, if the Lord should
decide for your world, I fear we should all die of boredom."
" *You* might," Buddha replies, "because you love pain, and your love
of life is a sham. But those who really love life would be happy as no
one can be happy in the world as it is."
[Bertrand Russell, in his own voice]:
For my part, I agree with Buddha as I have imagined him. But I do not
know how to prove that he is right by any argument such as can be used
in a mathematical or a scientific question. I dislike Nietzsche
because he likes the contemplation of pain, because he erects conceit
into a duty, because the men whom he most admires are conquerors,
whose glory is cleverness in causing men to die. But I think the
ultimate argument against his philosophy, as against any unpleasant
but internally self-consistent ethic, lies not in an appeal to facts,
but in an appeal to the emotions. Nietzsche despises universal love; I
feel it the motive power to all that I desire as regards the world.
His followers have had their innings, but we may hope that it is
coming rapidly to an end. [conclusion of Chapter 25, titled
=== end quoted passage ===
from Bertrand Russell's "A History of Western Philosophy," Chapter 25,
p. 771-3; Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-20158-1, copyright 1945,
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Endless discussion gives me a stiffy.
Thanks for this excerpt. There is a simple solution to both however. If I
were either Buddah or Nietzsche, I would say to God, no matter what world
you create, make your presence KNOWN. We can endure much suffering if only
in the name of a higher power we find virtuous...and pine for the shared
glory of purpose in heaven's name that becomes our own creation. Suffering
must have purpose...that's all; under God. Neitzsche, at least as Russell
suggests, would have men serve only the conqueror and not of choice, but of
necessity. One could make the arguement that Neitzsche argues for the
Devil's domain [actually, the dialogue reminded me of the short story, 'The
Devil and Daniel Webster', LOL.
Ha...I would agree on one point [with Russell in his perception here]. I
used to think Virtue was a goodness...but something always badgered me
inside when I saw seemingly very weak men arguing for the grace of
God...that seemed to 'effeminize' [invented word, ha] things.
Yuk...something about 'effeminized maledom' that reeks of nature gone wrong.
God's virtue was never an effeminate thing as I saw it [here meaning weak,
impotent etc]. I also found a certain sense of virtue in the ability of
things like leadership and command. If I had a choice, as a male, to
rewrite my life as Jesus or Alexander the Great (bear with me), I'd prefer
Alexander. Not that I diminish Jesus, but only that as a male, replete with
such things as pride and sense of domain [ha, however so small], well,
Alexander carried a 'virtue' in his sheer strength. Weak kneed preachers
hiding behind the mask of 'goodness' I concluded would NOT bear well in the
predatory world, and their message, however 'sympathetic' as Russell terms,
lost, as they simply did not understand the substance of this world upon
which their 'goodness' had to survive. Goodness must recognize the
realities of application. That's all; a respect of the world it 'survives'
This is why I resolved to myself that virtue MUST be a combination of both
'goodness' and 'strength'. As a case in point, I think to the foundation of
America where men came together with high ideals, but also with a keen eye
to 'this world' and how it works. We proclaim the notion of such things as
'We the People' and 'All Men are Created Equal'...and yet, if one studys
what has allowed these notions to survive at all in the world [at least for
several centuries now], it is their acknolwedgement that ascension of power
must be 'corralled' in a system of 'checks and balances' that work even 'til
today when we have become so politically polarized.
Virtue...both good and strong. There is some truth in Neiztche and
Buddah...and Christ [actually, my bias would have much truth found in
Christ, ha]...but all becomes decrepid and insiduous without the PRESENCE of
God. When I say 'presence'...I mean something 'concrete' that all could
see. To date, that is our greatest suffering...that God is absent to most.
BTW, suffering may have a functional reason. But that's another thread
Sympathetic response, in a physics sense, is a secondary response from a
primary action.A guitar string plucked being an example.
Some have a real sense of others reaction, and can actually develop
symptoms, both physiologically and psychologically. A typical "crossover".
In herds, this initial response is often to do with survival. There are some
very "queer" findings regarding the rapidity of such reactions...but as
Tooly said, that is another thread.....
Like many instincts, there is a positive and a negative aspect. A doctor or
medical worker would be of less value the more they respond
"sympathetically"......one could suggest "herd leadership"....as would be a
general in a theatre of war.
One of my favorite statements regarding this subject being "a good dentist
is a will only become a great dentist when he has suffered toothache".
Many find their purpose in arenas such as counseling. The best alchoholic
abuse councellor of course, is an alchoholic in remission.
Empathy is an evolutionary step for an individual. Some , like the pre
dentist toothache, are born with a such predispositions.
A Napolian will show up like the bacteria causing the toothache...all in
I like your post better than mine. Today I feel more rational I think, and
like Nietzchie, empathetic reach dulled leaving me to negotiate with reason
only. And thusly, I agree...how Napoleon's are born [with a dulled
empathetic reach or not at all even]. Nothing like a good toothache to
light a fire under a human butt.
Hmm...I turn to the idea of 'defeat' at this point. What is the nature of
defeat in a person? Is 'humility' rooted to defeat? That a Napolean had
never been defeated 'internally' might be one reason he needed no empathetic
each? I have often related such empathy to 'fear'.
Those like Nietzchie would disdain the softness of human flesh perhaps,
arguing that a true soldier would find the wherewithall to 'put pain out of
their mind'. A marine goes through a kind of mental torture in his basic
training, or perhaps refer to the Brad Pitt-Ed Norton movie 'The Fight
Club'. Do they come away 'better men'...better humans under such rigors?
The flaw in the justifcation of hell [such as the movie or basic training
may suggest] of any kind is that there is no 'end' to it, no vindication, no
graduation, no reward beyond the toughness of emotional hide that results in
time. Maybe what we are looking at here needs a gender recognition for a
better explanation? The masculine, suffering the elements of hell itself,
growing strong in it's undoing, taming a world even, but then being absorbed
back into the soft folds of the feminine as the ultimate reward and object.
Devils and Gods may have a more worldly recognition in other words?
Yes I've yelled out the same request myself in the middle of those
"I'd be so much better if you'd send down an angel or perhaps a
burning bush or something...so I could know for sure."
But then what good is faith ?
I'm lead to believe we're in somekind of bootcamp.
Perhaps the point of it IS faith.
Toughing things out blind and without communications with
In that perspective it's Nietzsche who wasn't of such tough fiber.
And neither am I the curmudgeon I often cloak my persona to be. 'Choice'
seems to be significant in justifying the substance of a BEing. The story
of Job seems to apply here, that we recognize our own agency in life, no
matter what exists above or below us. Freud's 'super ego' still works for
me, explaining a vital part of our advancement as BEings. God, at least for
me, is my symbolic tether to a higher order, a higher domain of rightness
versus wrongness that must be continually weighed. But suffering makes it
hard to keep one's better face to the stars, and often, if only we had some
concrete reinforcement...well, yea...to bolster 'faith'. With the proper
faith, even hell can be entered and the misbegotten brought back from their
damnation. In the meantime, 'blood and guts and a visceral reality'
conjoles my intellect to 'give in', to cast off my faith as bunk. But I
realize the quicksand such intellectual pull can be, and the demons of my
soul only the entitied miseries of conscious domain, reaching out to be,
themselves, saved from their torture. Otherwise, hell's burden becomes my
own where faith is lost. Faith is the life saver, a floatation device in a
sea that would otherwise drown the sentient BEing [no matter how strong a
swimmer we might otherwise think we are]. Bring on the boils...I side with
"The passions of hate arise from several features of our thinking
process. These include a desire to strengthen our community and to
alleviate our fear. The ability to quickly separate friend from foe is
essential to self-defense and safety and provides the origins of hate.
However, hatred in modern life is frequently unrelated to survival or
self-defense. People are capable of hating others with different
political and religious views, different lifestyles, and even fans of
opposing sports teams."
>I side with Job.
"an ancient proverb states that love is a high form of tolerance. This
view is one that many philosophers and scholars have researched, and
is widely accepted."
Hmm..you went off topic, but ok, I'll bite...
> "The passions of hate arise from several features of our thinking
> process. These include a desire to strengthen our community and to
> alleviate our fear. The ability to quickly separate friend from foe is
> essential to self-defense and safety and provides the origins of hate.
I personally 'hate' when I am made to eat the crap of someone else [not you
of course Turtoni..BTW, are you really Italian?]. It's about justice
really. But that's the simple answer. If the truth were known at the
deepest crevices of the human soul...or I'll even be the guinea pig here and
say 'of my human soul'...it's all about Cindy Loo. Who is Cindy Loo? Well,
in writings, I have invented this character as name given to the
quintinsential 'perfect woman'...that most lovely of dreams of the perfect
mate in life. I argue we all have a Cindy Loo [and women even perhaps of
their perfect counterpart]. We usually only end up with a Mable or Marg
having to make do of course, ha with only the vagracies of Cindy Loo in
residence. In an imperfect world, reality rarely measures up to our ideals.
Still, it is important to have such idealization for it gives us some
measure of ourselves. In every woman there is a Cindy Loo lurking around,
just as in every man his perfect counterpart waiting to get out. In
mean...really...why be brave on a battlefield anyway? Turtles in shells are
much safer...but do not inspire Cindy Loo. And so...the motion.
Cindy Loo, you see, WAS my life from the earliest moments of cognizant self.
I didn't realize it until later in life, but I looked back and realized that
all my efforts when young, my studies, my play, my adventures, my striving
to mold myself in something worthwhile, and even later struggling to make a
success of myself in some way...well, it was all about Cindy Loo. I was in
a dance...absent of the other half, but dancing nonetheless, in wait for the
culminations that would resolve the energies of life that swam in my chest.
She completed me...and no, Tom Cruise was not the first to say that, much
less think it.
> However, hatred in modern life is frequently unrelated to survival or
> self-defense. People are capable of hating others with different
> political and religious views, different lifestyles, and even fans of
> opposing sports teams."
Hate I think is really the sublimation of dark energies of love
But before I allow this imagery to cast me as some kind of weak and helpless
fool, consider that of all the changes that have taken place since,
oh...over the last 4 decades or so...women's sexuality has by far been most
impacting upon our social world. Cindy Loo, already only a dream, has been
swallowed by a more Amazonian female persona, free and empowered in a new
politicized world, now bent upon her own ascension and enslavement of me
and my fathers fathers [ in the name of her greater freedom and independence
And she 'uses' that which strikes my heart most succinctly to hold me down.
Ha, funny I'd mention Tom Cruise above, for he was in another movie,
'Legend', where his Cindy Loo was captured by the underworld demon, and
slowly turned into his dark bride. I wish such fairy tales had merit, for
it took a hero to slay the demon before she came back to her senses. The
demon in real life is much darker and has a bigger pitchfork.
Hate, I have observed, can be a protective envelope of a more fragile core
that suffers in some way. While it is true that 'curing of that suffering'
can help soften the blow [whatever it may have been], it remains the crime
existed to begin with and some repurcussion 'must' ensue for sanity to
>>I side with Job.
> "an ancient proverb states that love is a high form of tolerance. This
> view is one that many philosophers and scholars have researched, and
> is widely accepted."
Love is a state. One knows it, or they don't. It is momentary...but we
carry it's residuals that changes us. Tolerance has nothing do with
anything except modern day social expediency...a political solution for
demographic change is all. While in the state of 'love'...all objects
become subject to it's virtue...and self becomes secondary. That may seem
like a 'tolerance'...but it's not. A Parent does not 'tolerate' their
child...but 'loves' it.
as mentioned before, Bring on the Boils...Cindy....
(my ping to your pong I suppose...)
Ouch....That would be one hell of a root......
> Hmm...I turn to the idea of 'defeat' at this point. What is the nature of
> defeat in a person? Is 'humility' rooted to defeat? That a Napolean had
> never been defeated 'internally' might be one reason he needed no
> empathetic each? I have often related such empathy to 'fear'.
I'll get you befor you get me is primal.....
> Those like Nietzchie would disdain the softness of human flesh perhaps,
> arguing that a true soldier would find the wherewithall to 'put pain out
> of their mind'. A marine goes through a kind of mental torture in his
> basic training, or perhaps refer to the Brad Pitt-Ed Norton movie 'The
> Fight Club'. Do they come away 'better men'...better humans under such
I see such events a a process of elimination (rprefer the spelling
> The flaw in the justifcation of hell [such as the movie or basic training
> may suggest] of any kind is that there is no 'end' to it, no vindication,
> no graduation, no reward beyond the toughness of emotional hide that
> results in time. Maybe what we are looking at here needs a gender
> recognition for a better explanation?
The explaination lies in the interpretation of biological vs "psychological"
gender. Female and femimine have no relationship other than "suggestion".
> The masculine, suffering the elements of hell itself, growing strong in
> it's undoing, taming a world even, but then being absorbed back into the
> soft folds of the feminine as the ultimate reward and object. Devils and
> Gods may have a more worldly recognition in other words?
"We" fit the architypes to our creation, not the converse.
Like metal ore I suppose. To be useful, ore is smelted and the 'pure' metal
extracted. Our ideals work along these lines I think, allowing us some
rationale of an 'internal smelting process' by which we re-create ourselves.
We mold ourselves relative to how we idealize 'self'.
'Love' between the sexes is a struggle [beyond first mating]. Like a fire
that must tended, either partner must work to keep themselves 'molded' to
the ideals upon which love in the other is inspired. That is why, I think,
it is important either concentrates on the general ideals of what is it to
'be a better man' or 'to be a better woman'. This is an 'automatic' reach
for higher virtue you see...which 'is' the inspiration of love in either for
the other [beyond the easier energies of original sex play].
So often, such idealization is simply answered in the question of what it is
to 'to a better human'. Cindy Loo has forgotten that I think, led down a
primerose path of promises of her own empowerment in the world.
As far as God or divine being, this is sort of speaking about the standard
behind the standard don't ya' think?...the very source of 'virtue' to begin
with [by definition if nothing else]. Like a dog sniffing the air in
curious manner, about the only way I can approach such it is through my
idealization. As a sidebar, it is one reason I argue that Christianity has
a more functional advantage over other religions [speaking from a naysayer's
position]...that it provides us with a 'model'...a somewhat concrete
idealization of the human persona [I argue we can only reach upon pinnacles
within any given world or subset]. Of course, this model also has probably
gone through some alterations as our noses whiff changing currents. I
guffaw at the 'politically correct' Jesus some sect created a few years
back, replete with dreadlocks and oreo skin tones, LOL.
What's important, I'd argue, is how the ideal works upon each of us
individually by which we recreate ourselves internally.
What sells me in a big way is this idea of 'love for it's own sake'. If not
hitting a nail on a head, it certainly is leading us in a general direction
that our ideals would suggest I think. Love seems to be the orb by which we
gravitate. Where I leave the herd behind is that I do not adhere to any
dogmatic formula that makes no sense to me [like dying for sins and
stuff]...granted, probably my own inadequacy to understand, but also, to be
sincere, one must comprehend. Otherwise, we are puppets perhaps on the
leash of priests and shaman of any type. That's not to say there might be
true prophets in our midst...but there's also an awful lot of fuller brush
salesmen as well.
Aliens would be another question altogether. Since they are not from this
world, would the same models relate to them? Would the pinnacles of BEing
on this planet, make any sense at all to the 'pinnacles' by which they
evolved and grew? Would love even be an object in their domain? Our
origins define us. That is something I'd suggest to you as a friend,
Michele and not the Borg, that you remember your origins. It helped me once
when I was losing my identity to remind myself what my name was, where I was
born, and who my parents were. It kept me planted on earth to remember my
origins. It did not mean I couldn't explore my own BEing...perhaps even to
visit other worlds in some process I cannot understand [as you say you
do...or the world comes here somehow]. Your insights are too valuable to us
humans shackled here on earth :).
Sorry Borg...I tried re-reading my own post this morning and couldn't get
past the second paragraph. What the hell did I say and who would give a
fuck anyway? We are swallowed in the billions of us. I wonder who came up
with the name 'BORG' anyway? Some TV script writer who didn't know how he
or she was altering the course of history, ha. Seems to fit somehow though,
ha; 'the BORG'...yep, spot on.
It would be nice for some of us to lose our individuality, to simply
disappear within a collective. One reason I entertain the idea of the BORG
is that I once saw in myself a 'scattering' of personas...bits and pieces of
borrowed consciousness of passers-by who may have impressed me one way or
another. I was a walking collage I realized...made up of the many collages
that intertwined we deem human consciousness.
Then, when these alt.p great thinkers started to talk about Metzinger and
his discovery of 'piecemeal' consciousness by which we sew together our own
personalities, well I was taken aback you see. I don't think we should peer
into the mechanics of self so deeply. There was a time I saw each and every
'thought' a carrier of energy and the life I was an 'array' of points, one
dot after the next as each thought represented and energized as I traveled
moment to moment. Each thought had an identity unique to itself. We are
thought machines really, and upon thought, life is begotten as the energies
of...well, most here would call 'emotion', but I see as a real 'spiritual'
domain. Like ghosts, our thoughts wander upon the face of the earth,
transpiring from one to the other inspiring conscious entity as a holding
pattern of nervous order...from brain to brain to brain.
Creation itself is inspired from the foundation of the simplicity of
'thought'. I saw this once anyway...understood something. Today, I only
carry residuals to keep me going; memories of something...but no longer all
The brains are nothing more than off and on switches themselves you
know...as I see it anyway. Ah...but upon the wind the 'spirit' is carried
and the mysteries of our very soul. We borrow from that wind, and the
consciousness of one another to create our own...and yet...not our own, but
borrowed you see.
So, I have no problem with the idea of the BORG...though, I still wonder who
came up with the name. Roses smell as sweet no matter the name remember,
and BORG is as good a name as any. I believe there is a connectivity
between all life...and perhaps even all things as a living force. Each
thought carries the SPIRIT of the one who created it. Ha...and so I say
'fuck' a lot these days, because my 'spirit' has gone to the dogs I'm
afraid...a decline into the gutters of dispair.
Still, as much as I have tried to reach out in this life, I have found only
empty space and dulled ears and eyes that can only detect barks carried upon
The madness must be in me then.
But, like yourself perhaps, it is is a madness I CHOOSE...instead of the
cages and leashed chains I would otherwise endure acting to the herd's
command. Herds are collectives too, but mindless to the wind except as the
fears and insecurities they make their homes within. I hate that
herd...often anyway...so many games, so much unreason, illogical inanity and
my prison...but clown acts where monkeys are really only mimicking one
another and thinking they have seen the light.
Well, I'm a monkey too...rebellioius I suppose. Heck, if I'm going to ape
something, I suppose I just want to make it count. I suppose, that's why
I've chosen to believe in what I do.
I think something is going to happen.