Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Dozen Aphorisms Or Something

Stupidity requires an act of will.

Error must be corrected; it doesn't have to be acknowledged. Dee Hock, creator of Visa and MasterCard

If the perfect is the enemy of the good, is the adequate enemy of the inadequate? Is the necessary the enemy of "whatever, man."

People think moral relativity or situational ethics is easy -- hedonistic indulgences of the Playboy Philosophy -- but you're more likely to do right that way, than if the economic policy of a bunch of Bronze Age shepherds is your crutch.

The war between the theist and the atheist is over whether we should know God as God, or use some other name.  Samuel Butler

I'm for using a different name.

Adam and Eve kicked God out of the Garden.  Gregory Bateson  (Gregory thought it was a bad idea. God, you should note, is not a rule book.)

Gregory Bateson not withstanding, men who don't use the familiar forms of their personal names are trying to pull a fast one.

I watched Religulous, Bill Maher's 2008 comedy documentary about religion. You'd probably call me an atheist, but I found the movie smug and unkind. Sure, the interviewees were dumb and smug, and probably unkind, but the movie and Maher pretended to a superior knowledge. And a higher standard.

Some scientist -- I forget who or what kind -- said that Richard Dawkins probably doesn't persuade anybody to atheism or even to tolerance, and the people who agree with him don't need to read him.  (About God, anyway. Dawkins is an interesting thinker about evolution.)

A guy I used to cross paths with had lived in Atlanta for a while. He was appalled that, when he enrolled his kids in little league, one of the key dads asked him for a hundred bucks. "Don't worry, you'll get it back." Later he asked them what the hundred dollar routine was about. "It's to keep the niggers out." He was appalled, but the interesting thing is that this guy and the other little league dads vote the same way.

We heard a news story about the gang-rape murder in India. The cops argued about jurisdiction before getting medical attention to the victims; as many men as women have demonstrated; the courts have gagged the press, ostensibly for the privacy of a dead woman whose family wants to get the word out; India is the home of suttee; we wondered about the demographic of thugs who pull evil stunts like this. Conclusion: India is split between cosmopolitan pragmatists struggling toward justice and a place in the ecology of their world, and authoritarian, superstitious barbarians. Just like America.  Is that the spirit of our world right now?

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