waluk at earthlink.net
Sun Mar 13 05:47:49 UTC 2005
>>In the second view -- we try to influence others, while not being
That is a common view... but if we look at it objectively, we can see
that it is
profoundly irrational. >>
Interesting point you make about our influence on others being
irrational. If that were so, then we'd do not better than to shut up!
Paul J. Werbos, Dr. wrote:
> This touches on one of the most central themes in the politics of our
> world --
> and in how it is being screwed up, both on the mundane level and on
> the spiritual level.
> At 09:04 PM 3/11/2005, G. Reinhart-Waller wrote:
>> Michael writes:
>>> --That's a good point. We often fail to see how much
>>> influence we have, to the point of making life
>>> impossible for others who don't adapt to our agenda.
>>> And yet, we do not want to be influenced ourselves. It
>>> is hard to break out of a bubble, easier to insist
>>> that everyone live in it with you.
>> --How wrong is it for your own nation to assume a leading role in
>> bringing about reasonable peace throughout the world? Any person who
>> has assumed a leadership role, be it doctor, lawyer or teacher, knows
>> what leadership means. It means that there will be supporters as
>> well as those who counter your role....that's to be expected. Didn't
>> someone say not too long ago: "You are either with us or against
>> us"? Maybe it was our president when we rallied to invade Iraq. Only
>> difficulty with this stance is that it just might create another
>> Civil War.
> Some people basically propose, as an ethical principle, that we should
> all just shut up.
> That we should try hard to avoid influencing anyone else's decision or
> But in the end, I would argue that this is profoundly unnatural and
> even irresponsible...
> and to some degree physically impossible for some of us. The VERY IDEA
> of such an ethical principle is one of the problems in our world. (To
> be fancy, you
> cold label it as an aspect of "original sin." I personally would
> prefer to
> be more complete and more accurate in discussing those aspects... but...
> you wouldn't like such details here and now.)
> Some people rebel, by taking a diametrically opposite position, and
> "do their best"
> with whatever they have, trying to influence the world in whatever way
> they prefer.
> That ends up being equally bad, and the excesses it leads to have been
> the theme of struggles and pain
> on this world for as long as history goes back.
> In the second view -- we try to influence others, while not being
> influenced ourselves.
> That is a common view... but if we look at it objectively, we can see
> that it is
> profoundly irrational.
> Yes, if we are omniscient and infallible, both in knowledge and in
> values, it is natural
> for us to "do our best" in this autistic style.
> But -- recognition of our own uncertainty, of probability
> distributions concerning our knowledge,
> of areas we know almost nothing about -- should lead any rational person
> to be open to certain kinds of "influence."
> In extremis -- some of us even go to Quaker meetings, in a very active
> effort to
> develop our abilities in "listening." (Some of us, having been bulls
> in a China shop,
> may appreciate we have a special need to work hard on that aspect of
> our intelligence.)
> One may even cultivated "being influenced."
> Sometimes, when I think of the wild destruction of fundamentalists
> both "Christian"
> and "Moslem," I remember the guy who once said:
> "You don't use God. God uses you."
> That's an oversimplification.. but it would be very healthy for them
> to pay more attention to.
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