Archive for the ‘Posturi vechi si foarte vechi’ Category
A good friend of mine sent me via e-mail this small interview. Thomas Metzinger [informations about him here and here], who studies philosophy of consciousness and models of the self, talks about the impact of his job on his personal life, about academic hypocrisy, amazing scientific discoveries and their applications, the great danger (which these discoveries gave birth to) that is coming on us, as humanity, and – last but not least – about losing the spiritual sense of our lives.
Read the interview, it does worth!
(Etaples, France © Andruska)
California’s voters said „yes” to „Proposition 8” – read here (thanks, Stefan)! This means that gay marriages (which were allowed since June, 2008 in the state of California) will be banned from now on. I keep wandering what the fuck means this. I mean, I thought there are some basic rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The fact that they are „guaranteed” means that they cannot constitute the subject of a popular vote. „Freedom of expression and association”, „equality under the law”, etc. are such rights. People cannot vote to ban an individual’s or a group’s enjoyment of these rights.
So why the right to marry whoever you want should be different? Why should the group of heterosexuals decide something which concerns only the group of gays? America is the land of the free? But who the hell qualifies for the „free person” label? „Land of the free”, my ass!
That’s right: in the hobbesian „state of nature” (1) even the week can destroy the strong. Nobody is safe. That’s why (2) we have to sign the contract and act together as a „body politic”. In this civil society, (3) the free rider does not always win something (watch the crocodiles!). And (4) the deceitful Kings are almost killed by the mob… The following movie extraordinary illustrates these four contractarian ideas. Here’s the real thing, although the actors are animals. The movie is 8 minutes long – but be patient and wait for the end, it’s marvelleous!
„By this means, an end can also be made to the ancient disputes regarding the participation of animals in the natural law. For it is clear that, lacking intelligence and liberty, they cannot recognize this law; but since they share to some extent in our nature by virtue of the sentient quality with which they are endowed, one will judge that they should also participate in natural right, and that man is subject to sme sort of duties toward them. It seems, in effect, that if I am obliged not to do any harm to my fellow man, it is less because he is a rational being than because he is a sentient being: a quality that, since it is common to both animals and men, sjhould at least give the former the right not to be needlessy mistreated by the latter” [Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Discourse on the Origin of Inequality]
„Other animals, which, on account of their interests having been neglected by the insensibility of the ancient jurists, stand degraded into the class of things. … The day has been, I grieve it to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated … upon the same footing as … animals are still. The day may come, when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may come one day to be recognized, that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum, are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps, the faculty for discourse?…the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being?… The time will come when humanity will extend its mantle over everything which breathes…” [Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832), Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation]
The first book I read in my life was “Fairy Tales”, written by Wilhelm Hauff. It is, in my view, probably one of the best books ever written. And Hauff (a German Romanticist writer)… well, if you have time, just read something about his life and work here and here.
Works of Wilhelm Hauff at Project Gutenberg here.