Biology? Culture?

World peace is a stretch, since we don’t all choose the same goals, but we can still look for ways to create solidarities – such as by working to agitate authoritarians, to revolt against tyrants, to amplify marginalised voices – to abolish oppression. Persistence is essential since, as de Beauvoir says, ‘One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.’ De Beauvoir is surely right that this is the risk, the anguish, and the beauty of human existence.Aeon counter – do not remove

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5 thoughts on “Biology? Culture?

  1. “It’s easy to find excuses not to act. So easy that many of us spend much of our lives doing so. Many of us believe that we don’t have free will”

    Even for those who believe we are fully determined, this belief is no excuse for not acting: determinism is not equivalent to not acting. Not getting involved in politics is more about the effort/reward pains/gains relationship we all calculate, it is about distrusting polititians. It is a diificult duty, easily set aside, but then we easily complain …

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with being an activist, and have been so my entire life, particularly in the trade union movement. But I have changed this past decade. I am increasingly cynical about all political persuasions exhorting people with their answers only to get into power and nurture their own base at the expense of society.

    Instead, I believe in starving the beast. I gladly pay, and have gladly paid all of my taxes to our central Govt for services. protection, etc. But I have also drawn firm limits, especially when I see the powerful invest and divert money to avoid their responsibilies. Now, I pay cash and barter as much as possible. We also support more local charities and initiatives such as our local fire department, health centre, etc.

    Furthermore, I believe it is crucial to protect one’s mental well being with a firm grasp on what is possible to change, and what is not.

    Speaking of activism, I always like this movie. 🙂

    Bob Lee Swagger: I don’t really like the President much. Didn’t like the one before that, much, either.

    Colonel Isaac Johnson: You like the idea of the President, living in a free country. Do we allow America to be ruled by thugs?

    Bob Lee Swagger: Sure, some years we do. ”


    Bob Lee Swagger: I’m just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns


    Mr. Rate: The world is not always as it seems, is it son?

    Bob Lee Swagger: No Sir.

    Mr. Rate: You keep that in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Give locally. Yes, I agree.

    Paul writes, “I believe it is crucial to protect one’s mental well being with a firm grasp on what is possible to change, and what is not.”

    Ahh, there is the problem, and it is an epistemological one: how do we know what is possible to change? Consider all of the reformers over time who believed that change was possible even if it seemed impossible.
    CBC is instructive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is the question!! How do we know when we are “tilting at windmills”? Especially in a culture that seems to have forgotten about good argument and evidence. I can understand cynicism in this climate of post-facts.


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