vendredi 28 décembre 2012

Is this man intelligent?

The other day, Anijo quoted Billy Joel from a link provided by Ned. T'was about people who believe in god, where they dim-witted or what and were they afraid. 

No, they're not answered Joel and also he didn't know whether they are afraid or not  (*).

This exchange is a multiple issues one, but let's concentrate on intelligence and reason though.

Just, what is intelligence (as opposed to being dim-witted)? Among the zillions propositions that have been suggested, what about the ability to put two and two together in as many opportunities as can be and as fast as can be? 

May I suggest another term be introduced, that of "pure reason", the one Mr. Spock is famous for?
Now, this is where the notion of reason appears, reason that is the ability to form concepts. Only humans can create concepts of course and this isn't natural at all but a product of the human brain. In that sense, reason is a very young newcomer in the history of the world of animals.

But even if intelligence at its highest is to be found among humans (and sometimes one wonders), we must never forget that we humans are made of emotions, nearly exclusively of emotions and that our intelligence is a very, very minor component of what we actually are on a daily basis. Our deepest and most meaningful self is moulded in emotions as is represented in Maslow's hierarchy of needs

What differentiates reason from intelligence is that the latter doesn't exclude passions (it simply cannot, it lives among them) whereas the former does. This is what Mr. Spock is: pure unaltered reason and unaffected by passions. Pure reason following the rules of logic as enunciated by Aristotles 2.400 years ago.

Now, this is how we can understand why people deemed intelligent can yet be religious ones, buy assault weapons after what happened the other day, vote against their own interest in politics (no, excuse me, these are mere cretins), or hold contradictory opinions on whatever topic. It is our passions (in the academic sense, that of the European XVIIth century) that decide for us, not reason and Mr. Spock is a man of reason, maybe not particularly intelligent since that would mean he's also partly driven by his emotions.

Mr. Spock of course couldn't fall in love, that would be the most unreasonable thing to do. Also, there's no way he could be a religious person.

Indeed, believers aren't necessarily "dim-witted" and this asks the question of why intelligent grown-ups still indulge in believing in fairy tales. Isn't it just because a choice has been made at their place between Jerusalem and Athens as Lev Chestov said?  Or that their passions have made the choice for them?

Needless to say, the character of Mr. Spock is fictitious and always will be: Humans will always be a compound of nearly uncontrollable passions and emotions continuously struggling to keep intelligence and reason under their ruling power. As Schopenhauer said, intelligence is at the service of the Will which is the ultimate master. 

The more prevalent emotions and passions are, the less intelligence and reason have any say. Just consider any love relations. Need I say more?

(*) Methinks they are, all religions being the product of fear.

samedi 15 décembre 2012

Pleased to meet you

I find the propagation of life to be beautiful said the mother after she had given birth to the one who would kill her and then 6 adults and 20 children some 20 years later.

How many among the casualties were against any gun-control policy? And particularly among the parents of the 20 children, how many were pro-gun? These ones are moral accomplices of the shooting of their own children then.

This must come to an end, so we hear every time this sort of tragedy happens but the perpetrator of the next one is already alive and his future victims are alive too, waiting to meet their fate, praying Jesus in their churches that he will protect them.

The killer at one time was as young as today's victims, just who's who, knowing full well that the children who have died today and the survivors as well wouldn't have turned saints but another bunch of the usual mix of good guys and bastards humanity is made of.  

Who can assure that among the 27 victims, none would have killed anybody in one's life, including future soldiers, drivers, rapists whatever?

Those who voluntarily perpetuate life tacitly accept that their children may well be victims of evil whatever the form it dons, they make the wager that yes someone will meet apocalypse on earth but that it will be the neighbour, who just happens to be another human being, but as long as it's not me...

jeudi 6 décembre 2012

Le vrai péché originel

Le péché originel nous sommes supposés tous en porter la responsabilité selon l'Église Catholique.

Il y a à mon sens confusion d'interprétations au niveau historique quant à la genèse du dogme et surtout sa signification profonde.

S'agit-il de signifier que par la connaissance du bien et du mal l'homme s'est distingué définitivement de l'animalité? S'agit-il d'une condamnation de la femme tentatrice qui a incité Adam a désobéir à Dieu? Faut-il y comprendre une condamnation de la sexualité? (La matière vs. l'esprit)

C'est bien là une question de moralité dont il s'agit, le Bien et le Mal n'étant entrés en ce monde que par l'apparition de l'homme.

« C’est pourquoi, comme par un seul homme le pêché est entré dans le monde, et par le pêché la mort, et qu’ainsi la mort s’est étendue sur tous les hommes, parce que tous ont pêché… »

(— Romains,5 , 12)

Au fond, je suis bien plutôt porté à accepter cette explication du dogme.

Écartons la notion de premier homme, il n'y a eu de premier homme que métaphoriquement.

Cependant, si je rejette une quelconque responsabilité de tous ceux qui composent ou ont fait partie de l'Humanité du fait de la faute d'un premier homme imaginaire, je ne peux m'empêcher de penser que sont responsables d'un pêché irrémissible tous ceux qui, délibérément, acceptent et prennent la responsabilité de se reproduire.

C'est un consentement au mal, à la souffrance et à la mort qu'ils donnent ainsi et ainsi s'en font complices et même responsables.

On n'apprendra rien à personne en décrivant ce monde comme un infernal et interminable lieu de souffrances, de douleurs, de chagrins et de méchancetés sans limites. Il n'y a pas de moralité dans une nature peuplée uniquement d'animaux. Si l'on croit percevoir chez eux une trace de moralité, il ne s'agit pour l'essentiel que de projections anthropomorphiques.

Se reproduire, ce n'est pas seulement amener à l'Être un ou plusieurs individus, c'est aussi être à l'origine de la descendance dans les siècles à venir de ces individus qui se compteront rapidement en milliers. Tous destinés à la mort bien sûr, à la souffrance, au manque etc.

Et parmi toute cette descendance, tous victimes d'une façon ou d'une autre, combien de futurs assassins, meurtriers, salauds, dégénérés, crapules de toutes sortes?

La petite Colombienne qui illustre la photo n'est-elle pas d'abord la victime de ses propres parents plutôt que de la nature?

Ilan Halimi a-t-il été victime de ses tortionnaires ou d'abord de ses parents?

Youssouf Fofana est-il sorti du néant?

Vers quelque horizon que l'on tourne sa réflexion, le mal n'a d'autre origine que l'homme.

C'est bien cela à mes yeux le vrai pêché originel : se reproduire et donc dire oui à la vie (façon Nietzsche) quand bien même on est conscient de ce que l'on fait et des conséquences qui ne manqueront pas d'en découler i-né-vi-ta-ble-ment (circonstances aggravantes donc).

Mais que la faute des parents retombe sur la conscience des enfants, non, à moins que ceux-ci plus tard ne réitèrent ce crime.

Mais les enfants, eux, sont innocents.

mardi 4 décembre 2012