Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Random Thoughts II

Civilization, or being civilized, means using reason in one's interactions with other people. It means disagreeing without demeaning, without insulting. It means being honest. It means treating people with respect and assuming that they deserve a reasoned explanation of your opinions -- until they prove otherwise.

If I hated everyone with whom I disagreed, I would hate over 99% of the people I meet and I would be miserable. It is much better psychologically to look for the good and rational in everyone; this is not altruism, it is an absolute selfish necessity. You go through life happier and with good cheer if you "accentuate the positive." Of course, this point of view ends when someone lies to you or is otherwise irrational.

Without motivation and discipline, nothing is accomplished. Motivation gets you started and discipline keeps you going. The world is full of obscure geniuses who lack motivation and discipline.

In the dating process, it is wise for men to let women do most of the talking. The man who talks about himself too much is not likely to impress the woman. Why is this? I think it comes from the fear women have that men just want to use a woman for her body and then dump her. A man has to prove that he is interested in a woman for who she is, and he does this by listening to what she says. Or at least by pretending to listen. ;)

“Suicide is the ultimate act of selfishness,” they say. If the individual belongs to the group, then they are right. When the individual kills himself, he robs the group of its property. He kills one of its slaves.

Sartre is the most influential philosopher of the 20th century. The Khmer Rouge studied under him and went on to kill three million people. Most philosophers can only dream of such success.

Mussolini scowled, Hitler ranted, and Stalin’s eyes could never hide his lethal hatred. America’s f├╝hrers use the Chinese model: like Mao, they smile and dress down to the people.

The crucifix. What is it? A symbol? A standard? No. It is a warning. “This,” the cross says, “is what we do to the best among us.”

The believer asks, “You do not believe in God? But what if you died and met Him? What would you say then?” I would say, “God, you gave no evidence that you exist. Are you a fool? Or are you evil?”

Christians forgive promiscuously.

Man’s state of nature is always described as something akin to a mob in a jungle tearing itself to bits -- “nasty, brutish, solitary, poor and short.” This picture forgets the fact that man by nature has a mind. Law, civilization and order are natural to a rational animal. Liberty under the rule of law is man’s natural state.

When a politician boasts of his compassion, put your hand on your wallet and run.

I saw a politician pray today. He did it to impress his only god, the polls.

If you learn again what you learned 20 years ago, then you really learn it.

It helps to listen to good music once a day. Serious music creates exhalted emotions. And like muscles, if exhalted emotions are not worked out every now and then, they get weak. If you ignore them long enough the fire in your soul goes out.

Passion serves a survival function.

1 comment:

madmax said...

"In the dating process, it is wise for men to let women do most of the talking. The man who talks about himself too much is not likely to impress the woman."

In the dating literature, the pick-up guys have an expression that applies here: "less history, more mystery." Many men talk themselves out of sex when all they had to do was look interested and keep their big mouths shut.