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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Considering current events in light of Arendt

I have never read the work of Hannah Arendt, but this article at The Picket Line makes me want to.

Quoting the article quoting Arendt:

She was a refugee from, and a student of, a time and place in which:

…the few rules and standards according to which men used to tell right from wrong, and which were invoked to judge or justify others and themselves, and whose validity were supposed to be self-evident to every sane person either as a part of divine or of natural law.… without much notice… collapsed almost overnight, and then it was as though morality suddenly stood revealed in the original meaning of the word, as a set of mores, customs and manners, which could be exchanged for another set with hardly more trouble than it would take to change the table manners of an individual or a people.

Quoting from later in the article, as the author reflects on the implications of Arendt:

This love of truth and this need to live in harmony with yourself also seem so rare to me that the question of how to encourage them seems no easier than the question we started with — how to discourage people from participating in bureaucratic massacre and the like. How do you encourage people to love truth or to strive for integrity?

For that matter, where did I get the crazy idea that it is wrong to torture someone? Is such a notion even really part of my character, or is it some custom that I have rootlessly blown up against and that I am vulnerable to being swept away from in a change of wind?


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