Showing posts from 2017

The Inevitable Collapse of Modern Civilization?

Dear Friends,
At the Nov 28, 2017 Owl & Ibis - A Confluence of Minds meeting, “Enslavement of the Enlightened, Industrialized Self,” I opened discussion with the following handwritten note, a declaration of my bewilderment and concern:
“I don’t know if it’s me or Humankind but it seems we are going through a great moral unraveling; a collapse of all that has been ‘built’ that is virtuous and moral, all that has been intended to bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people. Take any area: politics, economics, religion, ethics, morality, virtue, nationalism, ecology....”
To many of us the presidential election of Donald Trump was a shock. We wondered how our society could elect such a crass and unqualified person to the most powerful office on Earth. Was it the U.S culture wars, the Democrats’ failure of working class whites? Or was their something larger and more troubling in current human affairs that was responsible - Humankind’s political proce…

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Being Human – Our Past, Present and Future in Nature
On Anthropology and Biology
This is my original blog begun in September 2010. My original description of it remains unchanged: “an open forum on topics in anthropology, science, philosophy, religion, and African studies. The purpose of the blog is to promote thought and increase and improve knowledge.” The blog’s focus has since narrowed to human biological evolution and “human nature.” Topics in cultural anthropology, human cultural evolution, and the peoples of Africa are addressed on my blog, Being: In Nature and the Ethnosphere. To follow or subscribe to this blog go to its home page and complete the form “Follow by Email.”

Being – In Nature and the Ethnosphere
On t…

Controlling the Black American Man

The Oppressive Seeds of the Colin Kaepernick Backlash
Many white Americans think that hate speech short of explicitly inciting violence should be permissible as something allowable - anywhere, anytime and in all circumstances - under the First Amendment's protection of free speech.
With regard to race I think many whites who think this way are giving support to the historical transition away from lynching and toward non-violent measures that have a broader appeal among whites. Those being: housing red-lining, Jim Crow laws, gerrymandering, voter suppression, hate speech, white anger at black athlete protesters - all as means of maintaining control of and supremacy over African Americans, especially black males.
Essentially, many whites have backed off violence and found legal and moral cover under free speech and discriminative laws and practices. The have thereby fortified their sense of justification and legitimization, and been emboldened.
That real, debilitating harm continues…

Free Speech, Harm and the Pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness

The Dying Art of Disagreement
The above speech giver’s disdain for what he calls the Left's "belief that since words can cause stress, and stress can have physiological effects, stressful words are tantamount to a form of violence" is noteworthy.
The speaker claims that the view that speech alone can cause harm has led to an "age of protected feelings purchased at the cost of permanent infantilization" is an exaggeration that shows his ignorance. That words can cause physical, psychological and social harm is not a "belief," it is a fact. See 'The Harm in Free Speech'
A society that promises its people a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has an obligation to intervene in some manner and protect those who are forbidden this right. When a person is the target of racial abuse and threats of violence, his/her ability to freely pursue his/he…

The Persecution of the Rohingyas of Myanmar- Much More Than a Religion Problem

Religion is Not the Only Reason Rohingyas Are Being Forced Out of Myanmar

The Pursuit of Power and Wealth Are Hidden and Abetted by Focusing on Ethnicity, Religion and Race Divisions, and Poor Media Reporting

The expulsion of Rohingyas from Myanmar is another example where ethnicity and religion become the focus, the arena for ambitious power- and wealth-pursuing perpetrators and the media. This focus obscures the underlying political and economic ambitions. For the media it makes for better headlines and entertaining but not always true distinctions between victims and evil doers. For perpetrators such as national and local governments, and the wealthy in pursuit of more wealth, and the opportunistic poor of neighboring ethno-religious groups it provides cover and moral justification for the persecution and displacement of those of different ethnicity and religions. Another instance is the Western media reporting of politician-fueled "tribal clashes" in Africa, most recently…

Roundabout VI

September 6, 2017
"[Philisopher Martha Nussbaum] argued that certain moral truths are best expressed in the form of a story. We become merciful, she wrote, when we behave as the 'concerned reader of a novel,' understanding each person’s life as a 'complex narrative of human effort in a world full of obstacles.'" ... "Unlike many philosophers, Nussbaum is an elegant and lyrical writer, and she movingly describes the pain of recognizing one’s vulnerability, a precondition, she believes, for an ethical life. 'To be a good human being,' she has said, 'is to have a kind of openness to the world, the ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control that can lead you to be shattered.' She searches for a 'non-denying style of writing,' a way to describe emotional experiences…