Monday, February 23, 2004

Straw Dogs - John Gray

In Science, knowledge is an unmixed good. In ethics adn politics it is not.

The idea of progress is a secular version of the christian belief in providence.

The aim of life is not to channge the world, but to see it rightly.

Humans can be no more the masters of their destiny than any other animal.

Most people today think they belong to a species that can be master of its destiny. This is faith not science.

By submitting to the authority of science we can hope for similar freedom from thought (as religon).

Individual selfhood is an illusion.

According to humanist the earth had no value until humans came on the scene.

Did he jump, or was he pushed by events?

Freud believed that by bringing repressed merories into conscious awareness we can gain greater control of our lives.

The creature..is a collection of competing behaviours.

We think our actions express our decisions. But in nearly all of our life willing decides nothing ie/ dreams, memory, sleeping.

Sciences' supreme value may be in showing that the world humans are programmed to perceive is a chimera.

Mr Nobody (Rees) a man without qualitis, a person without a sense of 'self'.

We are programmed to percieve identity in ourselves, when in truth there is only change. We are hardwired for the illusion of self.

Self is a still from the film of life.

Humans use language to look back on their lives and call up a virtual self.

The idea that we can rid ourselves of animal is the greatest illusion of all.

Seeing that the self we take ourselves to be is a illusory does not mean seeing through it to something else. It is more like surrender to a dream. To see ourselves as figments is to awake, not to reality, but to a lucid dream, a false awakening that has no end.

Chuang-Tzu sees human life as a dream, but does not seek to awaken from it. He writes of dreaming he was a butterfly and then not knowing on awakening whether he is a human being who has dreamt of being a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he is human.

Which untruths can we get rid of and which can we not do without?

Morality is a convienience to be relied upon in normal times.

Money corrupts everything that it touches.

Money and science is a bad combination, as money demmands return which rushes the science, often compromising safety.

GM foods may feed the poor, but there are better ways to help them.

Like beauty and intelligence, goodness is a gift of fortune.

When we are fully conscious, everything we do will be done for reasons we can know. At that point we will be the authors of our lives.

For Taoists...the freest human being is not one who acts on reasons he has choosen for himself, but one who never has to choose. Rather than agonising over alternatives he responds effortlessly to situations as tehy arise.

What was humankinds origonal Sin? Temptation?

How does the suffering of Christ re-deem it?

From what and to what could this infinite whirl be saved?

There is nothing from which to seek deliverance.

Who is the perfect saviour...It is the saviour who shall deliver mankind from salvation - Buddha

Grand inquisitor - Humanity is to weak for freedom, and will worship the provider of ordinary bread. Jesus's teaching amended and founded on miracle, mystery and authority. Men rejoiced as they were led like sheep. And rejoiced as they were freed from the suffering that freedom brought.

Drug use is a tacit admission of a forbidden truth. For most people happiness is beyond reach. Fulfilment is not found in everyday life, but in escaping from it. Since happiness is unavailable the mass of mankind seeks pleasure.

We are inclined to think of hunter gatherers as poor, because they don't have anything; perhaps better to think of them for that reason as free - Marshall Sahlins

Do you own your possessions, or do they own you?

The move from hunter gatherer to farmer didn't improve quality of life, but allowed more people to survive at a lower level.

The function of this new economey (entertainment) legal and illegal, is to entertain and distract a population which - though busier than ever before - secretly suspects that it is useless.

Religon was church, then politics andnow science.

Future wars will be fought over dwindling natural resources.

So long as the population grows, progress will consist in labouring to keep up with it.

How can we enforce zero population growth without the use of draconian powers (By giving people control of there ability to become pregnant through the use of contraceptives).

Action gives us consolation for our existence.

How can there be any play in a time when nothing has meaning unless it leads on to something else?

If you know what you are seeking you will find what you seek.

Recomended retail price for food to stop the spread of supermarkets.

Make renting cheaper than owner occupying to reduce commuting.