"The pan rationalist fantasy of demonstrating- from the ground up- how we have most reason to live is incoherent and must be abandoned. It is not the factual question about caring that misses the point, but the normative one. If we are to resolve our difficulties and hesitations in searching upon a way to live, what we need most fundamentally is not reasons or proofs. It is clarity and confidence. Coping with our troubled and restless uncertainty about how to live does not require us to discover what way of living can be justified by definitive argument. Rather it requires us simply to understand what it is that we ourselves really care about, and to be decisively and robustly confident in caring about it."
American Philosopher Harry Frankfurt in "The Reasons of Love"
Once upon a time, a warlord was terrorizing villages in the hinterland. Stories of his cruelty raced across the mountains and whole villages emptied before his path in order to escape him. As his litter approached the last of the settlements, he smiled a smug smile and said to one of his soldiers, "The village is empty, I presume."
"Yes, Sir," the soldier said. "All of the people have fled before your path- with the exception of one monk who seems to have no fear."
The warlord was aghast. "What!" Said the warlord. "Bring the old fool to me immediately. I'll show him what fear is." When they brought the old monk into the warlords tent, head high, shoulders back, the tyrant ranted at him. "Do you not know who I am old man? I am he who can run you through with a sword and never bat an eye!" The old man looked straight into the warlord's eyes and smiled a simple smile. "And do you not know who I am?" he replied. "I am he who can let you run me through with a sword and never bat an eye."
From 'Seeing With Our Souls' by Sr Joan Chittistar
While you are donating funds to the Queensland flood appeals, can I extend an invitation to you to match what you donate here in Australia with giving to an appeal overseas?
Sadly the human bias towards helping the in-group is replicated in our 'Aussie' spirit of giving;
Haiti Earthquake Appeal- Death toll 300,000, 1Million people still Homeless
= $8.1 Million donated by Australians
Queensland Flood Appeal- Death Toll: 17, None reported permanently Homeless
= $ 84 Million donated by Australians as at 15 January 2011
As a student of Philosophy, my keenest areas of interest are Ethics and Bio-Ethics. I strive to live in a reflective manner and to live out my ethical beliefs. You will be able to get a sense of what this means to me from my Blogs.