Archive for the ‘Skeptics’ Tag

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Raising Both Affluences and Equality

This entry is a follow-up to the January 30th entry, “Greed and The Stuff We Have,” Greed, Entry for January 30, 2008 in which I encouraged the reader to become familiar with Julian Edney’s series of essays on greed in an effort to explore ways of raising both affluences and equality. Ideas are everything.

Most of the time, questioning creates ideas. As children we seek knowledge through questioning. As humans, we tend to possess a very inquisitive nature. For many of us, as we mature our inquisitiveness becomes less credulous and more skeptical. We become “Gadflies.” Whether you see value in being a gadfly or not, you will find interesting the debate, “The Value of Skepticism: Is Skepticism a Negative or a Positive for Science and Humanity?” – Deepak Chopra v. Michael Shermer.

Michael Shermer is probably today’s best know skeptic. He is founder of The Skeptics Society and editor of its magazine, Skeptic. Recently, Shermer has been writing on evolutionary ecnomics, which explains why irrational financial choices were once rational. His current book, “The Mind of the Market,” and in a recent Scientific American article of the same name, he states, “Just as it is a myth that evolution is driven solely by ‘selfish genes’ and that organisms are exclusively greedy, selfish and competitive, it is a myth that the economy is driven by people who are exclusively greedy, selfish and competitive. The fact is, we are equitably selfish and selfless, cooperative and competitive. There exists in both life and economies mutual struggle and mutual aid. In the main, however, the balance in our nature is heavily on the side of good over evil. Markets are moral, and modern economies are founded on our virtuous nature.”

In January, Michael Shermer discussed his book as part of the Authors@Google series.

Ideas are everything!

kenne

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Greed and The Stuff We Have

Thomas Aquinas said of Greed: “It is a sin directly against one’s neighbor, since one man cannot over-abound in external riches, without another man lacking them… it is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, inasmuch as man contemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.”

Remember, “…our stuff is somebody else’s shit,” to paraphrase George Carlin. The idea that our stuff is somebody else’s shit is a reflection of our greed, because we have more stuff than ever before.

What Role Does Greed Play in American Life?
Does money determine our friends?
Are we a society long fueled by greed?
Is our economy a “zero-sum” economy?
Does our nation run more on wealth than justice?
Is materialism natural? Is it good?
What is the “language of control?”
Are we marching toward greater inequality?
Is competition good for all?
What is the relationship of greed and global warming?
Is an obsession on growth the reflection of our greed?

If you are seeking to answer these and other similar questions on greed, materialism, environmental pollution can be found in a series of essays on “Greed,” by Julian Edney.

These essays are written in a Thomas Pain style of pamphlets, which he utilized over two hundred years ago to help educate the common man on important issues. Take the time to read them — read them more than once.

Also, take the time to watch the video, “The Story of Stuff,” by Annie Leonard. You will find it very educational in becoming more informed on the results of our behavior.

kenne


Posted February 20, 2009 by kenneturner in 360 Revisited, Commentary, Economy

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