Saturday, June 29, 2013

Choose your ticket: Auschwitz or Roman Colosseum

Choose Your Ticket: Auschwitz or Roman Colosseum

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

Society’s attitude toward Auschwitz and the Roman Colosseum  may tell us something about ourselves.

Nobody likes Auschwitz.  Everyone perceives it as a place of tragedy, except for perhaps a handful of unrepentant psychopaths.

Now go to the Colosseum.  Within its walls countless thousands upon thousands were murdered, executed, tortured, and generally torn asunder, no small number of them because of their non-conforming religious beliefs.  The Colosseum was a place of unbridled horror, blood, gore, terror, and suffering.

Auschwitz had to be kept hidden from the general populace.  Its perpetrators operated in secrecy behind walls.  The Colosseum operated for entertainment of the general public.  Admission was free.

The operators of Auschwitz were hunted down, imprisoned, executed, and universally condemned in public opinion.  The operators of the Colosseum are for the most part praised as one of the great civilizations in history.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Erosion of freedom

In recent days, due to circumstances beyond my control I have suffered a painfully excessive exposure to television.  As I watch the inordinate amount of advertising and the unrelenting torrent of banal, contrived, superficial, manipulative programming, I feel I have landed in a dystopian society described in some science fiction novel of my youth. 

The situation today is infinitely more dire than in 1955, but even then wise people were noting the insidious undermining of freedom of the human mind and spirit, a prescient awareness revealed in the following quotes, and ending with a clarion call of hope:
Quotes from “Living Issues in Philosophy”, 4th Edition, Harold H. Titus
P 458

Adlai Stevenson, 1955, at the Columbia bicentennial celebration:

Meeting Place of the Gods

Meeting Place of the Gods
Copyright 2016 Don Ray

The meeting place of the gods,

What would it be like?

Surely there would be clash and conflict, for aren’t gods used to having their own way?

Surely this meeting place, this world, this universe, would need rules, would need constraints, would need structure and framework to allow these gods to even coexist in each other’s presence. 

Surely these gods would have to learn to deal with each other, would have to learn how to interact, and quite likely would initially chafe at the unfamiliar constraints of rules and structure that now bind their consciousness.

Why would these gods come to such a place, why would Consciousness submit to physical fetters and laws of physics?  Sometimes the newly instantiated gods themselves forget.