7 thoughts on “Bitter Quote of the Week

  1. I’m constantly reminded that it’s human incompetence that’s compromising my life. Humans could make the Earth a paradise of sorts for most people, most of the time, but everywhere I look I see evidence of shoddy workmanship, corruption, stupidity, selfishness, and negligence. Reality might be better than what human vices do to it.

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    1. You are absolutely right. In this very case, reality is limiting Calvin’s ability to do evil (or as much evil as he can do as a six-year-old) by denying him the opportunity to cream someone with a giant snowball.

      Other times, people just don’t like certain features of reality and are almost able to ruin their own lives over it. For example, we don’t like the fact that there are two sexes, or we don’t like the one of them that we got assigned. Or we don’t like that the universe is arranged with hierarchy inherent in it. Or we don’t like the way history went. So we spend our lives beating ourselves senseless trying to change reality.

      Of course, there are also times when the nonhuman world really is “cruel” and gets in the way of people trying to do things like travel or subsistence farm or whatever.

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      1. Ew, controversial! I’m pretty much with you on all that. I just think of times when I’m in an airplane and look out the window at a city below. It makes a few things obvious. We’ve completely overwhelmed nature and live in our own physically constructed realms, and, if it’s possible to completely alter the landscape, it’s a bit of a stretch for people to insist that we couldn’t also have a damning impact on the atmosphere.

        The sewage smells that come up my drain are both not due to reality, because they are due to human activity (and third rate plumbing via incompetence and corruption), and also due to the reality of human nature (incompetent and corrupt).

        But yes overwhelmingly, in agreement that people in the present consider reality triggering or otherwise socially unacceptable. But this does go across the political spectrum, and class lines. As T.S. Eliot famously opined in one of his poems, “humankind cannot bear much reality”.

        One of the reasons Jordan Peterson won’t say he doesn’t believe in Jesus, is that he believes Christianity (among other traditions) gives a valuable practical framework, which whether historically 100% accurate or not, in reality works to help people function to have meaningful lives. On the other side of the spectrum, existentialism works better with science, but somehow has a lot of dread and misery built into it. So there is what is real, and what really works, and at the end of the day, it’s the job done that really matters. And here is where philosophy and science part ways a tad. Let’s just imagine all faith is bollocks. Well, I’ve seen too many UFX fighters thank Jesus after winning their matches to say that at very least it helps people get through the demands of rigorous training.

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