RE: virus: Strange attractors and meta-religions (was God and

Wright, James 7929 (
Wed, 09 Apr 97 21:00:00 EDT

Mark wrote:
>>Many people have the first: I have met a few who had none of the

>I think almost everyone has principles; we may just disagree with what
>are. Even in a prison filled with murderers and rapists, there is a
>pecking-order, with murderers at the top, then rapists, then thieves,
>other whatevers, with child molesters at the bottom of the food chain -
>this is from the principles fostered and reinforced by the environment.
>I'm approximating, but I think it's a valid point. Not significant,
>perhaps, but... I get in a hair-splitting mood at times. lol

I agree with the "almost" in the first sentence. Hair-splitting is a long
and valued tradition here in CofV; just clean up the miscellaneous
leftovers when you're done! (VBG!)

>I don't think I tried to preclude altruism, only imply that something
>underlied it - but I think you're right in that labels are unimportant
>comparison to to the fact that someone who needed help recieved it.
>taken to the emergency room and the trauma team saves your life - does
>fact that they are compensated financially, or derive personal
>gratification from it, nullify or diminish the fact that your life was
>saved? No, of course not. But I do think that there is often more to
>altruism than meets the eye. I don't despise it as much as Ayn Rand
>I do think there's a place for it (as long as it's voluntary) but I
>distrust it. Self-interest is so much more dependable, LOL.<

Is it? Self-interested friendship disappears as fast as the self-interest
does - dis-interested (altruistic) friendship, never depended upon from
the beginning, is a daily delight - unexpectedly appearing when you need
it, or bestow it on someone else who you don't know.
BTW, I left my lights on the other night myself - and got a jump from a
friend, someone I did know. Karma, perhaps?

<Snip "selfless acts">
>I would agree with this - a laudable goal. Something like those "random
>and senseless acts of kindness" we hear about, but with a more spiritual
>bent about it.<
One of the few religious practices I have been able to wholeheartedly
<Snip "hard-wired" discussion>
>I think that it's only the public awareness of such pathologies that has
>increased, plus the effects of the 'ever-downward-spiral' ideology. We
>see parents selling their children into sexual (or other) slavery, and
>shocks us into thinking how horrible a world we live in, but
>speaking, it merits saying that the practice has been more widespread in
>the past than it is now. Murder and rape are on the decrease (In the
>anyway) yet public paranoia is at an all-time high; I would wager that
>child abuse is in a similar decline. But since we hear about it every
>single day, it stays at the forefront of our consciousness. This is not
>say that it's insignificant, but only that our focus is
>skewed in that direction (IMHO) and that this has negative, long-term
>affects on how we see and evaluate the world in which we live.<

The press has a lot to answer for in the way it publicizes and
sensationalizes these crimes; I cannot decide which is worse, that they
should happen or happen in silence, which many contend was the former

>I have to concede that child-rearing is a learned behavior, but only to
>point. I would speculate that bad parenting (abuse, neglect) has more
of a
>learned component than good parenting. There are the anomalies (always)
>but for the most part good parenting seems to take care of itself when
>parent had a decent childhood themselves (nothing too traumatic, etc)
>a bad parent usually had a dominant example in their past (from what
>seen). Maybe it's half-and-half, but I doubt it.<

I think both are taught. It seems nowadays, though, that good parental
practices cannot be taken for granted. Parents today have to work harder
than their parents to instill good parenting skills, since such skills
are rarely presented in the media, and often ridiculed as "old-fashioned"
or "puritanical" or "repressive" when they are.

>It's been shown that the cooing and smile of a baby has distinct
>physiological effects on us, that there is an instinctual need to
>and take care of a baby (again, there are anomalies), and I think it's
>to say that these impulses are hard-wired in, i.e. we are genetically
>predisposed to this behavior. I know psychology is a rather soft
>and can be notoriously succeptible to having study results skewed by the
>expectations of the psychologists, but... I would still go with this,
>shown evidence to the contrary. I just go by what I see. (or think I
>see?) lol<

I'm not sure if we are genetically predisposed or not, but I will keep an
open mind about it, until I get back home at the end of the week and
start wrestling my children for the last piece of cherry pie again. Then
I will cheerfully consider selling them, but not unless I can make a
hefty profit! (VBG!)