And You Have FAITH In Mankind..? by Merwin

You Believe Man Can Make This Work... Please.

Huh..!?!

My "superstition" has a lot more validity in history than what you are putting your faith into.

Where is your expectations of this brave new world coming from? Where in our history can you point and say "why here is proof that this can be done... they have done it before... here... was Utopia!"

HA...where?

Where has it ever been when faced with mind boggling desperation that the powers that be said, "patience... if we simply exercise patience and allow our applied solutions to take root then we will have the society everyone has longed for but never realized."

The powers that be, are driven by fear... fear of the masses starving and rushing their gates. Fear of the mobs who have had enough of their empty promises. When the fecal matter strikes the atmospheric impeller it will be because of the immediacy of desperation that no politician's promises can overcome.

The powers that be know this and they have their plan, if they are not making you privy to it... it must be because they did not get your memo (email) demanding that you be kept up to date and well apprised of all their contingency models.

And what I speak of is not a contingency, I suggest to you that it is their preemptive solution that will occur as a show of force. Force that will compel compliance. The fear needs to be imposed on the masses, not the other way around, organized oppression and mass murder of rank and file citizenry has many models for the new oppressors to draw from... French revolution, US treatment of Native Americans, Stalin, Hitler, Chairman Mao, and even more recently in former Yugoslavia, and various African genocides.

Your willingness to go all warm and fuzzy over science fictitious postulations is way more superstitious in form and fancy than Christianity ever was.

Do you really "believe" that all of a sudden the powers that be will scrap common sense of how it must go to get these sheeples in line, simply because they promised you Utopia without bloodshed?

They will say in their hearts, "...well, we got all these people on board to do our bidding, and they will continue to do our bidding when it gets ugly or they will become fertilizer fodder as well. And little do they know that they will become fodder anyway, after they've served our purposes."

Why do you think the rain forests are being wiped out..? Could it be, because it is too difficult to collect the native people with such an excellent place to hide? If the rain forests are done away with it stops their source of natural sustenance and it makes them dependent on governance provisions and therefore easier to round up.

Why do you continue to TRUST mankind? What superstitious blithering rubbish. Where is your faith in mankind coming from? What is it based upon? Mankind in his most noble endeavors have corrupted those endeavors to subjugate and murder the masses, both in ancient times and recent history.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely and to think that mankind will all of a sudden drop his ancient MO for some STAR TREK pie in the sky is more horrendous nonsense than can be imagined.

We have our one and only true example of miraculous intervention in the affairs of man, that stops his self mutilating course of action right in its tracks and offers a miraculous, but viable alternative. Ah, but the prideful "we can do it ourselves" brain trust turns its back on it because it doesn't satisfy them intellectually.

So I gotta ask you Man... what has your intellect done for me lately?

Comments 16 comments

Chasuk 6 years ago

I don't have any utopian expectations, but I do have hope.

Part of that hope is inspired by the modern world, which I argue is a better place to live today -- generally speaking -- than it has ever been.

I am not merely arguing that technology has lengthened and enhanced our lives -- which it has -- but that we are growing into a kinder species.

The majority of us no longer find dogfighting acceptable entertainment. Human sacrifice is unthinkable barbarism. Slavery is illegal everywhere. Genocide is no longer a tolerated technique for expanding our territories. We don't torture our prisoners or rape our victims of war.

These atrocities still occur in too many places, yes. However, now they earn shame and condemnation instead of a shrug.

We shouldn't look to our past for evidence of what we can achieve in our present, or in our future. Using history as our guide, no one would have ever attempted to eradicate smallpox.

The modern world has transformed more in recent times than it has in all of cumulative history. That we can casually carry on this conversation is evidence of that. How can you legitimately compare today's world to the ancient world, or even to the last century?

I don't need intellectual satisfaction to believe in something. I believe in love, and it provides no intellectual satisfaction whatsoever. Similarly, I believe in beauty, and tenderness, and joy, without aid or hindrance of my intellect.

However, I don't choose which matters of fact to believe arbitrarily, or without evidence. The "miraculous intervention" to which you refer is a matter of fact; it either happened, or it didn't. I'm no longer wired to uncritically accept the miraculous.

As for your final question, "what has your intellect done for me lately?" My intellect? Probably nothing, except for providing the other half of this dialogue.


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 6 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

For all that may be reading along, this exchange began on Facebook where it continues still. Some of our Facebook friends do not visit Hubpages for whatever reason, Chas(uk) and I have these discussions there, as a matter of course.

In order to sustain continuity I am copy and pasting from FB our last two volleys below and will pick up my next on the next comment box.

Merwin...

More tomorrow... the final question was not directed at Chas, but rather capital m, Man.

Do you ever proof read your stuff before you hit the "comment" button?

Chasuk...

Do I proofread? Certainly. However, as there is no "Preview" feature, I don't know whether I'm happy with it until after I've clicked the "Comment" button. Sometimes, I don't like what I see, which can inspire another round of revisions.


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 6 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

(There is so much in your reply that I take issue with, that I think is best to take each blocks of paragraphs in sequence, all my entries will be in parenthesis’ and following your entries in question.)

I don't have any utopian expectations, but I do have hope.

Part of that hope is inspired by the modern world, which I argue is a better place to live today -- generally speaking -- than it has ever been.

(No I do not really think you are a seeker of Utopia, nor do you seem to have delusions along those lines, but there are many other “non-theists” who do. As to the recent history on planet earth being a better place to live… nonsense, man’s crimes against man per-capita have increased in the last hundred years not diminished.)

I am not merely arguing that technology has lengthened and enhanced our lives -- which it has -- but that we are growing into a kinder species.

(Your wishful thinking)

The majority of us no longer find dogfighting acceptable entertainment. Human sacrifice is unthinkable barbarism. Slavery is illegal everywhere. Genocide is no longer a tolerated technique for expanding our territories. We don't torture our prisoners or rape our victims of war.

These atrocities still occur in too many places, yes. However, now they earn shame and condemnation instead of a shrug.

(They earn shame and condemnation do they..? Heavy penalties indeed. These activities are going on now as we write. I find it hard to believe you even made that assertion.)

We shouldn't look to our past for evidence of what we can achieve in our present, or in our future. Using history as our guide, no one would have ever attempted to eradicate smallpox.

(Nonsense… “those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” is a good quote, however some are taking the histories of heinous acts of terror and genocide and utilizing them to the fullest and even taking them into new realms of barbarism. These are learning from history to “scientifically” improve on their murderous intentions.)

The modern world has transformed more in recent times than it has in all of cumulative history. That we can casually carry on this conversation is evidence of that. How can you legitimately compare today's world to the ancient world, or even to the last century?

(I can easily compare to ancient times and the last century and the last fifty years, because through it all there has been one factor that has remained a constant, Man’s murderous march to power and the oppression of his fellows.)

I don't need intellectual satisfaction to believe in something. I believe in love, and it provides no intellectual satisfaction whatsoever. Similarly, I believe in beauty, and tenderness, and joy, without aid or hindrance of my intellect.

(More nonsense… you “believe in love”..? Well, belief is an intellectual occupation. The romance of human devotion and loyalty for examples, are employed and mobilized by our intellect, and it is our intellect that gives us the ability to appreciate and enhance them beyond what animals are capable of, if indeed they have any capability for them at all.)

However, I don't choose which matters of fact to believe arbitrarily, or without evidence. The "miraculous intervention" to which you refer is a matter of fact; it either happened, or it didn't. I'm no longer wired to uncritically accept the miraculous.

As for your final question, "what has your intellect done for me lately?" My intellect? Probably nothing, except for providing the other half of this dialogue.


Chasuk 6 years ago

Duly copy-pasted from our Facebook exchange:

You write, "... man’s crimes against man per-capita have increased in the last hundred years not diminished."

On average, individuals on this planet now live longer, in better health, with more surviving family and friends, and more luxuries, than they have at any time in history.

Referring to my assertion that humankind is growing into a kinder species, you write, "Your wishful thinking."

That isn't a refutation, merely an expression of your contrary belief.

Referring to atrocities that I acknowledge are still occurring in too many places, you dismiss shame and condemnation as signs of our evolving ethic of kindness. You write, "Heavy penalties indeed." Presumably, you are aware that along with this condemnation comes the harsh penalties of law, and no longer just a shrug.

You quote Santayana's aphorism, “those who do not learn from history," for your own purposes, without apparently noticing that I was speaking of history's achievements, not its failures.

You write, "[through] ancient times and the last century and the last fifty years," one factor remains constant. What is that factor? "Man's murderous march to power and the oppression of his fellows."

Our arguably murderous nature has been a constant factor of history, yes. Your point would be valid if our aggression were the only factor, and if that aggression had obliterated all of our considerable advances.

As to your puzzling refutation of my ability to find satisfaction via non-intellectual methods, I assure you, I can. Emotion and intellect may be products of the same organ, but they are quite different, experientially.


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 6 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

My friend...

People are not living longer because of less violence, the largest contributor to longevity is less infant death.

Another huge contributor is better medical attention to ailments that in the past would have croaked you.

Another huge contributor is no bubonic plague, virtually absence of smallpox and a litany of other plagues.

Longevity and scientific toys do not support your argument.

Extreme violence genocide and population controls under the guise of wars yada yada yada are on the increase not the decline.


Chasuk 6 years ago

I didn't offer any conjecture as to why longevity has increased, nor is it especially important to my premise. Further, nowhere in these comments have I implied that genocide or war were on the decline.

My premise is simple. I'll reproduce it here in its most succinct form, quoting myself: "[Imagine] another scenario, in which the divisiveness of multiple sovereignties is overcome (transcended by global governance), so that increased wealth and improved human development comes to us all, leading to a non-violent decrease and/or stabilization of the population."

Most of the rest of this thread has been spent pursuing rabbits down holes.


DavePrice profile image

DavePrice 6 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

Intelligence and faith are always a rare and wonderful combination that I find refreshing and encouraging. Gotta catch up with the rest of the exchange...


Chasuk 5 years ago

@CoauthorU: On another hub, you wrote, "Again... mr. condescension, you brought it up. And it is as you wish, we do not have to discuss anything."

I didn't say that I didn't want to discuss the subject of this hub, I said that I didn't want to discuss it anywhere other than in the comments of this hub, HERE.


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 5 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

2 Chasuk...

You use our discussion from here in an attempt to make an erroneous point on another playing field. Again I did not come there making random declarations, you are the one that mentioned me in your Hub.

I call you on your inaccuracy there in your ball park and am chastised for it in a condescending manner. And then you pull my parting comment..?

I will follow your Hubs... but I will never again leave a comment there. You make for interesting reading, but evidently my writing is not up to your standards.

You may come to my Hub and are free to make your comments, none of which I have EVER pulled, but after the end of our exchange here (however long that turns out to be), I will no longer respond to them.


Chasuk 5 years ago

I didn't disapprove your comment to censor you, but as a means of directing our conversation back to this hub, where it has some context.

I understand that I've offended you, and for that I apologize.

I didn't want a hub about the nature of good/bad argument to descend into an argument of the very type I was despairing, a fruitless series of "yes it was evidence!" and "no it wasn't!"

That's where it was heading. Consider that your very next response contained these words: "... and no, you did NOT provide evidence of a "kinder gentler world" and "It was I,that provided clear evidence."

Consider your hubs about Daryl Kraft. There is absolutely nothing that I could usefully contribute to any of the three of them that I have read, so I don't, other than to explain that the subject matter is outside of my domain. This explanation serves as an apology -- "sorry that I haven't chimed in, but fact-free nay-saying is worse than no contribution at all." I couldn't contribute any factual comments to your hub, so I refrained from making comments at all.

Think back over the many discussions that we have held over the last past (two?) years. When you or I attempt to weave threads from previous or simultaneously occurring conversations, disastrous miscommunication results. I really don't want that to happen again; do you?


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 5 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

I have started various hubs, many of which were a continuation of thought from a previous hub, and from our previous exchanges. In all of these you have been welcomed, but not necessarily because of some deep appreciation for what you are saying or how you are saying it.

On many occasions I have bemoaned many of your methods, the most glaring of which has been uncounted pages of inquisition, conducted by you to nail down miniscule details that you felt were important, but a huge departure from the substance of my hub.

Do you really think for one moment that this was the direction I wanted to take my hubs..? To have the meaning of the overall hub lost in a, "how to conduct a real debate" clinic..? Talk about "disastrous miscommunication results", but I guess its okay on my hubs just not yours.

I have had many of my "wanna be" readers tell me they have tried the hubs but the exchanges after the hub turned them away, citing that it was boring and way over their heads.

Through it all I have never pulled our conversations nor would I to this day or even in the future pull any of your comments. I will probably never reply to another of your comments in my hubs, but your comments MY FRIEND are yours, and with you, I will take on no semblance of censorship.

Describe what you did with me in any form you like but it was censorship, and down deep you know it.

I can guarantee that you will never have to pull any comment from me again.

I can see that your "following" is doing well and it is my hope that your Hubpage continues to blossom for you.


Chasuk 5 years ago

Merwin...

Anything that is worth debating is worth debating well. You posit a point, and I either counter it, or I agree. If the debate is complicated, we might continue like that for a long while. Indefinitely, in fact. Point by point we move forward, hoping for, by perhaps never finding, an eventual conclusion.

If you advance a point with which I disagree, I'm not willing to advance to the next point until that point has been resolved. There is no map or agenda; neither of us know where we are going, if we are honest, and I think we are both honest men. I wouldn't debate with you if I didn't believe that you were. So we labor forward, seeking an "answer" with which we can both agree, uncertain what that answer may be. We both have provisional answers, of course, but the answer that we may finally jointly discover is unknown to us. If we both have truly open minds, than the provisional answers that we both have are truly provisional. They aren't set in stone.

If I advance a point with which you disagree, do you just concede for the sake of advancing forward? Maybe you do, but if you do, you are missing the point of our endeavor. We have no map. We are striving for an unknown metaphorical place, but just because that place is metaphorical and unknown doesn't mean that there is more than one of them. There is one true destination, and that is where we are heading.

Having said that...

We might finally arrive at our destination, and camp there for years. Decades. Suddenly one or both of us realizes, "Crap! This isn't the right destination!" So we decamp and we labor forward again. Maybe we reach another final destination before we die, maybe we don't.

As long as we labored forward honestly, the voyage wasn't wasted. If we pitch forward out of haste or impatience, then we might as well not have embarked on our voyage at all. We stumble and lurch around blindly. Yes, we are always blind. Yes, at the very best we move in darkness. But we try to navigate as skilfully as we can, we try to see through our blindfolds and discover some light in the darkness. That's why we are on this trip, after all.

Maybe that's not why you debate, to shed light in the darkness and find something approximating truth. I am almost certain that it isn't why you debate. Maybe debate, to you, is another form of pleasantry. I'm sorry -- really, I am -- but I don't do pleasantries.

Wait: I do pleasantries. Yes, I do. but then I'm not debating. The distinction I make between matters of fact and matters of opinion is a very important one, to me. If we are discussing a matter of opinion, then I do pleasantries. I am willing to wildly amble all day long, without a compass. I don't need a compass when we are discussing a matter of opinion. I know where I am going, after all. I know that I prefer Doctor Who to either Star Trek or Star Wars. We aren't even striving to reach the same metaphorical place. In fact, the purpose of our ramble is the pleasure of sharing the differences between my destination and yours. We can agree to disagree. It can be said that we aren't traveling at all. We are both in the right place already. That's a pleasantry, and I enjoy the process as much as you do.

However, when we are debating -- when there is a "right" and a "wrong" answer, even if neither of us really know what or where it is -- then I'm not willing to pitch about blindly. I'm not willing to advance to the next point until the first one has been resolved. You call it nailing down minuscule details, I call it making sure that I have a compass and a flashlight so that we have some hope of reaching the place that we intended, even if that place ultimately turns out to be the wrong place and we have to strike out again. At least we made an honest effort, which is the best that humans can do.

I can't do it any other way. I'm not wired that way. Sometimes, I wish that I was wired differently. It doesn't compute to me, to proceed to point B before we have finished the work at point A. I don't know where point B is until I have finished the work at point A. How can I proceed to point B before I know where it is? How can I proceed to point B before I THINK I KNOW where it is? Where is point B? I don't know, until I have finished exploring point A, until I have confidently entered its latitude and longitude into my GPS.

I can't know where I am except for in relation to other points, other places. Even then, when I am ABSOLUTELY SURE of my location, I simultaneously know that I may be wrong. I might have entered the wrong latitude and longitude previously.

My hub "Bad Arguments" was about the frustration I feel with other people who, when they are traversing a treacherous debate terrain, don't carry compasses, or, if they carry compasses, only read them occasionally.

I used our debate here as example of bad debate technique. I wasn't examining the argument that we had here. The argument that we had here was irrelevant to the discussion there. I moved the discussion from one hub to the other solely for the purpose of preventing a derail.

When I nail down minuscule details in the comments of your hubs, I'm getting my bearings, and that's all that I'm doing. If I were constitutionally capable of behaving any other way, then I would, but I'm not, so I can't.

HubPages, ultimately, are not very important to me. I had misguided hopes that I would find people here who were willing to do hard work, to slog forward, mindful that they might never reach their destination -- and that if they reached it, it might be the wrong one -- but in that hope I have been disappointed.

You've been great. You've tolerated my tunnel-vision for more patiently than most, and for that I thank you.

Farewell, for now.


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 5 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

When we first "agreed" to have Hub debates I OBVIOUSLY had no idea what YOU meant by that term. Since finding out EXACTLY what you did mean by that term and what a departure it was from every form of debate I had ever been exposed to, I have objected to your version at every turn.

I went so far as to Google examples of debate and there were no matches for what you've described, EXCEPT, that the Google results did say that a debate may take any form that the participants agree to. And then I re-stated my objections yet again, to the methods that you happen to insist upon.

I posted what I found in Google and my restated complaints, which you for the most part ignored.

I have seen debates in many forms, political, movies about competitive school debates, and many less formal opinion debates. NONE were even remotely familiar to the form you demand to impose.

Again, it is all about agreeing to the format, and how do you suppose I could agree to something I have never been exposed to until you..? And again once it dawned on me what it was about, I DISAGREED with that format..! REPEATEDLY..!!

IN MY HUB... at the onset I described a legitimate format for how I wanted the "debates" on MY HUB to run. I further made it clear that the comment section was devoted to opinion. YOU agreed to this format, and we had one debate under those conditions.

Since then you seem to have hijacked my Hubpage and insisted on turning my Hubs into your version of what you think a debate should be. You've done this while ignoring my requests to not have our exchanges go your direction.

THEN YOU HAVE THE UNMITIGATED GAUL to give me the stink eye and CENSOR me for objecting to information that you are saying about me. And this with my objections being based on what I feel are your inaccuracies..?

I like you a lot my friend, but I think you should reconsider what it is you've done here.


Chasuk 5 years ago

You are right. You are right that it is unreasonable of me to expect anyone to stick to my ridiculous format of debate, and you are right that, on your hubs, it is your prerogative to impose your own less formal format. You are right that I agreed to your format, and you are right that I have violated our agreement. You are further right that it was wrong of me to censor you.

I am a pedant through and through, and the pedant you see is only half as pedantic as the pedant you would see if I allowed my pedantism full reign.

However, I am flexible in my opinion, even in the middle of all of my inflexibility regarding minor details and rules. In my mind -- though perhaps nowhere else -- I am inflexible precisely because I want to guarantee that my flexibility of opinion is warranted.

I don't know how to be any other way. I can't eat a peanut butter sandwich without getting peanut butter on my lips, and I can't debate or argue without being pedantic.

I am not alone in this; I have a few friends who are my pedantic equals. I have one -- arguably two -- who qualify as pedantic superiors.

I have literally -- not figuratively -- no comprehension of how or why someone would debate without taking it to the limits. When I was eight years old, this is how I argued with my few friends, my parents, and my teachers.

Any other method seems (to me) inferior and wasteful. Yes, the argument/debate is concluded, but without a conclusion. The ultimate answer has been sacrificed to concession instead of tracked to the ends of the world, and beyond.

I believe that every legitimate, factual question has a best answer, even if it beyond our capability to discover it.

I have been this way all of my life, and I don't realistically see any chance of it changing.

I want to remain your friend, but the Chas I've just described is likely to be the only Chas that you will ever encounter, unless, during our discussions, we stick to matters of opinion only. That's okay. It's the compromise I have to make with most of my friends. I warn you in advance that I am never 100% successful. Wait; you already know that.

Unfortunately, that's all I have to give.


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 5 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

Wow... and to think that with nearly everything, man's perception, or his opinion, is all that he is left with.

99.99% of merwin's personality or anyone's for that matter is only opinion. Yes opinions may accomplish many wonderful things, especially when given substance through math, but, even the - values - of these man made miracles are very little more than opinions.

At least according to my opinion.


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 5 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

Have a blessed day, my good friend.

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