Re: MD secular humanism and dynamic quality

From: David MOREY (
Date: Thu Apr 01 2004 - 19:25:46 BST

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    Pretty much agree with what is said below.
    I often feels less that we talk at cross-purposes than that your initial
    position is too
    rigid but you usually flesh it out into something closer to what I can
    By the way, did you read the Oscar Wilde essay platt posted? I thought it
    was rather
    good, pretty much how I feel about socialism, where socialism equals the
    highest form of
    individualism, where individualism=individual and social flourishing rather
    than egoism
    and competition of all against all in the production of trivial and status
    driven materialism.
    My position below should say: 'spectorial reflecting but not doing much',
    which I see as self-
    criticism, but it says 'not much' rather than 'nothing'. Here's to 'a

    David M

    ----- Original Message -----
    To: <>
    Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2004 3:08 AM
    Subject: Re: MD secular humanism and dynamic quality

    > David,
    > David said:
    > Hi, this makes me think, the problem is that we do not have any democratic
    social representation/forums to discuss our societies in terms of
    goods/social goals. My problem is less with government and the trivial
    problems of making laws, what I want to debate is values/goals i.e. those
    things that should determine what our governments do. At the moment this is
    done by an unelected media, often under the influence of certain wealthy
    minorities. I propose, the people take control of the media, the government
    is has no power.....
    > Matt:
    > Well, sure, you may think law passing trivial, but I think that Americans
    should be fighting like hell in the policy-driven political arena to stop,
    say, the passing of a Constitutional Amendment outlawing gay marriage.
    > As I think my interlocuters and I end up finding out in a lot of
    conversations I'm involved in, we're mostly talking at cross-purposes. We
    _don't_ have enough governmentally sanctioned forums with which to discuss
    our values and goals. I've never disagreed with that. I think one of the
    main things advanced industrial societies need to do is try and repair local
    communities, first generate the sense of community in one's home town or
    burrough and then work outwards from there, extending the sense of
    community, the sense of who is included in "us," until it includes the
    entire global community. But for various psychological, sociological, and
    philosophical reasons (depending on which idiom you choose to express it), I
    think you have to start small first.
    > So, again, I'm not sure where we quite disagree, except maybe on the
    triviality of policy making (after all, it's going to be a law that
    establishes these forums we'd like for cultural conversation). Oh and this:
    > David said:
    > I definitely fall into the "spectatorial cynicism" -no actually
    'spectorial relecting but not doing much' category. Your danger I suggest is
    to fall into the 'let's hang on to liberalism as hard as we can as it is
    crushed' category, you are more optimistic that your strategy is not doomed,
    I am more optimistic that a better strategy can be found. Perhaps you should
    take my wager that we better try and come up with something better than
    liberalism in case liberalism is not going to hack it. Try starting with Roy
    > Matt:
    > Well, I'll tell you, maybe I might fall into the "trying to hang on to
    liberalism too hard." But I want to be optimistic enough about myself to
    think that if somebody comes up with a better idea than liberalism, I'll
    jump on board. The problem with "spectatorial cynicism" isn't that it's the
    opposite of what I take my position to be ("working with liberalism until a
    better idea comes along"). The mirror image of my ideal position is
    "working with liberalism until I come up with a better idea." The problem
    with spectators is that they aren't working towards anything. They aren't
    working with what they have, nor are they doing anything about "what they
    have." The problem with so-called critical theory is that I don't think any
    theoretical advances are going to help our present situation. Again, maybe
    it will, but if you are cynical as opposed to involved-but-pissed, you'll
    wait around for the next revolution and in the mean time the enemies of
    utopia will reform us into
    > the stone age.
    > Matt
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