Friday, June 30, 2006

How did we get this way?

The purpose of action is to enable philosophy to continue, for if men are reduced to the material alone they become no more than beasts.
- Saint Sophia

Though Saint Sophia lived in the dying days of the Roman Empire, she was able to see how materialism corrupted Rome from within. The entire western part of the empire fell to the barbarians who, on close inspection, were likely more humane than the Christian Romans.

It was not the Romans or the barbarians, but the Christian church that plunged Europe into the Dark Ages. At least we don't have any powerful groups destroying books and the people who read them and closing schools of higher learning today.

We do, however, have more than our share of men who are concerned almost solely with the material world. Whether in business or in war, we see their beastly sides. Diplomacy and dialogue are lost arts when each side of a summit declares "You must do it our way, or else!"

But, philosophy? It simply means discussion of the troubles of life, and how to solve them. A few television programs have such discussions, but they constitute no more than five percent of airtime dedicated to nonfiction. Other programs tell, they don't engage the viewer. No viewer engagement means no viewer thinking. No thinking means no solutions to life's problems on a large scale.

Sophia said that action should enable more discussion about how to solve the perplexing problems of life. Since we don't tend to go in that direction, we have more troubles than we can manage. Our ways of dealing with them are to hire more police, more judges, more soldiers and to build more prisons, more psychiatric hospitals and more sophisticated weapons.

No one tells our leaders to talk. We just vote for them and leave them to figure out what to do. So, how do you think that has worked out?

We need the situation to change. The squeeky wheels at present are those with personal agendas (something to gain), not those who want what is best for the country.

When the good people are quiet, only the bad ones are heard.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to ge the good people together to speak with one strong voice.
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