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View Diary: I Came Back From Cuba Today (265 comments)

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  •  I don't think any political system (2+ / 0-)
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    Joe Bob, historys mysteries

    has yet been invented that completely compensates for the imperfections of human nature. The lust for power and wealth are very powerful, no matter what kind of structure we try to impose on ourselves. Maybe we'll evolve beyond it someday, but I'm not holding my breath.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Wed May 19, 2010 at 06:59:51 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Necessity is the mother of invention (0+ / 0-)

      The fact of the matter is that we have to find a system that works--the consequences of failure were relatively mild until 1945. As time goes on the consequences become larger and larger. We have to find a way and I think there is a way and that way is in the world's great spiritual traditions that emphasize the personal experience of the divine, i.e., our connection with all things.

      •  I'm sorry if that sounded very cynical (0+ / 0-)

        of course that fact that we haven't yet succeeded doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying.

        However, as an atheist I must point out that empathy ("feeling a connection with all things") requires no spiritual tradition or belief whatsoever. All it requires is a recognition of the best parts of human nature.

        The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

        by sidnora on Wed May 19, 2010 at 07:36:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  which begs the question of what is "best" (0+ / 0-)

          In the end our ethics has to be based on something. Western atheists are weak on metaphysics. What is the source of ethical behavior? Is it simply survival of the species? Is there a "higher" calling to human beings, for example, art, poetry, music, love etc.?

          Actually there are a couple of spiritual traditions that are or have strains of atheism. The most obvious is Buddhism which possesses an excellent metaphysics. The idea behind esoteric Buddhism is to experience human consciousness that is not conditioned by culture.

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