Ethics: The Food of Reason and The Shit of Religion

aristotle

I am currently reading Ethics by the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.  Reading it has lead me to one conclusion: Judaic, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Zen and Hindu religious texts are so bogged down in metaphorical interpretation they defeat the purpose for which they are created.

Aristotle’s writing is clear, unambiguous and the terminology is well defined.  He clearly states that mature adults benefit more from the study of ethics than those in their adolescence or post adolescence simply because life experience is necessary to provide the foundation for its appreciation.

Aristotle is lucid.  I read his work in a few hours.  I did not need to read any of the commentary provided by the translators or editors.  In fact, I found the commentary a useless distraction.  If a translation requires commentary, the translation has not acheived it’s goal, the translators have been dogmatic.

Aristotle’s greatest achievement is declaring that no one is chosen by anyone.  Existence chooses us and from that point we choose to be who and what we are.

We choose our rights and responsibilities in our social and environmental context.  And in that choice lies goodness and happiness.

“Do to others as you would have others do to you” is not a call for love or hate, but a call for moderation in all things.

Moderation is not a call for mediocrity, but excellence and perfection.  To achieve the state where nothing need be added and nothing need be taken away.

This is one thing: Reciprocitism.

newInfinity

The origin of the word “recipe”.

A balance between self-acceptance and self-rejection.  Induction and Deduction.

I highly recommend reading Ethics over any religious text.  The food of Reason prevails over the shit of Religion.

Advertisements

Malcolm Gladwell: The True Meaning of “Gifted”

outliers

Outliers is definitely Malcolm Gladwell’s finest book to date.  And I am going to keep this review really simple, because the simplicity of Malcolm’s book has earned it.  I read the book in one sitting and found myself welcoming the morining sun as I read the last sentences.  I simply could not put the book down.

According to Malcolm, there are two things that make you gifted.  First, why, how, when, who, where, what and how much you were born into and lived in, the gift of your environment.  Second, how many hours you practiced, the gift of hard work.  And the two were interdependent.  There were no born prodigies or self-made successes in this world.  There were instead many world-made, effort-made successes, and repeating world-made, effort-made success was not that difficult.  The world could be tailored to gift most children by grouping them by narrower margins of maturity, going over the material slowly to develop comprehension and then practice, practice, practice at school and at home.  And if the children need a summer break, a change is better than a rest.  Give them two months of educational field trips or meaningful apprenticeships.

There is even a good argument that we should adopt the Cantonese verbal language for our number system.  It would be the greatest leap forward since we adopted Arabic numerals.

I think Outliers is not only recognition that individuals are gifted by the world and practice, it is also a recognition that we are now in a world of competing agri-cultural philosophies.  The West is accustomed to one planting, a unhurried summer, one harvest and a winter’s hibernation.  The East is accustomed to two to three intense plantings, two to three intense cultivations, two to three intense harvests and an intense preparation over a dry season for the next first planting.  Where the West may only have worked 1000 hours annually the East worked 3000 hours annually.  The gap between Western and Eastern philosophies regarding work are just as profound.

Eastern agricultural philosophy makes the Western agricultural philosophy leisurely and statistics make the self-made man delusional.

The one thing left out is which offers the greater quantity and quality of life?  How much time is spent in the play state as opposed to the work state?  Which gifts us a better world?