Saturday, January 28, 2006

when diverse people come to the same conclusion

kurt vonnegut had a great 5 minute interview on npr this week.
some paraphrased excerpts.

we are what we pretend to be.

karl marx got a bum rap, all he was trying to do was take care of a lot of people. communism is totally disgraced now, with the fall of communism, but i cant help notice that we are in hock to the chinese who seem to be better at business than we are. capitalism also collapsed in 1929.
(my friend henry always said the same thing. marx did not have a plan, he did not organize society, he saw the industrialization of britain, and he knew there was a problem. he documented the problem more than he designed a society. lenin designed communism.)

its obvious to an anthropologist that extended families and tribes are terribly important, cannot do without them. we are terribly divided politically, you can see it in the debate between teaching evolution and intelligent design. the scientists are behaving tribally. our bodies are miracles of design, scientists are pretending to have the answer. natural selection cannot be the answer. the other side, the christian religion, is not thinking about it, they are just acting tribally.

Nietsche: only a person of deep faith can afford the luxury of skepticism.
Vonnegut: That something wonderful is going on, i do not doubt it, but the explanations i hear do not satisfy me.

end of interview.

there is a third point of view in the evolution - intelligent design debate that does not believe a word of genesis is literally true or the word of god, but also has a deep faith that life would not exist if there were not an inherent intelligence deep in every molecule. joseph campbell says that all religion, all mythology, genesis included, is not meant to be literally true, its function is to be a way to see through the surface to the great reality behind it. of course its an intelligent design, we wouldnt be sitting here discussing it if it were not.

its a faith that there is something real, that if you stop believing the fairy tales of childhood, good will get you. there is a safety net of inherent good in the universe, in people. its what you believe after you believe nothing that is truly yours, and it seems like different people come to the same conclusion independently.

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