Wednesday, February 28, 2007
How much of you is your genes? Is all you are the mere expression of your genetic code?
I don’t have any answers for you. I’m not even really making an argument. I’m just dissatisfied with hearing that it is my genes that make me who I am, when no one has explained to me yet how that is even feasible.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Check out the updated Agora II page.
I've added several offsite links for related subject material.
As comments on the page come in, I'll add them to the pages as well. Hopefully they'll drum up some traffic to the website.
I've also added 10 new images to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden Gallery, and should have a similar number up in the Washington Square Park Gallery by tomorrow. Hopefully in the next few weeks, I'll have additions to all the galleries.
I'm working on a comments/guestbook page, and hopefully that will be up within the next week.
Monday, February 19, 2007
This past week I’ve been mulling over two different aphorisms. They are: “If you are unwilling to accept the results of inaction, then any action—even a bad one—that you can accept the consequences of is a valid choice.”
“If you are unwilling to accept the consequences of doing a particular action, you shouldn’t do that action.”
And the corollary statement.
“If you are unwilling to accept the results of inaction, then any action—even a bad one—that you can accept the consequences of is a valid choice.”
As I am attempting to find new employment, I have been pondering how individuals find themselves in the places they end up in life. Some are unhappy with their jobs, families, or other circumstances. Others find themselves faced with making logically or ethically untenable decisions. I keep asking myself: “Is living by an ethical and moral standard really that hard to accomplish in this century?” “Is it possible to live simply in a complex society?”
I can’t number the times I’ve seen acquaintances enact behaviors that contradict with their own stated moral and ethical standards; I can’t list the plethora of simple logical errors people I know have made because of an unwillingness to face themselves fully and decide what they really want or need.
Every action has consequences. What I find surprising is how many adults I know are unwilling to accept the consequences of the actions they do. Granted, no human is omniscient, but a person of average intelligence and awareness should realize that sometimes a particular act can have both intended and unintended consequences (and sometimes neither can be foreseen).
To clarify, whether one believes a particular law is correct or incorrect, one should not violate that law if one is unwilling to accept the potential punishment if caught. A common example is speeding while driving. If I cannot accept that I may get ticket, have the potential of losing my vehicle and license, then I should not speed. A more controversial example. If you smoke marijuana, then you should be prepared to pay the consequences of getting arrested and prosecuted. If you are unwilling, then don’t smoke marijuana! Complaining and protesting after you get arrested is foolish. It is the infantile way of trying to escape the consequences.
But of more potential disagreement is the corollary statement. Particularly in today’s climate of political correctness and appeasement of any individual who might take offense (to almost anything), inaction is seen more favorably. However the corollary disagrees with that viewpoint, and I’d like to make a case for why the corollary is the better stance.
A current example of inaction is the
It ultimately appears that both the White House and Congress are more willing to accept the consequences of inaction, then take the potentially riskier decision to do something to change the situation on the ground. This is in clear contrast to both their stances on the
So whether you or I personally agree with the President’s decision to order more troops into the
Now each individual is confronted with whether their valid choice agrees with their own moral and ethical standard. Assuming for the moment that the choice does, that individual must then accept the consequences of that choice. If Congress truly believe that the President’s decision is a disastrous error, then they should make full effort to block the enaction of that decision, and be willing to accept whatever consequences that effort results in. If the President truly believes that his decision is the best among his valid choices, then he should be willing to accept whatever consequences Congress and the public give at him. On the basis of the newscasts I have observed, it appears the President is willing and Congress is not.
In game theory, once your opponent has a fixed and unvarying strategy, the possible beneficial choices you can make is reduced. Often the available loss-reducing strategies are restricted to a single option. In the case of Congress, they only have control over funding, not the disposition and direction of the military. If inaction (tantamount to tacit approval) on the President’s decision is untenable for them, they must enact the only loss-reducing strategy they have left: don’t fund the troop increase. Since we have a volunteer military, it is unlikely all 20K+ troops will volunteer to go fight in