Whose Life has Value?

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

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Nick_A
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Whose Life has Value?

Post by Nick_A » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:16 pm

“When once a certain class of people has been placed by the temporal and spiritual authorities outside the ranks of those whose life has value, then nothing comes more naturally to men than murder.” ~ Simone Weil
Whose life has sufficient or insufficient value for you so that they should be either murdered or protected from murder? For example does protection begin with a fetus, a baby, a teenager, a teen of a particular gender and or color, an adult and an elderly person of a particular color or gender? Is it sufficient just to conclude that the other guy and whoever is an annoyance should be murdered? How do you determine who should be murdered and who should be protected from murder?

tbieter
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by tbieter » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:03 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:16 pm
“When once a certain class of people has been placed by the temporal and spiritual authorities outside the ranks of those whose life has value, then nothing comes more naturally to men than murder.” ~ Simone Weil
Whose life has sufficient or insufficient value for you so that they should be either murdered or protected from murder? For example does protection begin with a fetus, a baby, a teenager, a teen of a particular gender and or color, an adult and an elderly person of a particular color or gender? Is it sufficient just to conclude that the other guy and whoever is an annoyance should be murdered? How do you determine who should be murdered and who should be protected from murder?
It is rare to see anyone quote and then comment on a statement by Simone Weil. It is refreshing to see your post.

Nick_A
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by Nick_A » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:01 pm

tbieter wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:03 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:16 pm
“When once a certain class of people has been placed by the temporal and spiritual authorities outside the ranks of those whose life has value, then nothing comes more naturally to men than murder.” ~ Simone Weil
Whose life has sufficient or insufficient value for you so that they should be either murdered or protected from murder? For example does protection begin with a fetus, a baby, a teenager, a teen of a particular gender and or color, an adult and an elderly person of a particular color or gender? Is it sufficient just to conclude that the other guy and whoever is an annoyance should be murdered? How do you determine who should be murdered and who should be protected from murder?
It is rare to see anyone quote and then comment on a statement by Simone Weil. It is refreshing to see your post.
Thanks for the compliment. When I began reading Simone I felt that I was becoming aquainted with an exceptional person of a quality few of which come along in a generation. I am not Albert Camus but I can at least invite discussion of her ideas only recently becoming known.

Existentialist philosopher Albert Camus wrote in a letter to Weil's mother in 1951:
Simone Weil, I still know this now, is the only great mind of our times and I hope that those who realize this have enough modesty to not try to appropriate her overwhelming witnessing.
For my part, I would be satisfied if one could say that in my place, with the humble means at my disposal, I served to make known and disseminate her work whose full impact we have yet to measure.

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Harbal
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by Harbal » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:46 pm

tbieter wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:03 pm

It is rare to see anyone quote and then comment on a statement by Simone Weil.
As far as Nick's posts are concerned it is rare for it to be otherwise, you're obviously not familiar with his posts and in that respect I envy you.

Nick_A
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by Nick_A » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:23 pm

Thieter You have to understand Harbal. He is one of those opposed to Simone because she encourages impartial contemplation as opposed to the usual women’s philosophy limited to advocating freedom for abortion and gender rights. This is intolerable. They had her pegged years ago when she graduated:
Director of Career Placement, Ecole Normale Supérieure wrote

“We shall send the Red Virgin as far away as possible so that we shall never hear of her again”
If Harbal and others had been around at the time they would have been waving goodbye. Often when someone is so disliked it is a sign that they are seekers of truth and on to something which is completely unacceptable in modern philosophy. Luckily for Simone she was a virtual unknown and unworthy of murder since clearly her life didn't have value for those wanting to get rid of her. By the time she was worthy of murder, she was already dead. Good timing.

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Harbal
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by Harbal » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:25 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:23 pm
Thieter You have to understand Harbal. He is one of those opposed to Simone because she encourages impartial contemplation as opposed to the usual women’s philosophy limited to advocating freedom for abortion and gender rights.
You're the one that doesn't understand, Nick. You don't understand that I have no idea what Simone encourages, thinks or says. All I know is what she looked like, which seems to be a barrier to me wanting to know anything more about her. I do have to admit, though, I am quite sympathetic towards freedom for abortion and gender rights. What possible reason could one have for being against those things?
Often when someone is so disliked it is a sign that they are seekers of truth and on to something which is completely unacceptable in modern philosophy.
I don't dislike her, I'm just indifferent to her, I don't know enough about her for it to be otherwise.

Nick_A
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by Nick_A » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:53 pm

Harbal wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:25 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:23 pm
Thieter You have to understand Harbal. He is one of those opposed to Simone because she encourages impartial contemplation as opposed to the usual women’s philosophy limited to advocating freedom for abortion and gender rights.
You're the one that doesn't understand, Nick. You don't understand that I have no idea what Simone encourages, thinks or says. All I know is what she looked like, which seems to be a barrier to me wanting to know anything more about her. I do have to admit, though, I am quite sympathetic towards freedom for abortion and gender rights. What possible reason could one have for being against those things?
Often when someone is so disliked it is a sign that they are seekers of truth and on to something which is completely unacceptable in modern philosophy.
I don't dislike her, I'm just indifferent to her, I don't know enough about her for it to be otherwise.
Like many men now you are either attracted to the playboy playmate or intimidated by the growling modern feminist. Simone is neither. You don't like her looks created by working in the field with women in poverty. Not much time for makeup. The look of a compassionate woman being real in her service to others at the expense of her own pleasure is repulsive to anyone impressed with an artificial image.

It is curious that what you find repulsive is what I find attractive. She reveals the sufferings of love only a few are capable of. We are incapable of it but we cans still respect it as a conscious human potential and experience at least a little humility because of it.

davidm
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by davidm » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:14 pm

Here is Simone Weil’s Profession of Faith.

Let’s look at the very first paragraph:
There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man's mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.
Why does this get me to thinking about Rod Serling introducing the Twilight Zone? “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity …” etc. etc. Cue Twilight Zone theme music.

I ask in all sincerity, how does Weil know this? It is particularly baffling because on the face of it, she contradicts herself in the final clause of her sentence when she says that this other reality is “outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.”

If this other reality is wholly inaccessible to human faculties, than Weil cannot know it exists, and even if it did exist, she can nothing whatsoever about it. But if she knows it exists and can say something about it, then it is not “outside any sphere that is accessible to human faculties,” is it?

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Harbal
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by Harbal » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:22 pm

davidm wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:14 pm
I ask in all sincerity, how does Weil know this? It is particularly baffling because on the face of it, she contradicts herself in the final clause of her sentence when she says that this other reality is “outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.”
I suppose it resonates with Nick because he too inhabits that very same sphere.

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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by Nick_A » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:27 pm

davidm wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:14 pm
Here is Simone Weil’s Profession of Faith.

Let’s look at the very first paragraph:
There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man's mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.
Why does this get me to thinking about Rod Serling introducing the Twilight Zone? “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity …” etc. etc. Cue Twilight Zone theme music.

I ask in all sincerity, how does Weil know this? It is particularly baffling because on the face of it, she contradicts herself in the final clause of her sentence when she says that this other reality is “outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.”

If this other reality is wholly inaccessible to human faculties, than Weil cannot know it exists, and even if it did exist, she can nothing whatsoever about it. But if she knows it exists and can say something about it, then it is not “outside any sphere that is accessible to human faculties,” is it?
How does Plotinus know about the ONE? It is “outside any sphere that is accessible to human faculties,” Should we just reject it or impartially contemplate it?

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=22235

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Harbal
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by Harbal » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:40 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:27 pm
How does Plotinus know about the ONE? It is “outside any sphere that is accessible to human faculties,” Should we just reject it or impartially contemplate it?
Well I'm for just rejecting it, there's far too much talk of ancient Greeks round here. I suppose all this mumbo jumbo made sense in their day but there's no reason to tolerate it in this modern, secular age. Don't you agree, Nick? 8)

davidm
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by davidm » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:05 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:27 pm
davidm wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:14 pm
Here is Simone Weil’s Profession of Faith.

Let’s look at the very first paragraph:
There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man's mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.
Why does this get me to thinking about Rod Serling introducing the Twilight Zone? “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity …” etc. etc. Cue Twilight Zone theme music.

I ask in all sincerity, how does Weil know this? It is particularly baffling because on the face of it, she contradicts herself in the final clause of her sentence when she says that this other reality is “outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.”

If this other reality is wholly inaccessible to human faculties, than Weil cannot know it exists, and even if it did exist, she can nothing whatsoever about it. But if she knows it exists and can say something about it, then it is not “outside any sphere that is accessible to human faculties,” is it?
How does Plotinus know about the ONE? It is “outside any sphere that is accessible to human faculties,” Should we just reject it or impartially contemplate it?

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=22235
I don't know, you tell me how Plotnus knows about the "ONE." You write that he begins with the concept, and then works from there. Is that what Weil does? Begin with the concept of this "reality outside the world"? Unfortunately, that is known as begging the question. How about if I begin with the concept that Santa exists and work out from there the profound implications of absolute niceness and absolute naughtiness? Would that work for you?

Nick_A
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by Nick_A » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:19 pm

davidm wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:05 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:27 pm
davidm wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:14 pm
Here is Simone Weil’s Profession of Faith.

Let’s look at the very first paragraph:



Why does this get me to thinking about Rod Serling introducing the Twilight Zone? “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity …” etc. etc. Cue Twilight Zone theme music.

I ask in all sincerity, how does Weil know this? It is particularly baffling because on the face of it, she contradicts herself in the final clause of her sentence when she says that this other reality is “outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.”

If this other reality is wholly inaccessible to human faculties, than Weil cannot know it exists, and even if it did exist, she can nothing whatsoever about it. But if she knows it exists and can say something about it, then it is not “outside any sphere that is accessible to human faculties,” is it?
How does Plotinus know about the ONE? It is “outside any sphere that is accessible to human faculties,” Should we just reject it or impartially contemplate it?

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=22235
I don't know, you tell me how Plotnus knows about the "ONE." You write that he begins with the concept, and then works from there. Is that what Weil does? Begin with the concept of this "reality outside the world"? Unfortunately, that is known as begging the question. How about if I begin with the concept that Santa exists and work out from there the profound implications of absolute niceness and absolute naughtiness? Would that work for you?
Plotinus became capable of deductive reason and to experience the great chain of being which connects everything in our great universe. For some reason he became able to experience the limitations of inductive reason in the percerption of the god question. Rodney Colin wrote:
In our attempt to reconcile the inner and outer world, however, we do come up against a very real difficulty, which must be faced. This difficulty is connected with the problem of reconciling different 'methods of knowing'.

Man has two ways of studying the universe. The first is by induction: he examines phenomena, classifies them, and attempts to infer laws and principles from them. This is the method generally used by science. The second is by deduction: having perceived or had revealed or discovered certain general laws and principles, he attempts to deduce the application of these laws in various studies and in life. This is the method generally used by religions.. The first method begins with 'facts' and attempts to reach 'laws'. The second method begins with 'laws' and attempts to reach 'facts'.

These two methods belong to the working of different human functions. The first is the method of the ordinary logical mind, which is permanently available to us. the second derives from a potential function in man, which is ordinarily inactive for lack of nervous energy of sufficient intensity, and which we may call higher mental function This function on rare occasions of its operation, reveals to man laws in action, he sees the whole phenomenal world as the product of laws.

All true formulations of universal laws derive recently or remotely from the working of this higher function, somewhere and in some man. At the same time, for the application and understanding of the laws revealed in the long stretches of time and culture when such revelation is not available, man has to rely on the ordinary logical mind."
Plotinus for some reason remembered reality (anamnesis) so was able to draw the logical conclusions deductive reason produced.

davidm
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by davidm » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:42 pm

This doesn’t really help me understand Simone Weil’s essay, though. She says that there is a reality outside time and space and outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties. But later in the same essay she speaks of establishing a “link” with that “other reality.”

How is it possible to establish a “link” with something that in the very first paragraph of her essay she deems to be outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties? Are you saying that, like Plotinus apparently did, she simply established the “higher reality” as P1 of a deductive argument, and then went on to deduce her conclusions?

If so, that is begging the question. Alternatively, she could establish P1 arguendo, and then go on to deduce a conclusion that might be valid and sound, but only if P1 is true. That would be fine, but that does not seem to be what she is doing.

Notice that I agree with a great many things she says in her essay (and see no reason why what she writes should in any way contravene, say, supporting abortion rights and gender rights). I am just curious as to her epistemic justification for a claim that she herself says cannot be epistemically justified. It’s a big fat internal contradiction.

Also, do we have any reason to think anamnesis is true? I certainly can’t see any reason; but even if I could, anamnesis doesn’t help Weil. How can one “remember” a reality to which she herself says we have no way of accessing?

Nick_A
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Re: Whose Life has Value?

Post by Nick_A » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:58 pm

davidm wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:42 pm
This doesn’t really help me understand Simone Weil’s essay, though. She says that there is a reality outside time and space and outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties. But later in the same essay she speaks of establishing a “link” with that “other reality.”

How is it possible to establish a “link” with something that in the very first paragraph of her essay she deems to be outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties? Are you saying that, like Plotinus apparently did, she simply established the “higher reality” as P1 of a deductive argument, and then went on to deduce her conclusions?

If so, that is begging the question. Alternatively, she could establish P1 arguendo, and then go on to deduce a conclusion that might be valid and sound, but only if P1 is true. That would be fine, but that does not seem to be what she is doing.

Notice that I agree with a great many things she says in her essay (and see no reason why what she writes should in any way contravene, say, supporting abortion rights and gender rights). I am just curious as to her epistemic justification for a claim that she herself says cannot be epistemically justified. It’s a big fat internal contradiction.

Also, do we have any reason to think anamnesis is true? I certainly can’t see any reason; but even if I could, anamnesis doesn’t help Weil. How can one “remember” a reality to which she herself says we have no way of accessing?
The connection is conscious attention or the third direction of thought. Simone Weil wrote:
"The combination of these two facts — the longing in the depth of the heart for absolute good, and the power, though only latent, of directing attention and love to a reality beyond the world and of receiving good from it — constitutes a link which attaches every man without exception to that other reality.

Whoever recognizes that reality recognizes also that link. Because of it, he holds every human being without any exception as something sacred to which he is bound to show respect.
This is the only possible motive for universal respect towards all human beings. Whatever formulation of belief or disbelief a man may choose to make, if his heart inclines him to feel this respect, then he in fact also recognizes a reality other than this world's reality. Whoever in fact does not feel this respect is alien to that other reality also." ~ Simone Weil
."Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. It is given to very few minds to notice that things and beings exist. Since my childhood I have not wanted anything else but to receive the complete revelation of this before dying." ~Simone Weil
Why is the human potential for conscious attention so rare if it is so vital? That is the essential question and once it is reconciled, the complimentary relationship between science and the essence of religion will become obvious.

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