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Complexity is largely ignored in today's moral judgments: The Meaning Of Good And Evil In Perilous TimesMeaning Of Good And Evil In Perilous Times

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Author James Baldwin, in 1979. His searches for moral clarity included examining intellectual difficulties and ethical complications. Photo by Max Petrus, Courtesy of Dial Press

  • Part 1: Complexity is largely ignored in today's moral judgments.
  • We are quick to condemn, with scant effort to understand.
  • Part 2: The Meaning Of Good And Evil In Perilous Times
  • You can’t stamp out conscience.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest


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Part 1: Complexity is largely ignored in today's moral judgments.

 

We are quick to condemn, with scant effort to understand. That's a departure from a long history, and a real loss for society. 

Lee Siegel, Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune

July 28, 2018 | In his 1963 book, "The Fire Next Time," James Baldwin describes meeting Elijah Muhammad, the controversial leader of the Nation of Islam. Baldwin felt alienated by Muhammad's black separatism and by his universal hatred of white people; at the same time, he admired Muhammad's acute understanding of the countless ways in which institutionalized white power continued to injure and suppress African-Americans.

"I felt very close to him," Baldwin writes about Muhammad, "and really wished to be able to love and honor him as a witness, an ally and a father." Yet, reflecting on the moment when the two men said goodbye, Baldwin writes, "we would always be strangers, and possibly, one day, enemies."

Lee Siegel is the author, most recently, of "The Draw: A Memoir." He wrote this article for the New York (NY) Times.

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Part 2: The Meaning Of Good And Evil In Perilous Times

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You can’t stamp out conscience.

Brandon Smith, Alt-Market.com

July 7, 2018 | Perhaps the most destructive idea ever planted in the minds of the general public is the notion that nothing in this world is permanent — that all things can and must be constantly changed to suit our whims. The concept of impermanence fuels what I call “blank slate propaganda.” The usefulness of the blank slate as a weapon for social control should be explained before we examine the nature of good and evil, because these days it infects everything.

The push for never ending social “evolution” has been called many things over the decades. In the early 1900s in Europe it was called “futurism;” an art and philosophical movement that helped spawn the rise of communism and fascism in politics. The argument that all old ideas and longstanding traditions should be abandoned to make way for new ideas, new technologies, news systems etc., assumes that the supposedly new ways of doing things are superior to the old ways of doing things. Things are rarely this simple, and in most cases the new methods so proudly championed by movements for social change are usually recycled and repackaged old ideas that are notorious for failure.

Brandon Smith, Founder, Alt-Market.com

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