Courtney Brown, The Future of Scientific Remote Viewing |421|

The Aztecs sacrificed lives, mostly not of their own, in a struggle against the 'enemy' that was divine in nature to ward off the demise of their reality.
good point... thx for reminding.

isn't this also a story about cults and cultish behavior (leaving the spiritual realm out for a minute). graham hancock does a good job of drawing parallels between the conquistador's wacky christian cult which they used to justify their mass genocide ( including intentionally infecting people with contagious diseases) and the aztecs.

--- well I just realized I jumped in the massive discussion :) I shall retreat into the background :)
 
What is this moral contract with the universe that you think existed? These people were killing each other, killing animals, slashing and burning the forests and on and on. There just weren't enough of them to do huge environmental damage. It was merely a matter of numbers rather than morality.
A moral contract with the cosmos is inherent in human culture, so it seems. In our culture we make a mess of it by filtering it through Christianity, so we tend to see it in not very good terms.

If you explore ethnographic and comparative religion literature you will see coherent moral code that is, like ours, predicated upon some sense of relationship between the human and the divine. For an easy read (more or less) can I refer you to Bruce Pacoe's Dark Emu: Black Seed (Its on audible). Its about an ordered and deeply disciplined structure to the lives on Australian Aboriginal people through which they developed a level of complexity and quality we have not previously imagined in their lives. It does not touch on the deeper complexities of intimate culture. But what we do know is that these people lived in close relation to what they perceived as law given by what we would call God.

That theme is repeated globally. You won't get that idea from atheistic anthropologists, and that pretty much means nobody from 1960s on unless they have been prepared to stand their ground.

If you want to go looking I will be happy to give references, but I will have to go looking, because it was over 14 years ago I did my research. But to give you a sense, some hunters apologised to the spirits of their prey, acknowledging the sad necessity of killing so they could live. In other cultures, for example, if a man had a fight with his wife before a hunt he was expected to declare that and not join the hunting party. This was because the act of hunting was so sensitive the no polluting emotions could be permitted. You may think that stupid, until you remember that some sporting teams forbade sex before matches - and you would not walk into a negotiation or a meeting if you were unsettled by a fight with your wife - and feel on top of the situation.

How you feel effects your state of mind and your state of mind effects your awareness - and whether you take the opportunity the hunt may present to you matters a great deal. These days we tend to see that as entirely psychological. In days gone by it was an interaction between the individual, the hunting party and the spirit of the forest. I prefer the latter POV from direct experience.
 
Well then you're telling me that a lot of people can't handle freedom. They need a big boss government or preacher to order them around. But you wouldn't like that either. I'll take personal freedom over a boss any day, even if that means wasted freedom and bad choices are going to happen. I have mentioned before that I am a big believer in the Bell Curve. I don't want to hold back the farther right side of the curve to create something that is supposed to keep the farther left side of the curve doing the right thing. I also don't like others defining what is an appropriate use of my life.
Eric, freedom is a very modern notion. In the past, when men were religious, freedom meant freedom from sin. You have to back to the beginning of the Enlightenment to see the beginning of the idea of freedom from place.

In general we do not understand freedom as an idea or ideal at all. I do not now recall the philosopher who essentially said that a truly free man will always choose duty and moral conduct, because being good and doing the right thing is what a natural person walking in the ways of the divine would choose.

We live in cultures that promote what we would call good, as well as behaviour that is not good - and say that a man has the liberty to behave that way - and this we champion as our ideal of freedom. So we would leave a man in the grip of self-delusions and passions, a man some would say is trapped, because this is our ideal of freedom?

The ideal that freedom is that no man tells us what we can or cannot do, that is for us alone to decide - is the ideal of the atheist who denies the divine and the duty to moral conduct. For me that ideal of freedom is ripe for abuse and predation.

Well then you're telling me that a lot of people can't handle freedom. They need a big boss government or preacher to order them around. But you wouldn't like that either. That "boss" is the divine.

I'll take personal freedom over a boss any day, even if that means wasted freedom and bad choices are going to happen - we have that anyway - but do we take the guidance offered?

I have mentioned before that I am a big believer in the Bell Curve. I don't want to hold back the farther right side of the curve to create something that is supposed to keep the farther left side of the curve doing the right thing. I thought the Bell Curve reflected what is. I don't think it has to be managed. If you mean you don't want to influence conduct in an false way, nobody is asking that.

I also don't like others defining what is an appropriate use of my life. Totally agree. But I do listen to hints about how I might be more sensible about making my choices. The difference between defining and influencing is important.
 
After how many centuries of invasion by Europeans? If you can live a good life and flourish with a stone axe why the hell do you need a smart TV? The presumption of progress is that things are evidence of improvement. Really? Gatling guns and Napalm. Quality of life is always different from standard of living - and we prefer the latter and impose the confusion that it is equal to the former on everyone else - whether they like it or not.

And we can't extrapolate based on similar instances when it comes to history. Every instance is different and dynamic. Would we have predicted the domination of Britain based on knowing only the Roman invasion? No, because what led to England's improbable rise was the result of complex factors. Had Spain not invaded Mexico the USA would not be what it is - and so on.



I completely agree with you that the trend of western civilisation has been positive - but it always been a struggle against internal opposition to counter that growth. Its like then good guys won 101 to 95 - a sufficient but not a great margin.

These are not "emotional arguments on my part". They are based on getting on for half a century of inquiry. Your practicality is pragmatism.I get that.Its attractive. It has utility. It has popular merit.

I am not out voted. Human beings are not stupid. They go for what requires least energy for the most return. Wild animals do the same. But here's the rub. Australian Aboriginal people elected to use Toyotas and rifles to hunt kangaroos - least energy expenditure for maximum return. That works until they need bullets, petrol and spare parts. At that point there is a choice - retain real freedom and go back to hunting skills or become captured by the 'system' and do what is necessary to keep the dependent technologies running. A free man has no dependencies that render him subject to others and submissive to their demands. A man with a boomerang is free. A man with a rifle is not.

Plato writes of the advice from the Egyptians foretelling of future catastrophes. The sophisticated people in the seaside cities will perish and it is the rude unlettered people in the hills who will survive. If you look at Graham Hancock's work you will see compelling argument for several catastrophic events that devastated 'civilisation' (recorded in the 'myths; of archaic peoples).

People from all over the world seek what we have and we don't seek to be like them. No, not true. Of course many seek to be like us if they come from broken disrupted cultures (which is nearly all of them). Sure, not many of us seek to learn from sustainable life ways - but some do. And not everyone wants to be like us - just most. There is actually a lot of research into traditional life ways that help us understand that our "practical" way of being is actually quite dangerous to us and others. So, to be fair, its a two way street with a minority going one way and a majority, not everyone, going the other.

A couple of points.
1. You are doing something that I see liberals everywhere doing and it's really mean spirited - and that is condemning what we are now because of some perceived past sin (for example, slavery, brutal conditions in the industrial revolution period). Is that how you treat individual people? If they are fairly decent today and have been trending that way for years and doing good things for others you condemn them because of something they did in the distant past when they were still young? Or do you forgive and move on?


Eric these are not past sins. They continue in lour communities and we export them to 'developing countries'. In the USA you guys can't even agree on a minimum wage, and you have business operators who employ undocumented 'migrants' because they pay wages so low that not even the unemployed white folk will cop that. Read Deer Hunting With Jesus, America the Farewell Tour and a bunch of other books written by Republicans, plus the actual history of the labour relations in US economic development over, lets say 1850 to 1950. I don't mean partisan political spin but actual bipartisan agreed history.

Who forgives and moves on? You who have benefited from all that has happened? Me who has moved from working class poverty to comparatively comfortable middle class? I have Masters and Masters Honours degrees and I earn over AUD $120,000 a year. That's around USD$81,500. Its not fabulous but it is liveable. I am not bitter or resentful.

It seems to me that you are asking the winners to forgive the losers. I have spent my working life mostly in public service - so I have a perspective on public policy I do not expect you to share. I am prepared to hear your POV and explore it because I know you come from a different background. You up for a reciprocation?

2. This is why you don't undermine our culture. Yes, we could revert any time. It's our cultural and civic institutions that largely prevent that from happening. Liberals attack those institutions. They want to burn it all down because of past sins and rebuild a glorious utopia in earth. Dangerous!

It's our cultural and civic institutions that largely prevent that from happening: I agree with this statement because you have included the qualifier "largely". But we have to acknowledge that these days they are under threat from internal and external threat as the means to manipulate opinion become more an more sophisticated. How long that belief can be sustained without radical reconnection is problematic. This is the opinion of counter espionage and security experts globally.

Liberals attack those institutions. Some do. Others will justly challenge presumptions and habits of thought. Remember that 'conservatives' (that's the opposite in my language) act to preserve structures and traditions that protect established ruling classes. In Europe that means the traditional social elite as well as the wealthy who want to stay on top (understandably). The USA runs, in my view, a faux European class structure. You guys get more excited about the British royals than we do.,Its a big yawn to us while the US is wetting its knickers over royal wedding.

These institutions are not sacred establishments. They must be challenged as a natural part of a healthy social evolution. I am surprised you don't see this as a fundamental 1st amendment right. I have to be blunt and say that those who object to being challenged (attacked if you like) tend to be those who don't have a justification (defence).

They want to burn it all down because of past sins and rebuild a glorious utopia in earth Not at all. If our daughter was raped and became pregnant and had the child, would you hate the child because she was conceived in a criminal act? Would you acknowledge the crime and love the child? Would you love the child and pretend the crime did not happen?

A spiritually mature culture owns then crimes and sins that made it was it is - in part. That is what is being asked. I agree that there are those who call themselves progressive who want to roll over and let chaos happen because of their conception of past crimes. They are idiots and I have no regard for their POV.

But I think an essential part of our spiritual evolution is that we own our past, and acknowledge those injured in our triumph. Let me explain it this way. Australia was founded upon an explicit breech of law. The judgement may have been an error, but it led to a crime in our law. We have benefited from that crime, and in so doing we have behaved in cruel and unjust ways. And we have added arrogance and stupidity to the mix.

There is no way we are going up sticks and go back to where we came from. That's not going to happen. So how do we sort our relations with the indigenous people and the land in a spiritually mature way? If we dare, owning the past wrongs we benefit from can be positively transformative to us as individuals and to our community. We can be spiritually grown up, adult - and become stronger and better people.

I am no fan any political class, not here or the UK or the USA. In fact Australian politics so sickens me to despair at the venal stupidity of our elected representatives I have had to make a choice for my personal wellbeing. I have been a political junkie for a long time and I love the deep complexity needed to understand how it all works. Local politics was doing my blood pressure no good at all. Now I indulge my passion for politics by observing US politics. I have read maybe 26 books on US politics and culture so far this year.

Here's my point. In the US there is no simple binary that divides progressives and conservatives. Yes progressives are often complete dicks talking total rubbish. But the same applies to their political polar opposites. If you give a damn what what is true and real its the dialogue in the middle that should attract you. Its the debates between the just over the line progressives and the just over the line conservatives that are most informative - because these are debates between people who actually do know what the hell they are talking about. For that reason they are the least influential debates on the public stage - because mostly nobody really gives damn about what is true and real - just what gets them energised.

Humans are innately conservative. They prefer the status quo. You should take demands for change seriously. They always come from real grievances which are invariably distorted and misrepresented by opposing parties. I am not a fan of white supremacists, but because I know they have a real grievance I make the effort to understand it. The fact that they can articulate a grievance does not mean they can explain it or prescribe a remedy - but they try that, as we all do. And the rest of us think that because we think the remedy is crap the grievance must be crap too. That's a dumb mistake our media and politicians make as if doing so is part of their job description.
Michael,
I think you're great, but you really selectively focus like a laser beam to make a romantic case.

If you're the poor sap getting killed, it doesn't matter much to you whether it's an Aztec ripping out your heart while your still alive and conscious, a Zulu warrior sticking a spear through your body while trying to expand Skaka's territory and worldly power or a drone strike. You don't care if the F'ing Aztec has a need to appease his angry gods or if the USA has some [perhaps] misguided foreign policy. It's all the same to you.

Similarly, slavery is slavery is slavery. At least in America you have a the opportunity to advance yourself to a comfortable lifestyle. Income and wealth mobility is a real thing in the states. How many people have come here from some shithole country and then become multimillionaires or billionaires within their lifetime? Quite a few. The American dream is to go from working class to college educated professional. Happens all of the time for those who have some aptitude and put in the effort.

History is full of winners and losers and todays winners may be tomorrows losers. The wheel keeps turning and nothing can stop it. It is the nature of the beast. My interest in society is waning as I age. I am interested in myself and those near me. That said, I respect and appreciate our societal structure. I would pick up a weapon and fight for it tomorrow if it was threatened at home. I can't run very well and, with my aging eyes, my ability to shoot accurately is limited to about 150 meters with iron sights (maybe I'd put a scope on my weapon and stretch out a bit more), but I'd still do it if my way of life needed my body and mind to defend it. My grandparents survived a genocide. No help from anyone and they came to America (pre-welfare days) and got it together and moved forward; just as I have from my own personal experiences with tragedy. I have little appreciation for whiners or people who look backwards. Appreciate what you have, adapt and overcome.

Jesus was a great spiritual image. Half man/half god. He's us. What could be more liberating and real - and connecting to the cosmos? Much better than some angry being in the sky that needs human sacrifice.

Freedom is a particularly American idea. We value it greatly - at least some of us still do. I recognize that it is a foreign concept to Euros, Asians and Brit exponents. The concept is based of the ideas of several well known and respected philosophers. Look it up. You say it's a modern notion. Ok. Sometimes you're all about progress and then at other times you denigrate it. Again, trying to make the data fit to a romantic image as opposed to reality. Who cares if some tribe had a belief system that allegedly was a contract with the cosmos? hard to make anything of that when your teeth are falling out, you're full of worms, under attack from the barbarians that live on the other side of the hill and your loved ones are regularly dying in childbirth and from other conditions that we don't even think about these days.
 
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I think you're great, but you really selectively focus like a laser beam to make a romantic case.
I am intrigued you think I am romantic :). I have learned that standard history skates over inconvenient truths in order to sustain a predetermined narrative. The laser focus reveals things that don't fit the standard model - and dealing with them is not always romantic - sometimes it is shocking to discover how wrong you have been.

For example you can find on YouTube video of a site in Egypt that shows scoop marks in rock. Here is a 'for instance' link - not the best, but it should do to illustrate my point-
.

So here is my problem - there is a standard explanation of how stone is worked while the scoop marks are plainly visible, but they are not part of the explanation. Why is that? I don't theorise about what caused the scoop marks. I have an interest in geology that goes way back. I was told I topped the state (Tasmania) in my 11th year at school. I don't know how to take a scoop to granite - but it looks like somebody did it. I can say no more.

This means, to me, that the standard explanation is no longer safe. Now there are 'scoop marks' all over the place - in science, in history, in psychology and so on. So sure, I will laser focus on an apparent 'scoop mark'. Some just turn out to be artefacts of my perception. Those that don't don't deliver answers - but they do make the grip I allow standard explanation to have on me to be way looser than it was.

If there's any romance going on its a love of truth through the discovery of what is not true at all - or true in the manner and to the degree claimed. That I own happily - with red roses and champagne.:)
 
The laser focus reveals things that don't fit the standard model - and dealing with them is not always romantic - sometimes it is shocking to discover how wrong you have been.

For example you can find on YouTube video of a site in Egypt that shows scoop marks in rock. Here is a 'for instance' link - not the best, but it should do to illustrate my point-
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That video is very intriguing, and it boosts my sense that so much of science explains what it can, and totally ignores evidence that doesn't fit.

Feel free to discuss problems like this more generally.

I suppose there is no possibility that those marks were made more recently - though how is far from obvious even now - hydroflouric acid (HF) perhaps?

David
 
Freedom is a particularly American idea. We value it greatly - at least some of us still do. I recognize that it is a foreign concept to Euros, Asians and Brit exponents. The concept is based of the ideas of several well known and respected philosophers. Look it up. You say it's a modern notion. Ok. Sometimes you're all about progress and then at other times you denigrate it. Again, trying to make the data fit to a romantic image as opposed to reality. Who cares if some tribe had a belief system that allegedly was a contract with the cosmos? hard to make anything of that when your teeth are falling out, you're full of worms, under attack from the barbarians that live on the other side of the hill and your loved ones are regularly dying in childbirth and from other conditions that we don't even think about these days.
Eric, I deeply respect your POV. The American notion of Freedom is very much a social and political construct. Its not Mill's notion of liberty by any stretch (here I may take heat from philosophers), but a looser conception born of Protestant religious belief. It is a functioning belief, to be sure. But for me it is not the apex of potential or meaning - we can do better. Why I think that and how I see that happening is not something for this forum. That's a complex and contentious matter better taken off line.

When I was in high school I was reading over 300 books a year - and I went through the library's books on Australian military history - that was at least 2-3 shelves. I later spent 3.5 years in our federal Department of Veteran's Affairs. One of my jobs was reviewing service and medical records to create summaries for tribunal hearings on claims for veteran's benefits. There's no romance in conflict. I followed lives from enlistment to discharge for service in WW2, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam and did my best to see that the 'benefits' veterans were entitled to were delivered.

Having an innate philosophical bent, I reflected deeply on those whose service is, to be frank, brutal - but sadly necessary at times. One thing I deeply admire about Americans is the way they are able to say "Thank you for your service to our nation" with such ease and sincerity. We Australians have inherited a British reserve - and we are confused in our sentiments and how to express them.

Your sentiments and thoughts have the power of military influence coursing through them. I didn't choose military service and I didn't get drafted during the Vietnam war. My service has been through federal and state departments - army, veterans affairs, unemployment support, disability accommodation standards monitoring, enterprise development in isolated rural communities, services to people with disabilities living in private accommodation, funded disability support services.

My language is different. My thinking is different. The skills I need are not the same a defender of a nation's freedom has. I will no more claim to know the reality of military service than I will claim to know what its like to give birth to a human child.

Its sweet that you say I am romantic. But the fact is that I deal with different shit people lives turn into when the noble ideal of freedom slips from their grasp and so many become, de facto, what sometimes seems like them being 'enemies - domestic'. As you will appreciate, I have a reflexive interest in the US Veteran's Administration - and its travails to have what it needs to address the needs of veterans - and it seems that neither major party in the US will absolutely commit to ensuring that its veterans are treated they way they were promised.

This isn't romance. Working in the world of social policy and budgets is hard. We need to have a rational sense of a history of our culture that is nuanced, so we understand the reflexes, impulses and lies that perpetuate denial. That depth of demand is full of inconvenient truths and scoop marks.
 
I have little appreciation for whiners or people who look backwards.
Sounds like this just about sums up your argument Eric, and spoken like a true son of capitalism!
I have just seen 'Capital in the 21st Century' directed by Justin Pemberton after Thomas Piketty's book of the same name. I highly recommend it. You will find that History not only repeats itself, it stagnates. Looking backwards and 'whingeing' is called having a moral conscience and the courage to speak out.
 
suppose there is no possibility that those marks were made more recently - though how is far from obvious even now - hydroflouric acid (HF) perhaps?
They are apparently found elsewhere. I don't think you can control HF acid on granite with such geometric regularity without a highly structured plot and a highly disciplined methodology. Care to speculate what that might be about? My, now admittedly dated, grasp of the nature of granite suggests that to make such regular forms from other than apparent scooping would require an intent to deceive or a logic we have not grasped.

In any case the bigger point is that the mere fact these artefacts exist and have been ignored suggests a wilful intent to blur the picture. That the scoop marks are evident is a fact that should surely be acknowledged, even if there is no sensible explanation that comes to mind. You can't seriously ignore such evidence and proceed with a theory of causation of an artefact.

Imagine a murder scene. There lies the victim who has been evidently shot. There is a gun lying nearby, but the detectives develop a theory of the cause of death being that alleged murderers hammered the bullets into the victim using tiny hammers over many hours. Its that kind of stupid or deliberate obfuscation.

Now I confess I may be wrong here, but this is my recall. There is a video on YouTube that shows a huge obelisk lying still in situ, having being broken. On either side there is a trench of such a width we struggle to imagine it was wide enough to allow a person wielding a simple stone chisel and hammer room to develop a sufficiently powerful blow. Under foot, apparently, are scoop marks.

But, because the idea that we can scoop stone is nuts those marks are not connected with how the obelisk was chiselled out. Nothing to do with it. That might be true. But WTF are those marks about? On that there is utter silence. Why? Why is something that any rational and sane person would think is OMG extraordinary excites no comment at all in the Egyptological literature?

No, David, this is a problem that threatens to blow the whole standard explanation to smithereens. And we have folk who possess neither the integrity nor guts to go there who control the scene. And what about the curiosity? Can you see why the people who champion an alternative theory of human evolution are driven nuts by this denial. Its not the only one. There are 'scoop marks' all over. If you are not familiar with Graham Hancock start with his latest - America Before.
 
Isn't that what Jesus or the Buddha would say? Did they teach dwelling on the past and its sins?
Both those men have been much misquoted, and who knows what they really said, or meant?
What I say is that the past informs the present with a view to formulate the future. Closing our eyes, distorting or denying the past keeps us ignorant, or worse, liable to manipulate it to suit our own argument or ends. And it's a cop out.
What would be the motive for that is what interests me.
For eg - what is taught in schools, recorded in books, quoted by politicians, and claimed by religious influencers has constructed our perception of the past and put a firm downpayment on what we should accept as the future.
 
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Both those men have been much misquoted, and who knows what they really said, or meant?
What I say is that the past informs the present with a view to formulate the future. Closing our eyes, distorting or denying the past keeps us ignorant, or worse, liable to manipulate it to suit our own argument or ends. And it's a cop out.
What would be the motive for that is what interests me.
For eg - what is taught in schools, recorded in books, quoted by politicians, and claimed by religious influencers has constructed our perception of the past and put a firm downpayment on what we should accept as the future.
Well just going to come out and say it then. This whole idea of carrying guilt and romanticing the noble savage is total BS.

Every culture on earth has killed, oppressed, enslaved, stifled its citizens in some way. OK? Arbitrarily focusing on the 'sins" of one culture over the sins of others isn't facing the ugly facts. It is its own form of sticking one's head in the sand, copping out and rewriting history.

Where did I deny the sins of my culture? Where?

What I said is that things need to be kept in perspective, that we don't need to harbor feelings of guilt, focus on the positive and keep moving forward.

You are being a very negative person, as is Michael - it's a liberal thing, all of this looking in the mirror and pointing an accusatory finger at one's own image, like some repressed catholic boy. Relax. You're ok. We're ok. It's good to be the victor in a culture clash. They would do it to you if they could and they would treat the vanquished more harshly. Such is the way of the world. No one is without sin. Your fantasies about native cultures aren't real - and we're not going back to that anyhow.
 
This whole idea of carrying guilt and romanticing the noble savage is total BS.
Hmm, interesting, tho simplistic conclusion you're proposing here.
It's all a question of how we choose to perceive the past, how we feel we acted, and what we do with that information.
No, you did not deny negative aspects of US culture, you made one reference to a (possibly-misguided) foreign-policy (that's great, well done!)
Mostly you made broadly shallow condemnatory cross-cultural indictments on a random selection of (mostly brown-skinned, as it happens) cultures sufficiently in the past, destroyed or discounted that such sweeping claims as 'we won' justify our enjoying a post-colonial wealthy white-westernised comfortable lifestyle with barely a dismissive shrug for who still suffers while we party(?)
Let us be neutral and say: some humans have always killed, oppressed, enslaved, stifled. True we have, and turning our back on that fact, or accepting it with a comfortable platitude is easy. So long as the pay off is good enough, hey? Another great capitalist-style capitulation!

It's good to be the victor in a culture clash.
This is how a bully speaks. This is the consequence of perceiving our relationship to each other as divided by a victor/loser-based cultural mentality.
It is not negative to look back at history with open mind and eyes, it is brave, because then you have to accept responsibility. I did not say get stuck in guilt. And let me add, I suspect we are on the lower rungs of our privileged society, so let's not fight among ourselves. It is not necessary that humans clash. Let us remember who the real enemy is.
And watch Capital in the 21st Century as soon as!
 
The idea of the noble savage contrasted against modern civilisation is an interesting idea. In my view, the issues facing individual humans remain the same across time. Some simply do what they must to survive, others seek lofty goals, while yet others seek a short cut whether via 'might is right' or via deception and subterfuge. These things don't change with time, they exist today as they always have. If the savage is not noble, nor are we.
 
Well just going to come out and say it then. This whole idea of carrying guilt and romanticing the noble savage is total BS.

Every culture on earth has killed, oppressed, enslaved, stifled its citizens in some way. OK? Arbitrarily focusing on the 'sins" of one culture over the sins of others isn't facing the ugly facts. It is its own form of sticking one's head in the sand, copping out and rewriting history.
Agreed!
Where did I deny the sins of my culture? Where?
I don't know - I'd have to go back over everything you have written!
It's good to be the victor in a culture clash. They would do it to you if they could and they would treat the vanquished more harshly.
It is a hell of a lot better to avoid encouraging these clashes. That is a lot of what I dislike about the modern Democrats - they seem to want to whip up interracial hatred, to use against the President. They don't seem to realise that every white presidential hopeful (and most of them are white, including Warren) wringing his/her hands about 'white privilege' can't help but sound hypocritical.

Possibly nobody is victorious in a culture clash - short of totally annihilating your opponent - the slave owners must have felt victorious over the blacks, but if only they could look at their country now!

David
 
The idea of the noble savage contrasted against modern civilisation is an interesting idea. In my view, the issues facing individual humans remain the same across time. Some simply do what they must to survive, others seek lofty goals, while yet others seek a short cut whether via 'might is right' or via deception and subterfuge. These things don't change with time, they exist today as they always have. If the savage is not noble, nor are we.
True. In a sense there is no past or future. We're all pretty similar with various ways of solving the few basic needs of shelter, food and social interaction. Attachment to differences in time, place and income are false divisions that keep us ignorant of the fact we are all just humans, trying to have a life.
 
David and Eric,

You both seem to think that quoting a simple, old-fashioned supposition and comparing it to cow-faeces proves the point beyond a doubt, and anyone who disagrees is indulging in negative and romantic fantasies bound to make us all feel miserable. You hold these narrow-minded platitudes because they are the prevailing beliefs endorsed by 200 years of egotistic victorian arrogance created by phallocentric 'explorers' and self-seeking 'adventurers'. You don't know if any of that is actually a true and complete description of these cultures.
For eg
They would do it to you if they could and they would treat the vanquished more harshly.
This is an assumption based on a defensive/aggressive (possibly suffering from suppressed-guilt) perception, when in fact many original invaders only survived thanks to the generosity and support of the people they went on to oppress, exploit and kill. And the wealth we enjoy has been systematically appropriated from these people and their lands.

I'm reluctant to get drawn in to agreeing/disagreeing with such a facile line of argument as it is being used as an inaccurate assumption of my opinion. It is Eric's, and irrelevant. I have already agreed that every human and their cultures have the ability to kill, oppress, enslave or stifle, but not all of us do, and that still does not justify the act. The motive for it is highly relevant.

I did follow the discussion and unless it has been edited since, I saw long, considered and informed answers from Michael and flimsy, generalised and repetitive statements from Eric. True there was no denial of US failings, but nor was there any open, honest and comparative citing of them. It is not enough to vaguely accuse the Aztecs of human sacrifice or "Africa is a mess"..where is the evidence, logic, conjecture in that? Without also qualifying that the colonial invaders, and let's not forget America is still invading other people's countries, had for advantage:
1) Guns, which you cannot run from, and now drones delivering bombs from a comfortable safe distance
2) Diseases, some deliberately introduced
3) Claims to superiority in matters of Spiritual belief and imposition of political bureaucracy (at gun-point) all of which systematically destroyed these cultures.
To say the 'victor' is entitled to his 'just' rewards is to ignore the inequality of advantage and then say it's justified because 'today's winners are tomorrows losers' is BS, crass and insulting.

I am not as well-informed, educated or generous as Michael, so I refrain from being drawn into the same discussion with you Eric, where you seem to have learnt nothing or shifted your stance and no doubt will trot out the same simplistic response to no apparent purpose except to entrench a stagnant point of view.

I will just say this. Why are we here on a forum discussing matters of spiritual consciousness? Perhaps it's because we in the 'advanced' world, despite our modern appliances and endless shallow distractions, feel there is something missing in our lives. Some dimension of ourselves unfulfilled. A desire to recover extra-sensory skills and talents, a spiritual connection with nature and a belief in something other than our well-fed, boringly normal 3d+time existence. I suggest, without prejudice or evidence, that these things can be found more easily in cultures that have not sold out to the law of the gun and financial domination.

If we cannot step back and honestly see and say what is wrong with our culture, how will we ever be able to get it right?

Alice
 
Are we happier as a society than they Natives where? If we knew the answer to that, we’d be well on our way to deciding a key component of the “debate”, if that’s what this is. If you wanna crown a materialistic victor, then the “winner” if obvious. I’d prefer to look elsewhere. But I don’t know where to look. It’s hard to answer. Probably impossible to answer unless you’ve lived a life in both cultures. Maybe some of us have. If only we could recall.

Since WW2 wars of conquest have become less and less fashionable, for good reason. It’s true that most societies have engaged in wars of conquest. Thankfully, though it still happens, it’s generally considered immoral. I guess here in America we only have other Americans to fear. And the rest of the world has Americans to fear as well.
 
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sn't that what Jesus or the Buddha would say? Did they teach dwelling on the past and its sins?
Fair point Eric. But they did suggest owning part sins and not merely flicking them off as being in the past, so let's move on. Since you raise the Buddha, let's consider the idea of karma. If you want to post Buddha in defence of a position you can't fairly slice and dice the philosophy - as many Christians do to defend their uncharitable preference for OT idea, despite their faith being named for a much later prophet who repudiated many of the favoured notions.

The OT assertion that the sins of the fathers are visited upon succeeding generations is not too distant from the notion of karma - something now echoed in epigenetics (about which I have but a passing grasp).

While the 'moving finger' may have written and moved on, there is no sense that the consequences of what is written is just as footloose. If we take your seeming position at face value here is an argument against history - unless what we do is comb through what has happened to sift out the nice tings that make us feel good. The past does not matter unless it supports our POV.

I have just finished Henry Reynold's 'Why Weren't We Told'. Henry is a Tasmanian historian who not very popular because he started talking about frontier wars between whites and Aborigines. His research shows, conservatively, up to the 1930s, around 20,000 Aborigines were killed by whites, compared to maybe 2,500 whites killed by Aborigines. Aboriginal history says they were defending their country against an invader. We whites are told told about the conflict. Our myth is 'peaceful' occupation. That's not what our own historical records show.

We have a choice of acknowledging 20,000 deaths in an invasion or admitting to mass murder (or, to be frank, both). In denying either we perpetuate an existential trauma that is now embedded in Aboriginal culture. We owe an acknowledgement of what happened. And yet it is not forthcoming.

Let's consider your apparent position and relate it here. We whites invaded, and we won. Let's move on. But we do not confess to invading. Ee have 'moved on' by denying, by lying about, the truth. That is injurious to the memory of the victors and the defeated. We deny the defeated the opportunity of a dignified defeat Think the US and Vietnam. The US walked away with 'peace with dignity'.

This is my history, to be sure, not yours. But those 20,000 deaths are a 'scoop mark' in history for me. They happened. But how do we write then into our history now, after so long denying they happened. I invite you to read Reynold's book (you can get is an audiobook on Audible) - because it is an examination of how history is managed to conceal a guilt or a responsibility to truth that a culture should own. My family migrated to Australia in the mid 1950s. We are not guilty of the sins going back 150 years. But the sin of lying about it is something we are involved in. As beneficiaries of those alleged sins, we have a moral duty to cherish truth - no matter what the existential cost is to our sense of comfort.

I read in the US that a parent can have their car seized because it has a 'taint of crime' connected to their child being caught with cannabis in it. I see a nation with a very fine moral notion that is designed not on the grounds acceptable to a moral philosopher, but to a politician and a revenue raiser.

What is right - now or in history? What is the real 'statute of limitations' on crimes in a spiritual context? Human law may 'forgive' an alleged offender because 5 years has past. But divine law?
 
Our myth is 'peaceful' occupation. That's not what our own historical records show.
This is a myth indeed, and serves to obfuscate a tragic abusive history here in the US as well.

But a second myth which we ignore inside this tragedy - is the idea that the first culture on a continent, owns that entire continent. There are only a few continents around (Australia being one) - and for one culture to claim ownership of an entire continent - is also an outrageous myth which serves to foment war.

We cannot claim this today - so why was it valid in the 1700/1800's?
 
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