Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> On 2/12/07, *Tom Caylor* <[EMAIL PROTECTED]
> <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>> wrote:
> > Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > > Tom Caylor writes:
> > > > > > Brent Meeker
> > > > > > "It does not matter now that in a million years nothing
> we do now
> > > will matter."
> > > > > > --- Thomas Nagel
> > > > > We might like to believe Nagel, but it isn't true.
> > > > > Tom
> > > > That is, it isn't true that in a million years nothing we do
> now will
> > > > matter.
> > > Why do you say "we might like to believe Nagel"? Why would
> anyone want
> > > it to be the case that nothing we do now will matter in a
> million years?
> In order to think in terms beyond a few generations, we need a basis
> for meaning that is more universal than explaining and controlling
> things in our immediate sphere of "care abouts", like our animal
But what we care about right now, may include anything we think of - including
how things will be a million years from now, including an abstract principle,
even including a fine point of theology.
>(Such a local basis does not support doing things like
> sacrificing your life for others even a couple thousand years in the
For the very good reason that one cannot foresee the benefits of such sacrifice
so far in the future. But people sacrifice for others that they know all the
> But if we reject the ultimate basis, then it feels good to
> say that it doesn't matter.
> If we discovered some million year old civilization today I think wonder
> at its achievements, however paltry, would far outweigh dismay at its
> wickedness, however extreme. I'm not sure what the significance of this
> observation is.
I don't think it's true. My exhibit A is the Aztecs.
There is a certain impertinence in allowing oneself
to be burned for an opinion.
-- Anatole France
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