Good or Evil? It Depends. (via Words Have Consequences)

Our author here believes that we can draw parallels and lessons from popular literature. So do I. I tell my students that literature tells you how people think, relate and improve themselves. It makes the reader subtle and develops insights.

Read to understand, read for knowledge, read to build judgment. Read so that you live at least a little while in your life in the company of others that you can have real insight into. Because very seldom in our lives do we bother to spend a few minutes understanding another.

Follow the writer’s thinking and see what you think.

James Pilant

Good or Evil?  It Depends. On my 24th birthday, I received a gift which, little did I know would change my life.  My friend Matt gave me a book.  Now, at the time, I was not to thrilled with receiving a book for my birthday.  I wanted money or a gift certificate or something, other than a book.  I was not, what one might call, an avid reader.  So I thanked him for the book and put it on my shelf, which at that point consisted of cardboard boxes sitting on their sides.  Aft … Read More

via Words Have Consequences

Jane Jacobs

008Jane Jacobs

Author of seven books, Jane Jacobs was not just an urban activist but a visionary. Here is David Owen’s take on her writings.

Morality and ethics are not trip wires. We must not wait until a moral dilemma strikes to act. We can act ethically and morally in an affirmative manner. We can seek to curb evil and its influence. It’s important to react to evil but it may well be more important to work against evil with persistence and commitment all our lives.Jane Jacobs when confronted with the taking of homes and businesses for development acted to stop it. She is an example of what can be done by a willingness to confront and oppose evil in an affirmative manner and not a passive one.

What Moral Stance?

As I discuss the ethical implications of various business practices, I am troubled by the multiple possibilities of moral stances. Catholic Social Doctrine, Protestant Social Doctrine, the Southern Baptists’ total absence of any moral doctrine in regard to the business expressed as free market absolutism, Plato and Aristotles advocacy of the good life, the life examined and well lived, Kant’s categorical imperative, Friedman’s thinly veiled advocacy of Friedrich Nietzsche Superman, (the moral and ethical are weaklings who place limits on the “real” achievers because otherwise they couldn’t cut it); what do you advocate when examining the strange conduct of American business?

I will search for the best options, but it is not going to be easy. But doesn’t that fit with so much else?

The fight for justice, truth and honor is never won. The forces of evil rise again and again. There is no golden stake you can thrust into their heart to stop their depradations on the poor and helpless, their use of the levers of power to enrich themselves when they have contributed nothing and worst of all their continued recruitment of the young an a half wit philosophy of joining a group of “special” people, achievors, the real makers and shakers, an Ayn Rand doctrine that makes you special without any accomplishment or achievement save a twisted belief.

What is there but to fight, to struggle. Hear the words of Cyrano de Bergerac
in the last act of the play.

(He raises his sword):
What say you?  It is useless?  Ay, I know
But who fights ever hoping for success?
I fought for lost cause, and for fruitless quest!
You there, who are you!–You are thousands!
I know you now, old enemies of mine!
(He strikes in air with his sword):
Have at you!  Ha! and Compromise!
Prejudice, Treachery!. . .
(He strikes):
Surrender, I?
Parley?  No, never!  You too, Folly,–you?
I know that you will lay me low at last;
Let be!  Yet I fall fighting, fighting still!

Let us fall knowing that we acted with honor. Let us die with a curse on our lips for the sanctimonious, pompous evil doers among us. Let us die well.