blogging gobbledygook and such

The book am reading now is quite filled with little thought-provoking stuff. Just some to share:


It sometimes seemed to Isabel as if her education brought her doubt and uncertainty, while Grace had been confirmed in the values of traditional Edinburgh. There was no room for doubt there; which had made Isabel wonder, who is happier, those who are aware, and doubt, or those who are sure of what they believe in, and have never doubted or questioned it?


There was no reason why she should become involved in the affairs of others, but she seemed to be irresistably drawn into them. And every time that she did it, it was because she imagine that there was a moral claim on her. This view of the world, with a seemingly endless supply of potential claims, meant that anybody with a problem could arrive on her doorstep and be taken up, simply because the requirement of moral proximity – or her understanding of moral proximity – had been satisfied.[…] “We can’t have moral obligations to every single person in this world. We have moral obligations to those who we come up against, who enter into our moral space.”


It was so easy dealing with people who were well-mannered. They knew how to exchange those courtesies which made life go smoothly, which was what manners were all about. They were intended to avoid friction between people, and they did this by regulating the contours of an encounter. If each party knew what the other should do, then conflict would be unlikely. And this worked at every level, from the most minor transaction between two people to dealings between nations.[…] Good manners depended on paying moral attention to others; it required one to treat them with complete moral seriousness, to understand their feelings and their needs. Some people, the selfish, had no inclination to do this, and it always showed. They were impatient with those whom they thought did not count: the old, the inarticulate, the disadvantaged. The person with good manners, however, would always listen to such people and treat them with respect.

How utterly shortsighted we had been to listen to those who thought that manners were a bourgeois affection, an irrelevance, which no need no longer be valued. A moral disaster ensued, because manners were the basic building block of civil society. They were the method of transmitting the message of moral consideration. in this way an entire generation had lost a vital piece of the moral jigsaw, and now we saw the results: a society in which nobody would help, nobody would feel for other; a society in which aggressive language and insensitivity were the norm.


We need resentment as it was resentment which identified and underlined the wrong. Without these reactive attitudes, we ran the risk of diminishing out sense of right and wrong, because we could end up thinking it just didn’t matter. So we should not forgive prematurely.


Perhaps somebody would write about the ethics of litter. Not that there was much to say about that: litter was unquestionably bad and surely nobody would make a case in its favour. And yet why was it wrong to drop litter? Was it purely an aesthetic objection, based on the notion that the superficial pollution of the environment was unattractive? Or was the aesthetic impact linked to some notion of the distress which others felt in the face of litter? If that was the case, then we might even have a duty to look attractive to others, in order to minimise their distress.


The author of the paper was concerned with the extent to which the forgetting of personal information about others represented a culpable failure to commit the information to memory. “There is a duty to at least attempt to remember that which is important to others. If we are in a relationship of friendship or dependence, then you should at least bother about my name. You may fail to remember it, and that may be a matter beyond your control – a nonculpable weakness on your part – but if you made no effort to commit it to memory in the first place, then you have failed to give me something which is my due, recognition on your part of an important aspect of my identity.”

Comments on: "Have you fed your brain with something thought-provoking today?" (4)

  1. About the #1, even if I lived all my life according to the first option, I think happiness isn’t about doubts or certitude but about being connected to your heart. Now, does the heart needs doubts ?

    sulz: am not sure what the author means by happier anyway. guess he is questioning that age-old phrase ignorance is bliss, and asking if one is happier (or rather, more satisfied) in knowing that one knows nothing, or not knowing that one doesn’t know everything?

  2. If I look at all the non-human living things, I believe it is…

    If reincarnation exists and if we can pick the option for the next life, I don’t know how conscious and doubtful my next me would be. Maybe I’d pick a big dose of candid glee…

    sulz: you do that. 🙂 would be nice if can be someone better than self in the next life!

  3. This might sound stupid, but I actually highlighted portions of The Alchemist, that I liked… I don’t remember them, but they were nice things to pick up. Most of Paulo Coehlo’s works have quite a few nuggets to treasure.

    Just finished Shantaram by Gregory Robert Daniel, a really big book(bigger than LOTR I think)… It had quite a few good lines, I think you’d enjoy it as well… :-).. Not telling you any of the lines, coz I think the suspense might actually make you get the book.

    sulz: hey, if am highlighting all this, am stupid too then. the alchemist was a okay read, a tad disappointed because of the high expectations self had from hearing rave reviews of it; maybe if didn’t hear all that, might have loved the book better. okay, will keep that in mind when browsing the library. 🙂

  4. That reminds me of what I’m reading: What Is Philosophy by Deleuze and Guattari 😛

    sulz: sounds very difficult to digest!

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