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Showing posts from July, 2020

Leaving behind the 'reactive' self and being willing to feel something new

Bruce MacLennan, professor of computer science, identifies what he calls the "protophenomena" of microeffects in the body that bring emotion into being. The neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux similarly talks about emotions as "survival circuits." Even an amoeba, as Neil Savage explained LeDoux's position, "reacts to an environmental stimulus in a way that makes it more likely to survive and reproduce. The stimulus flip switches on survival circuits which prompt behaviors that enhance survival. Neurons firing in a particular pattern might trigger the brain to order the release of adrenaline, which makes the heart beat faster, priming an animal to fight or flee from danger. That physical state, LeDoux says, is an emotion."But stopping here, at the level of reaction, implies that we see other people only as aids or threats to our own survival and thus that we must objectify them. Thomas Brudholm wrote:As Strawson put it, 'Being involved in inter-personal r…

When the Republican U.S. presidential candidates in 2008 were asked about the Bible

In the November 28, 2007 CNN/YouTube debate between Republican U.S. presidential candidates, a user submitted a question by video: "How you answer this question will tell us everything we need to know about you. Do you believe every word of this book?" The person was holding a Bible.Giuliani described his understanding of the Bible as "interpretive," "allegorical," and having a "modern context." He said, "I think it's the greatest book ever written. I read it frequently...but I don't believe every single thing in the literal sense...there are some things that I think were put there as allegorical."Romney said, "I believe the Bible is the Word of God, absolutely. I try to live by it as well as I can, but I miss in a lot of ways...I believe in the Bible." Every word? the moderator pressed. "I might," Romney hedge, "Interpret the Word differently than you interpret the Word."Giuliani's and Romney&…