Posted by Backbite on September 19, 1998 at 02:16:29:
The other night I had this great conversation with this semi-environmentalist friend of mine. He's a health food nut, or I should say he doesn't like to eat meat. The three of us (my brother included) were sitting around, and they were going on and on about monika lewinsky untill I started to get furious, but I didn't want to spend a night where everyone was shouting opinions at each other, because it doesn't try to get anywhere, if you know what I mean. So when they both paused and decided to take a deep breath, I stepped in. I asked them, if they thought god was everything. And my brother agreed, of course, he was getting drunk by this time, so he is kind of out of the picture -- just a big grin on his face and smiling the rest of the night. My friend also agreed, and I said, "Then you like the idea of pantheism." And he asked what it was. I said it was the belief that the universe was the body of god. And he said he thought that was a pretty good idea. Then I asked him if he thought that he was a part of everything. And he agreed. "Then by that argument", I said, "Are you not a part of god?" He found this pretty amusing at this time, thinking he could be part of god, and he agreed. Then I asked him, pointing to my brothers cat that was beside us, "Is that cat a part of everything, and if it is, is not that cat a part of god." He agreed to this too. Then I asked, "If you hurt that cat, aren't you hurting god?" At this time he didn't like the direction I was taking with this conversation, but he stuck with it, (it was either this or monika lewinsky) and agreed. But he said, "I don't think that god is some sort of mind, I think everything is just everything, you know." I said, "Well, lets leave the word god out then." And I continued by saying, "If both you and that cat are a part of everything, and you hurt that cat, are you not hurting yourself?" My friend got this dumbfounded look on his face, and agreed, but then very quickly shook his head, and told me to wait a minute, for he had to think about this. And after a moment he said, "No, obviously I am not hurting myself." I said, "Then you think that this cat is seperate from everything, for to be seperate from everything is to be seperate from yourself." "No," he said, "this cat and I are not seperate, because we are both a part of everything. But by what you're saying, that I can hurt rocks. Obviously I can't hurt rocks." I said,"My poor choice of words. You seem to be drawing this into moral judgement." I said, "How about the word damage instead of the word hurt. Do you like that word?" And my friend agreed to that. Then I asked, and turning the argument around, "If you damage yourself, are you damaging that cat?" We went on some time like this, and he always wanted to pull it toward some sort of moral judgement, 'Why would I hurt the cat', 'What, do you think I am a violent person', and so forth. I kept telling him, that this wasn't about some moral judgement on him, or in general; I told him I thought he was a great guy, and I do think this. I told him that to argue some sort of moral judgement, is beside the point, that we need to address the point, unless you want to give the point up, and go on to something else. He told me that I wanted a yes or no answer, and that he couldn't give that to me. And I told him yes, basically; I wanted a yes answer, or a no, with some reason as to why, and if we reasoned it was correct, we can take off of his reason. But I must say, we never did get off of point one.
I find it sad that people want to stay so neutral that they can't commit themselves, I mean it was only a conversation.
It took me till today to realize the whole consequences of what I was asking. If man (or my friend) damages the environment (the cat) then he is damaging man (himself) --- extinction.
Post a Followup