We all know that smoking is harmful, yet we smoke. We all know that processed food is bad, yet we eat it. We all know that social distancing is safe yet we are ready to kiss everyone down the street.
Therefore, why are we more attached to our way of life more than to life itself in spite of all the warnings?
The answer is simple: we are cultural beings. We live and thrive in our culture which creates patterns and habits in us. Lockdown broke societal habits and left us miserable in general. Humans are not just simple beings; they are not animals whose sole aim is survival. We don’t eat to live but we live to eat and the list goes on.
Yes, our Modus Vivendi is more important than life. We don’t just survive; we live!
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com Depersonalization disorder, or depersonification syndrome, is a disease in which a person feels disconnected from their own body, as if they were an external observer of themselves. It is common that there are also symptoms of derealization, which means a change in the perception of the environment that surrounds it, […]
Raskonlikov is only an imitation of so many modern men living today Where only those triumph who are unaware of the pleasures of the intellect against the world Let man fall again in the manner of Adam As Dostoevsky wrote in preface of the Notes from the underground “That such men will always exist in […]
The internet, Google, Wikipedia and social media has made crime of dilettantes a common phenomenon The crime of dilettantism is rising in this modern age of information and technology No one knows a thing but claims to know everything Do we need Socratic method to be reinforced of saying “I know that I know nothing” […]
Do you agree with this quote? “To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.” […]
People have spent the last few months, since multiple lockdowns taking place all over the world, on self wellbeing. Social media is flooded with videos on yoga, meditation, routines, diets, fitness, wellbeing. For this is very helpful, however isn’t the time to redirect this energy on kindness and empathy towards others?
One can’t be happy alone. It has been said centuries ago, happiness is not solely an individualistic purpose as much as it is also a collective one. Greek philosophers for example thought of politics as eudemonistic (eudemonia, in Greek, means happiness). According to them, politics should aim for high moral values, the highest being the city’s happiness or well being.
Politics these days is far from it’s original definition. Perhaps it is time, people take themselves and others in charge by being empathetic and kind to one another, for empathy is a natural human tendency. After at least a century of praising completion and ambition, it is hard for everyone to be empathetic and less selfish again.
Below, the philosopher and economist Adam Smith wrote about empathy as the main pillar of social cohesion:
Talking again about the lockdown is not a pleasant subject; what else can be said? What more advices can be given to overcome it? None of us saw the lockdown coming again.
The lockdown is in between fighting the pandemic and the full control of the State over people. Whilst the quarantine is necessary for saving people, it is at the same time a political act. So, it is health versus freedom. According to a study done by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics of the Georgetown University in 2014:
“Implementation of medical quarantines in America brings into conflict various legitimate arguments regarding who, if anyone, should have the authority to restrict movements of citizens. Quarantines are not new, but they exist now in a world with new dangers and new opportunities for abuse”.
How to fight the pandemic without individual freedom restriction?
Written by Lay Sion Ng @ Issues Under Tissues Chinese Malaysian, American Literature at Osaka University, Japan. Traditional Female Roles in Literature: An Introduction In the earliest works of literature, the basic roles of females are frequently determined through their relation to men. The submissive ones were rewarded while the rebellious ones were […]
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was a German philosopher who committed suicide for not being able to escape under sieged France. The text was below was taken from his books The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936), an essay on cultural criticism on mass reproduction that undervalues the uniqueness of art.
“The mass is a matrix from which all traditional behavior toward works of art issues today in a new form. Quantity has been transmuted into quality. The greatly increased mass of participants has produced a change in the mode of participation. The fact that the new mode of participation first appeared in a disreputable form must not confuse the spectator. Yet some people have launched spirited attacks against precisely this superficial aspect. Among these, Duhamel has expressed himself in the most radical manner. What he objects to most is the kind of participation which the movie elicits from the masses. Duhamel calls the movie “a pastime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someday becoming a ‘star’ in Los Angeles.” Clearly, this is at bottom the same ancient lament that the masses seek distraction whereas art demands concentration from the spectator. That is a commonplace.
Distraction and concentration form polar opposites which may be stated as follows: A man who concentrates before a work of art is absorbed by it. He enters into this work of art the way legend tells of the Chinese painter when he viewed his finished painting. In contrast, the distracted mass absorbs the work of art. This is most obvious with regard to buildings. Architecture has always represented the prototype of a work of art the reception of which is consummated by a collectivity in a state of distraction. The laws of its reception are most instructive.
The distracted person, too, can form habits. More, the ability to master certain tasks in a state of distraction proves that their solution has become a matter of habit
Reception in a state of distraction, which is increasing noticeably in all fields of art and is symptomatic of profound changes in apperception, finds in the film its true means of exercise”.
Modern capitalism has ignored the lessons of history in the ignorant and short-sighted pursuit of individual wealth. See for example the article Economics for the People by economic historian Dirk Philipsen in Aeon magazine, from which I quote at length, due to its eloquence: In preindustrial societies, cooperation represented naked necessity for survival. Yet the […]