The key to answering the nagging question of utilitarianism – to the extent that it can be answered – lies in the primacy of love. As outlined in the last post, love is the momentum of unity. It is not chosen or willed. The experiential encounter of life with other instances of life can bring it to the fore if it has been hidden beneath layers of self, but it is always present even if not known or recognized. Justice, on the other hand, is a reflection on unity. Experience comes before reflection, and hence love before justice, even the expanded sense of justice we developed.
The concrete question we were struggling with at the end of that development was whether it would not be in the interest of life as a whole to remove “flawed” instances of consciousness – people who for one reason or another can’t or won’t cooperate, who insist on harming others or place great burdens on available resources. Let’s begin by asking another question: acting out of love, can we destroy life? Continue reading
There is much more to discuss about the self, but we left something hanging at the end of the second Justice post – whether or not the concept of justice as outlined tended toward a utilitarian justification of anything “for the common good,” or the perceived advantage of the many. I said then that we first had to look into what love means, and I think it is better to do this sooner rather than later. Continue reading
The concept of justice outlined in the last two posts grew out of the preceding discussion on the self. It deals with life as a whole, but does it apply on the scale of life as we live it day-to-day? Does it have anything to say, for instance, about the Trayvon Martin case, which is attracting so much attention?
I say “case” in particular, because whatever it is all about, it is not about justice for Trayvon. It is sadly too late for that, as it was all along. Continue reading
So where is justice when people “get away” with crimes, or when one community profits at the expense of another? Obviously there is none from the individual point of view: some individuals and communities/tribes/countries win, and some lose. As a whole, however, we lose. How? Because neither the winners nor the losers are well placed to carry the grand experiment of life forward. Continue reading
Picking up the thread from We, myself and I, we are exploring an alternative understanding of who we are. We (I’d vote to include any life form capable of self-consciousness, but I’ll leave that for another time) are life becoming aware of itself. This happens through individual life forms, which exist for relatively short periods of time. But a conscious mind trying to make sense of the world while learning to function through a particular body and brain could easily confuse this individualized manifestation of life with individual existence. Continue reading