--- [log in to unmask] wrote:
> In a message dated 12/26/00 11:10:09 PM Eastern
> Standard Time, [log in to unmask]
> that, it seems to me,
> > calls for psychological reasons to explain.
> > richard
>an appropriate Millenial discussion for late December
> Also, Richard, I don't agree that we need to assume
> a psychological
> abnormality in anyone who believes that the end of
> the world--or at least the
> end of human life on earth--is in the foreseeable
> future. I guess I have what
> one might call an environmental eschatology.
We're at the point where even the DNA of entire
populations has been compromised.
> reactor had to be evacuated.
> This kind of ever-accelerating downward spiral can't
> go on forever, which
> means I see a finite future for the human race.
> Five hundred years sticks in
> my head as some kind of limit.
I think you are articulating an eschatology of
"science," a later religion than Judaism or xnty.
You are absolutely right about "mutation" (not the
one Richard speaks of in the MA), and the alteration
of the genome. What we don't know is if there will be
enough mutation to lead to the survival of some form
of fit humanity even after your five hundred year
deadline. My faith in science is also limited, for the
reasons you mention as well as others. However, all
this being said, it seems to me that Richard is right
about invoking "psychological reasons." Rabbis,
clerics, scientists, scholars (even historians) have
chosen their "focus." And all of it has contributed
to leading us to where we are today, your "downward
> Maybe it's a religious issue in the end. In the
> Creation story, when Adam and
> Eve are set in the garden of Eden so they can be the
> keepers of the garden, I
> take that to mean that God didn't create the world
> in order to have human
> beings crap it up, and we were actually asked to be
> its stewards.
For an interesting essay (from the perspective of a
20th century Rabbi) of Man's relationship with the
world see Soloveitchik's "the Lonely Man of Faith.'
- an interesting discussion of the psychologies of
what he refers to as "Adam the first" (man as
creator, mastering the world) and "Adam the second,"
(retreats as protector, to cultivate "the garden").
At the risk of sounding sexist, reading the essay has
always suggested to me that Soloveitchik is thinking
of masculine and feminine aspects of the personality.
(Please don't skewer me for that one.)
Too bad so
> little emphasis was put on that verse, and that
> organized religion has been
> far more concerned, over the centuries, with such
> issues as preserving sexual
Interesting that you choose to raise the issue of
sexual puritiy among others? Did I miss something?
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