[lit-ideas] Re: Why us?


On 2005/07/11, at 11:47, Robert Paul wrote:

I must, then, defer to the anthropologist in the crowd.


Please don't. Trying, I am, to shift the discussion in a philosophical direction, toward consideration of two closely related issues of major significance in today's world:

(1) Which should take precedence, the nation or universal values?
(2) Should we, if push comes to shove, place obligations to family above those to our nation or humanity as a whole?


I pose these questions while recognizing that, as formulated above, they remain ambiguous. What I conceive as universal values may be quite different in many respects from those of, say, religious or market fundamentalists. Does faith in my God or my Market override the nation's merely political claims? What "family" means is, of course, an anthropological conundrum, given particular zest by current debates on such topics as gay marriage.

This very ambiguity, however, suggests fruitful domains for discussion, elevated a bit at least above the level of political reflex.

Won't you play?

John McCreery
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