Re: FUM was Re: Ellison on Loserhood

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From: Strata Rose Chalup (
Date: Wed Aug 16 2000 - 19:18:47 PDT wrote:

> [...]
> if i were poor and had nothing to lose, would my decision to do the right
> thing require more courage or less courage than a decision made when i was
> rich and didn't have to lose anything?
> A. more
> B. less
> C. same
> D. neither decision requires courage

I'm finding, interestingly enough, that the more one has to lose, the
more daunting these decisions become. When I was young, single, and
angstful, I had a sufficiently rigorous set of principles that I annoyed
many people. :-)

I haven't relaxed my position on fundamentals, but (for instance) I no
longer do things like shun people who hold vastly different political
beliefs *solely because of those beliefs*. Some people I still shun,
who happen to hold vastly different beliefs than mine, but it's more of
a case of "belief in the domain xyz|politics|food|religion|etc is a
symptom of the differences, not the MAIN difference".

To phrase it in an inflammatory way, how can I convert the heathen if I
refuse to go amongst them? Of course, I take the risk of becoming
heathen (or Republican, or kung-pao-pepper-loving, or whatever) myself.
Even more interestingly, I take the risk of having my thresholds of
principle insidiously lowered by daily, desensitizing contact with said
heathen. This, BTW, is the crux of many arguments against violence on
TV, but that's a muy muy rathole and I'm not goin' there!

> in my mind (such as it is) the value of ethics, integrity and honor is
> predicated to some degree on what i am willing to sacrifice for them.
> GG

Yes, precisely.

Though it is an ethical question in itself, "to what degree
can/should/is it ethical to impose constraints on other people to
satisfy MY ethics, integrity, and honor?"

This can vary from "If I'm a bike fanatic, do I diss my friend for
buying a huge SUV or merely keep quiet when he bubbles enthusiastically
about it?" to "So, how does that Samurai's wife *really* feel about him
having his son leap off the cliff because the Samurai's lord's son fell
off the cliff while the Samurai was guarding the boy?"

My position is that everyone must decide these things for themselves.
Occasionally I contribute to my own unpopularity by attempting to raise
awareness of the questions. OK, perhaps more than occasionally. :-)
But I wrestle with these things so often that I am fascinated by others'
approaches to similar problems.


PS- No! I'm not a bike fanatic! Nor do I own a huge SUV. Nor do I wish
to open that can of worms AT ALL. If you do, it is not my fault! You
didn't read this far! :-)

Strata Rose Chalup []   |, KF6NBZ
Director of Network Operations            |       VirtualNet Consulting
KnowNow, Inc []     |

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