NYTimes: email from Israel

Jeff Bone jbone@jump.net
Tue, 02 Oct 2001 16:35:52 -0500

Grlygrl201@aol.com wrote:

>> Religion is based on faith in the unprovable.  I'm just drawing
>> conclusions from observations.  It's a fundamentally different
>> process.  You do recognize that, don't you Geege?
>> jb
> who wouldn't?  i can do it without asigning values. you do know how
> to do that, don't you, jeff?

Understand that there's a difference in you *interpreting what I say
as having certain value assignments* and any value assignments that I
might actually be making.  I'll also note that it's very, very
difficult to discuss this kind of stuff without using terms that are,
unfortunately, loaded words.  "Primitive" is one of them.

For future reference, Geege, maybe you'll find this list useful.  It's
not comprehensive, but perhaps you can draw some conclusions from it.
Judgement words:  silly, stupid, ridiculous, absurd, "too much,"
elegant, unnecessary, nice, bad, good, evil, right, wrong, productive,
superior, inferior, moral, immoral, etc.  Descriptive adjectives:
primitive, outdated, incomplete, nonexistant, simple / complex,
pragmatic, practical, ideological.  I may be judgemental from time to
time, but I at least try to be explicit about it when doing so. :-)

I'm not stating that tribalism is "bad," just that it's increasingly
apparent that it's inconsistent / incompatible with the kind of
global, diverse "Western" civilization that we all seem to enjoy and
which --- observably --- leads to higher average standards of living
on a material basis.  That doesn't mean that one is superior to the
other;  it's not an ethnocentric statement, merely a statement of
observed effects relative to a system of values most of us on this
list share (i.e., a notion of a material poverty condition.)