By Judith Hand
Humans want “to know.” Curiosity starts with us at a young age, when as children we start pestering our parents asking, “Why?” “Why?” “Why?” As adults, we especially want to know why other adults do what they do and feel the way they feel?
For my project, A Future Without War.org, I want to know why we make war and how, or if, we could end it.
Neuroeconomist Paul Zak’s delightful new book The Moral Molecule answers many of our most vexing, intriguing, and important questions.
How do we, for example, account for:
• The powerful attachment of mothers (and fathers) to their children.
• The warm emotional glow we feel from a big hug of genuine friendship.
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A Philosophy of Mental Health: http://youtu.be/Vqu8s2WgKx0
Society—especially capitalist societies, but also some earlier types such as feudalism—is divided by class, with a minority constituting a ruling class that lives by exploiting the direct producers. Thus, the majority is exploited and hence oppressed.
. . . [O]ne of capitalists’ favorite ideological ploys: individualism. We are the masters of our own fate, not society and its culture. If we fail, it is our own fault. We simply did not try hard enough or follow the right path. Individualism favors self-blame and a refusal even to look for social causes.
Enforced subordination calls forth coping reactions and leads to identities grounded in how well we manage to cope.
Examples of this kind of coping include what can be called “the good soldier” and “the sexy woman.” In the former, a person prides him or herself on the ability to demonstrate undying loyalty to a superior. In the…
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Note: Click on the image to view higher resolution
Symbols on Pre-Mauryan Punch Marked Coins
Symbols on Mauryan Punch Marked Coins
Symbols on Parallel-Mauryan Period Punch Marked Coins
Bindusara, Asoka, Dasratha and Samprati Punch Marks
Salisuka, Devadharman and Satadharman
Ajatsatru, Susunaga, Saisunaga, Kalasoka
Nandivardhana, Nandin, Mahapadma, and Candragupta Maurya
Sisunaga II, Saisunaga, Nandin and Mahapadma Punch Marks
Punch Marks from Chandragupta Maurya and other Mauryan era.
Note: Images from “Indian Numismatics” By D. D. Kosambi
Various Symbols on Punch Marked Coins – From Delhi National Museum
Symbols on Coins by Region
O my soul, do not aspire to
immortal life, but exhaust the limits of the possible.
— Pindar, Pythian iii
An Absurd Reasoning
Absurdity and Suicide
There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest — whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories — comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer. And if it is true, as Nietzsche claims, that a philosopher, to deserve our respect, must preach by example, you can appreciate the importance of that reply, for it will precede the definitive act. These are facts the heart can feel; yet they call for careful study before they become clear to the intellect.
If I ask myself how to judge that this question is…
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