11 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
    1. o far only as it is beneficial {l,16�(' or hurtful to the true believers.

      By nature, humans are selfish. We're always thinking, whether consciously or not, "what's in it for me?" We deem actions that have a potential benefit to us as praiseworthy, while label unbeneficial actions as hurtful.

  2. Jan 2019
  3. Sep 2018
    1. People who take pills to block out from memory the painful or hateful aspects of a new experience will not learn how to deal with suffering or sorrow. A drug that induces fearlessness does not produce courage.

      He does a really good job pointing out some of the dangers of effortlessly overcoming fear at the cost of learning courage and struggle at the cost of learning discipline but he doesn't really touch on how in time we might recognize the side effect these biomedical technologies bring and human nature might push back against it. Kind of like with genetically modified foods now all people want is organic food.

    1. Instead of taking these characteristics and saying that they are the basis for “human dignity,” why don’t we simply accept our destiny as creatures who modify themselves?

      He mentioned several times that human nature can be the basis for values and morality, but here he says that human nature is subject to change. In that case It sounds like he believes that the standards of morality and value which are based on human nature should also change and that doesn't sound like very firm ground to stand on.

  4. Nov 2017
    1. improves what in his nature was vicious & perverse, into qualities of virtue and social worth;

      The writers of this document seem to view education not only as a means of expanding one's knowledge but as a means of improving one's inherent nature from one of evil and corruption to one of goodness and virtue. I find this notion classist and fallacious, as it seems to suggest that those who are not educated (including those who cannot afford education) are inherently worse as people than those who are educated and also that education can fundamentally change who a person is.

  5. Oct 2017
    1. Education, in like manner engrafts a new man on the native stock, & improves what in his nature was vicious & perverse

      This section reminded me of the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes who believed the nature of man is inherently bad and the purpose of government and education is to control man's selfish desires. In my opinion, I side more with John Locke's philosophy that the nature of man is inherently good but society is corrupted by certain negative people. Education's purpose should be to remind people of their virtuous nature and not become distracted by the inequalities and failures of society.

  6. Dec 2015
    1. self-acting

      We're essentially creating things on purpose that are going to have the ability to make their own decisions, possibly be smarter than us, and also have a chance of malfunctioning... Why?

    2. a sophisticated creation thatseems to simultaneously extend but also threaten our understanding of what it means tobe human.

      So if it threatens our understanding of what it means to be human.. is that beneficial to our ongoing research of essentially what makes us humans by constantly pushing our understanding to be deeper? or is harmful and uprooting of the interpersonal/cultural norms we've established?

  7. Apr 2015
    1. Name /yal05/27282_u00 01/27/06 10:25AM Plate # 0-Composite pg 6 # 6  1 0  1 “Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.” “Such are the differences among human beings in their sources of plea- sure, their susceptibilities of pain, and the operation on them of differ- ent physical and moral agencies, that unless there is a corresponding di- versity in their modes of life, they neither obtain their fair share of happiness, nor grow up to the mental, moral, and aesthetic stature of which their nature is capable.” JohnStuartMill, On Liberty (1859
  8. Oct 2013
    1. if he is unwilling to learn, let another be taught before him, of whom he may be envious.

      This aligns with Confucius thinker Xunzi's attitude on properly cultivating morality in others. We are guided by our desires: whatever we feel a sense of lack in, we desire that object. It is the role of those with cultivated morality (gentlemen, sages) to act as an exemplar of moral goods, so that others who have yet to be cultivated desire what they have.

  9. Sep 2013
    1. I find this quote to fascinating. Isocrates isn't necessarily a cynic, but he certainly is not the happiest of philosophers.