EvilDoers & DoGooders 4: The Big Myth


As regards the mythology of moral dualism, I just wanted to touch on the obvious, the garden of eden. Here it was the forbidden tree of knowledge that would allow us to differentiate between good and evil.

This relationship of knowledge to moral duality is the idea I tried to develop that abstract thinking is at least strongly related to idealized, ultimate polar extremes–as opposed to (see, it’s embedded) a physical world of only relative or limited polarities. The points I want to make related to this deal with a few of the assertions of mythologist Joseph Campbell, that: (1) similar such myths about the origin of knowledge are far more universal than our “jealous” judeo-chistian-islamic god would have us know–appearing in africa, asia, and the americas; and (2) that in almost every other version of the myth, the gift of abstract thinking abilities through a serpent and/or plant is seen as a positive development, and not a moral catastrophe. The indirect relation of all this to contemporary politics is, in my opinion, that both the myth and history surrounding absolutist morality theologies creates a tendency towards anti-intellectualism, intolerance, and an acute and hypocritical proclivity to project onto others the “evil/other” which we deny as existing within ourselves (anti-oneness). Certainly this is pronounced in hawkish U.S. liberals, but it is actually a defining characteristic of neo-conservative ideologues like Bush & Co, as I see it. More importantly, as it lies unexamined in the very precepts of what and how most of us are taught everything from the earliest age, I think it has broad import if one hopes to address significant societal or political change. A final note: what little I’m trying to do with these current blogs, which reflects my thinking on the matter over a period of time, is reason my way through an argument that might be direct enough (with a paring down of the blarney terms) to get through to someone who is deep within this mindframe… to get such a person to do the near impossible, to reconsider her/his worldview, and its negative implications and political effects. ZNet is fertile ground primarily for people who are already like-minded, but I’m just rambling about stuff here that I might develop further and somehow try to employ later. I also greatly appreciate the comments I’ve been getting.

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