virus: Guns for Peace

Reed Konsler (
Wed, 24 Mar 1999 12:09:55 -0500

>Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 15:53:07 -0500
>From: "Eric Boyd" <>
>Subject: Re: virus: Building Utopia
>A very interesting theory. I suppose you would also maintain that
>Adam and Eve were happier and better off in the Garden before they ate
>of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?

What does "happiness" mean before the end of innocence? To be happy you have to relate it to something like sadness or at least "not-happy". But, my impression would be that Garden-style-innocence was prior to such distinctions, making the whole question meaningless.

It's like asking "was the time before the creation of the universe longer or shorter than the time since?". Time, as a dimension, came into being with the rest of the universe, such that "time before the universe" is a koan.

Which makes me think about Buddhism and meditation and the practice of dissolving distinctions. Buddha never said "do this and you will be happier"...what he said was "do this and you can end your desires". I think the wording is very significant and addresses the issue you raise. If you want to end your desires, be a buddhist. If you want to always be happy...well, I think that is a harder proposition.

>This is the general trend in our society, yes. However, the parenting
>theory I have been studying (TCS) is a marked change from that -- it
>*does* call for non-coercion of children (alleviating fustration,
>suffering, etc), but it is firmly against innocence; promoting instead
>a stance of Taking Children Seriously, treating them as adults from
>the beginning, and letting them choose the course of their life right
>from step #1. Which is to say, the TCS ideal calls for a BNW in which
>people choose their own paths with a minimum of coercion from those
>around them. In my opinion, it's a ideal worth striving for, and far
>better than the hide-them-from-the-world ideal you describe above.

I agree. But the world is more social these days than material. The consequences of peoples actions are social consequences more often than physical ones. This means that you and I, and KMO, must pledge to enforce the laws and mores of society in order that each citizen may feel the full weight of consequences for their actions.

At least, this would be consistent with this line of thinking.


  Reed Konsler