Night Owl Mk. II

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Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

(R) I still haven't heard from you regarding compassion concerning:
(MB) Let me answer each of your points in turn...

(R) 1. Its place in darwinian evolution
(MB) I'm not sure that it *has* a place. The only evolutionary effect possible would be if compassion caused more people to live longer (or shorter) and produce more (or less) offspring. I doubt that such a connection could be reliably made.

(R) 2. Its place in Christian(Biblical) teachings
(MB) The Old Testament is certainly anything *but* compassionate with its tales of an avenging God who routinely ravages his own creation, permits extended periods of brutal enslavement for his "chosen people" and takes sides in wars between tribes.
    The New Testament, however, is somewhat different. The focus is now on Jesus and salvation. One of Jesus' teachings was to "love your neighbor". The story has him showing little favoritism or antipathy for anybody (except the rich, of course) when performing his miracles or relating his parables.
    It seems clear that one can't claim to live "according to the Bible's teachings" without being somewhat more specific.

(R) 3. What to do with/about all the people that are caused to survive who otherwise would not in a civilization which truly aimed toward upward evolvement.
(MB) I'm not sure that the numbers of such people are significant enough to adversely affect the general improvement of our civilization or our species to any great degree. One might even be able to argue that the need (or desire) to care for them provides a meaningful existence for the caregivers. Of course, one might also argue that that same existence might be better served if it was concentrated on other pursuits.

(R) just a few of the things that trouble me about this aberration of survival of the fittest
(MB) You raise some excellent points. I hope my views haven't contributed towards greater confusion...*grin*

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