18 October 2012

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: What does our generation owe the future?

What does our generation owe the future?

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: What does our generation owe the future?

This is a question that we have been asking ourselves for a few decades now. Maybe it started during
the nuclear age in the twentieth century to the present day concerns about the environment and
global warming. All very emotional stuff and of great importance.

But if we look at past generations to see what they left us that is of any worth and value we can
sum up this treasure in one word: knowledge. The few monuments that scatter the globe are of course
very useful for tourism and certain parts of academia. But in and of themselves they are not worth
much apart from a curiosity value. However, the geometry of say, the pyramids, that had to be used
to build these things, has served human kind for millennia. The fact that today we still have no
idea why these pyramids had to be built, who built them and how did they do it, is besides the point
from any knowledge that might have been passed on to future generations.

Indeed, I would say that the only useful thing that we can leave future generations is valid
knowledge. Of course, scientific knowledge is always a priority, but we mustn't forget the arts,
political enlightenment (human rights and cooperation), and a mix of meaningful cultural traditions
(eg festivals, gastronomy). In other words, ideally if we are to leave anything for the future
(generations) it really ought to be something that will contribute to their well being. For example,
we might be able to show how we managed to overcome short term greed attainable only by a few
people, to sustainable long term income achievable by the many. That sort of thing!

But the idea of "we owe something" suggests a moral obligation rather than a gift we leave others.
Do we have a moral obligation to leave anything to future generations?

At face value I don't think we have such an obligation, for example, on the grounds that there is no
factual reality about the future. And even if we can say for certain that there will be future
generations, we are only confirming that the biological programme to reproduce has been successful.
But a biological programme in and of itself does not have a moral scope; a moral scope only applies
when biological entities employ cooperative strategies, ie employ rational relationships.

Maybe the moral obligation is only valid for our generation: what does our generation owe members of
our generation? And if we meet our moral obligations for our generation then the next generation
would benefit from our wise and moral solutions. If we get it wrong, not only future generations are
not going to get anything from us, but they'll be very grateful they we left them nothing from our
generation. In the same way that we are grateful that the generation of the inquisition has not left
us anything useful from their evil deeds, apart, that is, from how to be evil.

Best Lawrence

Alfonso's play is still on until 28 October: Gaviotas Subterraneas. at the TeatroEspañol C/
Principe, 25 – Plaza de Santa Ana (Barrio de la Leteras). Tickets from the box office or
www.telentrada.com. The play starts at 20.30pm.
Impressive even if I am biased and a great fan of Alfonso!!!!

In the meantime:

---from Carmen's jewellery TarTeTaTin ---
Carmen has sent me a link for her jewellery and info (in French), TarTeTaTin

Cementerio Británico

Redacto el presente mensaje tanto en español como en inglés con el objeto de comunicarles el
programa de visitas guiadas sábados por la mañana al Cementerio Británico.

Las visitas empiezan a las 11 horas en la entrada del Cementerio Británico, calle del Comandante
Fontanes 7, distrito de Carabanchel
*sábado, día 27 de octubre, cuando daré las explicaciones en español
*sábado, día 3 de noviembre, cuando daré las explicaciones en inglés.

Lo dejo a su elección cuál día acuda y no hay necesidad de avisar.

Si prefiere hacer la visita en una fecha no programada por la presente lista, no hay más que avisarme.

Tomen nota de nuestra página web < www.britishcemeterymadrid.com > que contiene información de la
historia del Cementerio y el mapa de su ubicación.


I am writing this in both Spanish and in English to provide the programme of Saturday morning guided
visits to the British Cemetery.

We meet at 11 o'clock at the Cemetery entrance in Calle del Comandante Fontanes 7 in Carabanchel
* the visit on Saturday 27th October will be in Spanish
* the visit on Saturday 3rd November will be in English.

The choice of date is left to you and there is no need tell me in advance of the visit whether you
are coming.
If you would like a visit on a different date, just let me know and I will arrange it.

Do take note of our website < www.britishcemeterymadrid.com > where you will find details of the
Cemetery's history and a map of its location.

David Butler


Best Lawrence

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao

Thursday's Open Tertulia in English
Important Notice: From December 1st, the Tertulia will take place at O'Donnells (ex-Moore's) Irish
Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)

----------From Luisa---------
Please not you will have to let her know in advance if you wish to attend, thanks:
Data of language exchange,
Location: Café Comercial
Address: Glorieta de Bilbao, 7
Website location:
Dates: on Saturday
Time: from 12:30 to 14:45
Price: 2.50 € (exchange organizing, hiring the top of the cafeteria and coffee, tea, soda, wine or
beer are included).
Luisa - email to confirm please alvarez_luisa@hotmail.com

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: What does our generation owe the future?

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