03 February 2017

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Are we in control?

Dear friends,

This Sunday we discussing: Are we in control?

If by "are we in control?" we mean we are fully responsible for our
lives then surely the answer must be sometimes. Sometimes we can do
things which might not be too brilliant, and sometimes we decide to do
things that can cascade into better things.

Of course, we cannot go about our lives blaming everything and everyone
else for our failures, but always claim glory for our successes.
Sometimes, if not most times, we do mess up our life and sometimes we do
get it right. But to suggest that we are totally responsible for
everything that happens in our life is to show ignorance on how life
functions. So how does life function?

One way life functions is that the more we know about something and the
more informed we are about something the more likely we are able to take
the right decisions. For example, once we drop the charade that school
is about learning and education and accept that the formal educational
system (there are major changes today going on for the better) is about
conformity and passing exams then we can progress through the system.

Conformity and exams are not necessarily there for some malicious
project by those above us, but mainly to establish the demarcation lines
between those who have huge influence on our children and what our
children are supposed to achieve at a given age.

As every child, every parent and every teacher will attest, there is
nothing perfect about the system and that they are hardly in control of
the situation. On the one hand society accepts that some sort of
stability is better than the rule of disorder. But when it is made clear
to teachers and children alike that the purpose of school is indeed to
help children pass exams, children will pass exams with high colours,
even if they don't know how to do much else. Teachers will simply start
teaching how to pass exams; in the same way that if you want to build a
steam engine you'd better start learning about engineering and steam!!
This is evidenced by the top rate marks of children in Britain after the
introduction of the league tables. And this cannot be solely attributed
to the exams being made easier.

The problem is that not everyone can behave or does behave in the same
way to a given set of facts in a situation. It can always be argued that
it is impossible for two situations to have the same background facts
and the same circumstances. Indeed the law courts are adept at making
this distinction; so whilst this is a real valid objection and many
times it is true, it cannot be that there are never two cases that
cannot elicit the "same" reaction. All things being equal, stealing one
hundred Euros from Bank A and from Bank B both cases are cases of
stealing from the bank.

My point is that sometimes we are in control of the situation and
sometimes we are not, but some situations do require that we not only do
we take control but also react in the same manner.

The issues for us are for example; what conditions establish that we are
in control or not in control? What forms of action are acceptable when
we are in control and when we are not? This will determine issues about
morality and matters of responsibility.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Are we in control?

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