Wednesday, February 18, 2009


A friend is taking an anthropology class and had asked for responses to the two questions below. I didn't have concise thoughts to give her so I missed the deadline....BUT...I have been mulling over the interesting thoughts. So....what do you think and why? and please...NO preachy stuff...I know the religious side of things. I'm asking for some other type view. Anthropology, remember?

How is it that human beings can rise to be a hero on one hand, and can be destroyers of human life on the other?

Why do all human beings have 2 sides? (altruistic vs. destructive)


Lin said...

well, that a highly charged question which is really asking why are we here and what is the purpose of life? My answer would be based on is a great laboratory of learning where we are able to choose between good (altristic) and evil (destructive) acts. The consequences of those behaviors are before us all the time. I don't believe we have two sides but that we are able to choose between the ying and yang of life and those choices determine the type of individual we will be. A very deep question that should get lots of discussion going...

Shelly said...

There must be opposition to all things. There is cold and hot, happy and sad. Hero to one maybe considered a destroyer to others. I think we can be both even at the same time. Many people think of the United States as Heroes for liberating Iraq. But there are some Iraq citizens who would disagree and think of us as destroyers. Thanks for getting my brain juices flowing:)
fyi-sophia's blog update is posted Feb 15th.

Ben McElroy said...

From a scientific cultural anthropological view it basically comes down to two balanced choices - what's best for the individual versus whats best for the social group he/she belongs to. Thus sometimes the social benefit of the whole outweighs the social benefit for the individual, prompting heroic responses. Or sometimes the social benefit of the individual outweighs the social benefit of the whole (at the time of a decision), which can lead to results like making really poor loans to folks who really shouldn't have had them and leading to a global financial crisis. But that would be the social anthropological view of these things. But the previous two answers are also appropriate when one takes into account an enternal view. Cheers.

Millie said...

Old chinese beliefs are based upon choices (righteous & unrighteous). Good choices result in good eternal peace. Bad choices result in endless grief. Their view is like ours. Choosing the right eventually rewards us with eternal happiness. Choosing the opposite eventually leads us away from eternal oneness with God. Buddism theology believe enlightment comes from onesness with one's spiritual self. This occurs when the body & the spirit unites as one. This unisen allows the individual to recieve knowledge and wisdom which then allows the individual to reach enlightment. I had to go back to my college religion class notes to remember this stuff. It sure woke me up this morning.

Millie said...

Question 2...To me both questions add up to the same conclusion (Good & Evil). We have the choice to have one or the other or both. Some people have both because they have one foot in heaven and at the same time they want to keep the other foot on earth (living both lives). Not totally committing themselves towards being full of integrity (Whole...Complete). Falsely living a life which ends up nowhere.

mom/caryn said...

It's a dimensional world we live in. EVERYTHING has two sides...well, at the very least, two sides.

The human being has considerably more than two sides. Why are we lumping things into good and evil, black and white? I live my life not only in black and white, but every shade of cream, taupe, gray and charcoal in between.

It is necessary to have an oppositional force to build strength... as with exercise. We can build endurance with running and flailing our arms in the air... but, if we want to build muscle (strength)... we need to push against an opposing force. It's true in all of nature. And it's true of the mind and spirit as well.

You need to destroy a tree or disturb the earth to build a home, a hospital, or a ship. Building can not exist without the destruction of something.

Bottom line, here, Suz?? I have no clue. But, I enjoyed blathering on for a bit, anyway.
ha ha ha hahahahaha... My word verification is SO APPROPRIATE! I am "unable" to answer this.

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