I’ve thought here to mash up a post about conscience, which is to me a mysterious part of our universal human evolution: whether or not we like it, we’re more generally good — good hearted, good natured, helpful, kind by way of empathy and sympathy, lawful and respectful with a basis for both in simple transactional psychology.

Down the left side of this blog are epigrammatic statements that have most to do with the grooming of strongly good global cultural psychology. Authoritarianism, despotism, excessive egoism, and tyranny are on the outs while consideration, cooperation, and thoughtfulness are greatly — and universally — desired. Here are two quotations of quotations from the BackChannels sidebar —

Talmud 7:16 as Quoted by Rishon Rishon in 2004
Qohelet Raba, 7:16

אכזרי סוף שנעשה אכזרי במקום רחמן

Kol mi shena`asa rahaman bimqom akhzari Sof shena`asa akhzari bimqom rahaman

All who are made to be compassionate in the place of the cruel In the end are made to be cruel in the place of the compassionate.

More colloquially translated: “Those who are kind to the cruel, in the end will be cruel to the kind.”

Online Source: http://www.rishon-rishon.com/archives/044412.php

Hillel the Elder

“That which is distasteful to thee do not do to another. That is the whole of Torah. The rest is commentary. Now go and study.”

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? If not now, when?”

“Whosoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whosoever that saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.”

If you’re on this post, there’s a reason for it. Consider taking a moment to read what I’ve selected from Oriana Fallaci, Abraham Isaac Kook, Heinrich Heine, Simon Wiesenthal, Douglas Adams, Thucydides, Milan Kundera, Malala Yousafzai, and a briefly met online friend, Tanit Nima Tinat.

Published by W. W. Norton & Company, 2019.

Here is the lead from a review in Vox (July 8, 2019) by Sigal Samuel —

Patricia Churchland is a neurophilosopher. That’s a fancy way of saying she studies new brain science, old philosophical questions, and how they shed light on each other.

For years, she’s been bothered by one question in particular: How did humans come to feel empathy and other moral intuitions? What’s the origin of that nagging little voice that we call our conscience?


Patricia Churchland’s online presence lives here: https://patriciachurchland.com/ .

When we’re not so good — from naughty to sinful to heinous to unspeakable — we know why as greed, lust, and vanity account both for our indulgences and peccadilloes as well as many conflicts and crimes with the exception of earnest and necessary struggles against the despot and the totalitarian.

Why be good (for goodness sake)?


Why conscience?

I shall have to read Churchland’s book (which will be on my Kindle a minute after publishing this piece).

As small ideas and pieces come to me, I may add them to this post that drives to the core of differences between the worlds of medieval political absolutism and the far preferred modern experiences of human dignity and freedom — beyond those two may reside the Orwellian horrors of the bureaucratically and technologically capable totalitarian state headed up by thugs. For that, have a start-here look at China.