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Thinking with the wrong glands

Razor's Edge
Yes, he was arrested for "child endangerment."
Beginning in the 1950s, Jacques Barzun noted that the phrase "I think that..." was being replaced by "I feel that..."  You might take count for a few days how often you hear people say that.  "I feel we should
eat at this restaurant."  "I feel the president is a sage (and/or fool)."  "I feel we ought to do something about Iran."  And so on.  Lost in all this are two important things: thoughts and feelings.  When everything is felt and nothing is thought, genuine feelings, the significance of feelings themselves, can be diluted like homeopathic philosophy.

In the old Aristotelian dispensation, the intellect was prior to the will.  That is, the will was regarded as the intellective appetite, a hunger for the products of the intellect.  After all, you cannot want what you do not know.  (And because the knowledge is hardly ever perfectly certain, the will is hardly ever perfectly determined, and hence is free.)
You go, Will!

But we live now in the age of the Triumph of the Will, and more often,
the triumph of the appetites, and we want what we want when we want it.  What do we want?  You name it.  When do we want it?  NOW!  There are times when this is understandable, when a man who hates evil is impatient for its crushing.  But it is not uncommon to find that people desire things that are contrary to the intellect.  Adam wants to eat lots of chocolate and not get fat; but the universal verdict of the intellect is that that ain't gonna happen, no matter how much he might "love" chocolate.  And we intuit the nature of sin as a defectus boni when we say "Too much chocolate is bad for you."  (Bad?  How dare we make value judgments!)  So we have a society that eats when its hungry and is afterward shocked, shocked to discover an "epidemic" of obesity in its midst.



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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
harvey_rrit
Feb. 1st, 2013 09:40 am (UTC)
Just FYI:

What we have is corn sweetener. Fructose. It deadens the brain's ability to shut off the signal for hunger.

And every time someone mentions the "epidemic", there is a further push to replace sucrose with fructose.

I seem to recall you wrote a book with a couple of other guys, wherein it was pointed out that various reformers' actions always seem to make the problem worse... and keep them in business.

These people are fruct up.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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