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« The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy | Main | More on Robby George's Approach to Constitutional Interpretation »

05/15/2010

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Jimbino

I have hypnotized hundreds of people in my life and have seen them sense heat, cold, drunkenness, etc, they weren't experiencing. I have induced neuroses and taken folks back to relive a 4-yr-old birthday party and to previous lives.

Yesterday I hypnotized three chickens at a kid's birthday party. Yes, even animals can be "hypnotized" and possums go into a type of coma. There is no sure explanation for any of this behavior, and I find it presumptuous to conclude that there is anything characteristically human in any of these behaviors.

That apes apparently "grieve" is no sure indication of a grieving experience any more than the fact that most all people are superstitious and religious is any indication that there is a god, much less that they have an experience of a god.

Robert Hockett

The point is not that the behavior is 'characteristically human,' but rather the contrary -- viz. that it appears to be characteristic of *many* animals *in addition* to human ones. And of course there is no 'sure' explanation of such things, any more than there seem to be 'sure' explanations of anything. The question is always that of which explanation or provisional conclusion is most reasonable at present in light of available data. In this connection it bears noting that the first sentence of the final paragraph in the previous comment would be just as true were the word 'apes' to be replaced with the phrase 'any creatures, including humans, other than Jimbino.' It would nevertheless be unreasonable to infer from that correct claim that Jimbino is the only creature who grieves.

Michael Perry

Thanks much, Bob, for your interesting, thoughtful comments--which have a powerful resonance for me, as a apophatic (non- (or post-) metaphysical; Buddhist; whatever) Christian. Something you said in your post makes me think that Dan Berrigan's "Zen Poem", which I posted on April 29, must have a powerful resonance for you. Take another look at it, and let me (us) know!

http://www.religiousleftlaw.com/2010/04/zen-poem.html

Michael

Robert Hockett

Thanks, Michael -- I'll definitely have a look at it and share my thoughts, for what little they might be worth. I'm definitely a great fan of the Berrigans -- and in fact take part in the same congregation as their friends here in Ithaca, now known as the 'St. Patrick's Day Six' for their protests and arrests in connection with a certain lamentable invasion that took place a few years back. More soon and all best, Bob

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Vibram Five Fingers

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