The meaning of life and other essays

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The meaning of life and other essays

It has seemed to me worth while to show from the history of civilization just what war has done and has not done for the welfare of mankind. In the eighteenth century it was assumed that the primitive state of mankind was one of Arcadian peace, joy, and contentment. In the nineteenth century the assumption went over to the other extreme — that the primitive state was one of universal warfare.

This, like the former notion, is a great exaggeration. Man in the most primitive and uncivilized state known to us does not practice war all the time; he dreads it; he might rather be described as a peaceful animal.

Real warfare comes with the collisions of more developed societies. If we turn to facts about the least civilized men we find proofs that they are not warlike and do not practice war if they can help it. The Australians have no idea Note. Their fights do not lead to slaughter or spoils or other consequences of victory.

Quarrels between tribes are sometimes settled by a single combat between chiefs. They have no political organization, so there can be no war for power.

An Englishman who knew them well said that he knew of serious wounds, but he had known of but one death from their affrays. We are told Edition: Perhaps the converse would be true: We are not astonished to hear that they develop excessive tyranny and cruelty to those who are weaker than themselves, especially to women, and even to their mothers.

The meaning of life and other essays

This is attributed in great part to head-hunting and cannibalism. In general they know the limits of their own territory and observe them, but they quarrel about women.

In one case only had he heard of war for any other reason; three brothers, Barolongs, fought over one woman, and their tribe had remained divided, up to the time of writing, into three parties.

During his residence in the Bechuana country he never saw unarmed men strike each other. They quarrel with words, but generally both parties burst into a laugh and that ends it.

A Spanish priest, writing an account, inof the Aurohuacos of Colombia, 5 says that they have no weapons of offense or defense. If two quarrel they go out to a big rock or tree and each with his staff beats the rock or tree with vituperations.

The one whose staff breaks first is the victor; then they embrace and return home as friends. Even our American Indians, who appear in Edition: Wampum strings and belts were associated with peace-pacts and with prayers for peace.

In contrast with these cases we find others of extreme warlikeness which account for the current idea that primitive men love war and practice it all the time. But if we examine the cases of peacefulness or unwarlike-hess which have been cited, we see that only two or three seem to present evidence of Arcadian peace and simplicity, such as, in the imagination of the eighteenth century philosophers, characterized men in a state of nature.

Probably if we had fuller knowledge these few instances would be much modified. What we see is that men have always quarreled. The cases which have been selected are some of them also those of people who have been defeated, broken, and cowed down.

Another set of examples consists of those in which abstinence from war is due to cowardice, and with it go the vices of cowardice — tyranny and cruelty to the weak. These cases are calculated to delight the hearts of the advocates of strenuosity. What our testimonies have in common is this: When we undertake to talk about primitive society we should conceive of it as consisting of petty groups scattered separately over a great territory.

Meaning of Life and Other Essays, The - Preserving Christian Publications

I speak of groups because I want a term of the widest significance. The group may consist, as it does amongst Australians and Bushmen, of a man with one or possibly two wives and their children, or it may have a few more members, or it may be a village group as in New Guinea, or a tribe or part of a tribe as amongst our own Indians.

It is to Edition: Every individual excludes every other in the competition of life unless they can by combining together win more out of nature by joint effort than the sum of what they could win separately. This combination is what makes groups and brings about industrial organization.

When a man and woman unite in the most elementary group known, they do it for economic reasons, because they can carry on the struggle for existence better together than apart. As soon as it breaks, the fractions begin to compete with each other.

If by greater culture a higher organization becomes possible, two groups coalesce by intermarriage or conquest, competition gives way to combination again, and the bigger unit enters into competition with other composite units.May 01,  · The Meaning of Life and Other Essays has 5 ratings and 1 review.

Karen said: I have the volume published in It is dressed with a modern hard cover /5(1). INTRODUCTION. In , when the author of the essays here assembled was elected professor of political and social science in Yale College, he was, to use his own words, “a young and untried man.” He was selected for his position, not as a specialist, but because he was what he was.

The meaning of life and other essays

Someone in those days must have been an excellent judge of men. Existentialism (/ ˌ ɛ ɡ z ɪ ˈ s t ɛ n ʃ əl ɪ z əm /) is a tradition of philosophical inquiry associated mainly with certain 19th and 20th-century European philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual.

Here is a link to an excellent documented discussion about the poignance of Frankl’s work to contribute as a resource. The individual clip explores a number of subjects, including one of Frankl’s revelations described in “Man’s Search for Meaning.”. Nov 19,  · For some, life without meaning is equivalent to death, that is if life has no meaning, why bother living when eventually, you know you are going to die?

Over the years, philosophers have been preoccupied with finding an answer to the meaning of life. Search for the Meaning of Life: Essays and Reflections on the Mystical Experience, Revised Edition [Willigis Jäger] on caninariojana.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

Helps the reader understand the mystical meaning of life and the nature of transpersonal .

War and Other Essays - Online Library of Liberty