26 de novembro de 2017

Notes on the “Apology of Socrates”.

Filed under: Livros, Passatempos, Saúde e bem-estar — Tags:, , — Yurinho @ 11:03

“Apology of Socrates” was written by Platão. Below are some statements made in that text. They aren’t quotations, but paraphrases, and may not reflect what I think about the subject.

  1. Sócrates used to strengthen the weaker opinions, showing the truth in unpopular thoughts.
  2. Comedians may end up spreading lies.
  3. If Sócrates acted like everyone else, he wouldn’t be condemned.
  4. Sócrates was wise because he knew about his ignorance and confessed it.
  5. Poets speak on inspiration, not on wisdom.
  6. An expert in something shouldn’t pretend to be expert in other things just because he does a good job in his field of choice.
  7. Sócrates was condemned for speaking the truth, but that reason for condemnation wasn’t clearly voiced; the accusers needed to make up some excuse to condemn him.
  8. Don’t accuse someone of not knowing what’s good for the youth when you also don’t know what’s good for the youth.
  9. A person who offended the law by mistake is worth being instructed, not punished.
  10. If you believe in other gods, then you are not atheist: atheism is to not believe in any god, not a specific one.
  11. False accusations only reveal hate towards a good person.
  12. No one knows exactly what happens when you die, but everyone flees from death as it was the worst thing possible.
  13. If you teach good things to a person, you aren’t corrupting them.
  14. Better to be unfairly demonized than unfairly demonizing someone.
  15. Sócrates didn’t beg for mercy.
  16. The condemnation of an old man, specially without proof, would bring shame to Athens later on.
  17. Cling to dignity even when about to die.
  18. Death is either a long sleep or a migration to another place, so it can’t be so bad.

19 de novembro de 2017

Notes on “Alcibiades I”.

Filed under: Livros, Notícias e política — Tags:, , , — Yurinho @ 20:59

“Alcibiades I” was written by Platão. Below are some statements made in that text. They aren’t citations. They do not necessarely reflect my opinions on this subject.

  1. When in doubt, you call an expert.
  2. It’s a shame when an expert can not name his own field.
  3. You shouldn’t start an unjust war.
  4. There’s no consensus on what justice even is.
  5. You can’t teach something you don’t know.
  6. Contradictions in a discourse reveal that the person supporting the discourse doesn’t know what they are talking about.
  7. You can only have doubts over something you know you are ignorant about, and only for as long as you want to learn more about it.
  8. The worst kind of ignorance is being sure that you know something when you actually do not (prejudice).
  9. The mistakes that politicians make come from their ignorance about what’s just and what’s not.
  10. If you know, teach me.
  11. When you are used to your ignorance, you no longer feel it.
  12. You should be corrected when you are young.
  13. Caring for something is keeping it in good state or improving it.
  14. Caring for yourself isn’t the same thing as caring for your belongings.
  15. If you don’t know something, you can’t care for it.
  16. You aren’t your body.
  17. A wise person knows himself.
  18. “Loving” a person for their body alone isn’t love, because body is also a belonging, but not the person.
  19. You can know yourself by comparing yourself to others.
  20. If you don’t know yourself, you can not care for yourself.
  21. A politician who can’t care for himself, can’t care for his people.
  22. Happiness isn’t achieved by money, but by wisdom.
  23. If money brought happiness, rich nations were supposed to be the happiest.
  24. You can’t teach virtue without having it.

18 de novembro de 2017

Notes on “The Tranquility of the Soul”.

Filed under: Livros, Saúde e bem-estar — Tags:, , , — Yurinho @ 22:17

“The Tranquility of the Soul” was written by Sêneca. Below are some statements made in that book. They are not citations. Questions can be asked in the comments.

  1. If you feel temptation, that’s because you are giving effort into resisting.
  2. Good intentions can stand between you and virtue.
  3. Tranquility is the feeling of having nothing to worry about.
  4. To seek tranquility is to seek a state of having no pain, nor strong emotions.
  5. You shouldn’t have many aspirations and desires.
  6. If you have many desires, you are likely to be frustrated many times.
  7. You won’t be able to reach happiness wihtout feeling satisfied with yourself first.
  8. Learn to endure, when such is needed.
  9. Be useful to yourself and others.
  10. The universe is your nation.
  11. You need to balance activity and good rest.
  12. We can still be role models, even when mute.
  13. Get a job at something you like to do.
  14. Never try to do something without wondering if you actually can do it.
  15. The evils of the wealth are the worst kind of evil.
  16. It’s better to have never been rich than losing your fortune.
  17. If money was that good, God would have some.
  18. You should only be in debt with yourself.
  19. Don’t be crazy for money, but that doesn’t imply having no money.
  20. You should spend on useful things, not “cool” things.
  21. You should eat when hungry, not for mere pleasure.
  22. Don’t buy books if you aren’t going to read them.
  23. It’s immoral to use a full bookshelf as decoration.
  24. The excess is what turns a behavior into a vice.
  25. Bad things happen, they are part of life.
  26. You can’t fall in despair without wanting it.
  27. Avoid being too ambitious, or you may end up too disappointed.
  28. Try to stay calm despite having bad luck.
  29. If you accept that you are going to die, then you can accept anything.
  30. It’s useless to worry about things that do not depend on us.
  31. If you try something, but don’t nurture high hopes about it working, you won’t be disappointed if you fail, but, if it works, the success is sweetened with surprise.
  32. Never forget that what happens to others may happen to you.
  33. Don’t try to do something that isn’t worth it or that likely won’t work.
  34. It’s sad when someone wants to do something, but doesn’t know exactly what they want to do.
  35. Gossip is a vice.
  36. Don’t make promises.
  37. There’s a good side in everything.
  38. You can poke fun at the problems you face.
  39. When a tragedy happens, you don’t need to react like everyone else.
  40. You needn’t to feel bad for someone who isn’t suffering.
  41. Omitting isn’t the same as lying.
  42. Being alone restores our energy.
  43. You should work, but you should also have fun.
  44. Working too much harms productivity.
  45. Finish what you started.

16 de novembro de 2017

Notes on “The Republic”.

“A República” was written by Platão. Below are some statements made in that text. They may or may not reflect what I think about this subject. Questions about my personal opinion can be asked in the comments.

  1. The aging process kills youthful desires, which enslave the young men.
  2. Wisdom makes it tolerable to age.
  3. If you get you worked for your own money, you will feel how much it’s valuable.
  4. The fool, if very attached to material goods, feels despair when death is near, because he doesn’t know the future of his goods and his soul.
  5. Justice is not simply speaking the truth and giving someone what’s due…
  6. Is justice the virtue of caring for friends while harming enemies?
  7. If so, justice is useless in times of peace.
  8. We don’t always know who are our true friends.
  9. Justice implies caring for your enemies too.
  10. Justice is not the convenience of the strongest.
  11. Being strong doesn’t guarantee that your laws are going to be fair.
  12. A ruler doesn’t always know what is in the nation’s best interest.
  13. Ruling a nation means acting in the best interest of those who are under your hierarchy.
  14. Being unjust is profitable, but still wrong.
  15. Being unjust implies a degree of ignorance.
  16. You can’t practice justice if you are ignorant.
  17. Justice enables harmony, while being unjust causes chaos.
  18. An unjust person beings harm to themselves, as no one would trust them.
  19. If God is just, you better also be…
  20. If you are unjust, you can’t rule your own life with perfection, let alone rule the lives of others.
  21. Justice is more useful in a community level, rather than personal level.
  22. A person can not live completely alone.
  23. The differences between types of people make them more fit for certain roles.
  24. No city would be built if we didn’t need each other.
  25. The better a community is, the more allies it has.
  26. A community can only become interested in art, science or economy after the basic needs (water, food, shelter, health) are sorted out.
  27. Excess of resources makes the population ill, as it becomes easier to adopt unhealthy habits.
  28. In a community where the desire for futile stuff has become high, resources start to diminish too quickly, creating the need to take what already belongs to other communities.
  29. It would be ideal if each person had just one job, that could be executed expertly.
  30. Desire to learn already makes you philosopher.
  31. There’s good and bad literature, the bad literature being the one that has no contact with reality, that is, a literature that lies to the reader.
  32. Fiction counts as bad literature.
  33. A religion that teaches that gods can have wars between themselves ends up sanctioning violence between humans (“even gods fight”).
  34. Even if those stories had a hidden meaning, nothing can guarantee that a person wouldn’t get the meaning wrong.
  35. If a child learns something false, they won’t easily forget.
  36. If somehting bad happens, don’t blame the gods.
  37. A “real lie” is the one that exploits the listener’s ignorance.
  38. Overcoming the fear of death requires fiction writers to not write scary stuff about afterlife, that is, exercise a kind of censorship.
  39. Fiction appeals to emotion, harming the full exercise of reason.
  40. You can’t go to war if you aren’t ready to die.
  41. If you can live without someone, you don’t need to cry when that person dies.
  42. Laughter should also be avoided.
  43. The government can lie, but only if the lie is told on the population’s best interest.
  44. Fiction writers shouldn’t write bad things about gods or heroes, to not encourage bad behavior among normal humans who see gods and heroes as role models.
  45. There should have no sad music.
  46. There should have no calm music.
  47. There should have a list of allowed musical instruments and a list of banned musical techniques.
  48. Other artist should abide to those restrictions, not only writers and composers.
  49. Music has educational value too.
  50. Real love isn’t lust.
  51. It’s wise to improve your body as well as your mind.
  52. A warrior needs it’s own diet.
  53. A good diet is supposed to be simple.
  54. If there is a great demand for doctors it is because there are a lot of ill people.
  55. It’s shameful to need doctors to treat self-inflicted illnesses and injuries.
  56. A judge must be able to recognize an unjust act without acting against justice himself.
  57. Physical education has the role of keeping the body in shape, so that people wouldn’t need doctors so often.
  58. Physical education (gymnastics) must be practiced alongside music, as physical education alone could make a person turn “brute” and music alone could make the person too soft.
  59. A warrior needs to stay firm in what he believes.
  60. A warrior needs to live off state, rather than having own properties, so he can fully commit to his job.
  61. Community happiness comes first, personal happiness comes second.
  62. A person shouldn’t be wealthy to the point of not needing to have a role in society.
  63. Excess of wealth causes temptation to work less.
  64. You shouldn’t be filthy rich, but shouldn’t be dirt poor either.
  65. There should be no marriage.
  66. Four cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, moderation, justice.
  67. Every ruler must be wise and moderated, while the ruled people must be courageous and moderated.
  68. Jobs come in four kinds: manufacturer, warrior, ruler and merchant.
  69. It’s just to exercise the work that you are most useful at, rather than exercising many jobs or hopping from one to another.
  70. Sciences are separated from each other due to intimate differences, which appear when humans start to focus on a different object.
  71. The soul is divided in three parts: reason, emotion and appetite.
  72. A person is just when reason dominates emotion, which dominates appetite.
  73. Women should receive the same education as men.
  74. No such thing as “man’s job” or “woman’s job”, but each person must pick the job they are most useful at.
  75. There are laws that go against nature.
  76. Nuclear family must be abolished.
  77. State must interfere in sexual relationships in order to guarantee that the next generation will be better than the previous.
  78. A person must deserve the right to reproduce based on how useful they are to the community.
  79. Children are raised by state.
  80. A woman should feed random children, rather than electing one (her own child).
  81. Age of consent: 20 for women, 30 for men.
  82. Procreation must be authorized by state first.
  83. Children see older people as “dad” and “mom”, even if they aren’t biologically so.
  84. Children should watch the war.
  85. Children, before going to watch the war, must be taught to flee.
  86. Soldiers who are taken captive shouldn’t be rescued.
  87. Science is a discourse about how things truly are, while opinion is a discourse about how things seem to be.
  88. The philosopher looks for stable knowledge, one that doesn’t change with time.
  89. If you love wisdom, you are likely virtuous.
  90. A philosopher isn’t afraid of dying.
  91. Because most people are dumb, philosophers are seldom heard, making them almost completely useless for state and public life.
  92. A philosopher who ends up preaching a stupid idea probably had a philosophical nature that was perverted by poor education.
  93. Philosophy is dangerous for status quo.
  94. The philosopher should rule the nation.
  95. If a group of philosophers takes control over the nation, it would still take some time for the new laws to appear.
  96. Laws shouldn’t be made in a rush.
  97. A ruler who is dumb or doesn’t love his people must be impeached.
  98. A ruler should be able to enjoy studying, or isn’t fit for the task.
  99. A philosopher must be both wise and healthy.
  100. If something isn’t good, we wouldn’t want it, unless we mistook it for good.
  101. “Good” and “pleasant” aren’t the same, although they can overlap in a same object.
  102. You can find pleasure in doing something bad.
  103. If you can speak about what other people think, you are supposed to be able to speak about what you think as well.
  104. Science and truth are siblings.
  105. You can put your thoughts in a scale of clarity, from most obscure to clearest: I suppose (most obscrure), I believe, I understand, I know (clearest).
  106. Appearance is misleading, so you can’t judge an object from it’s appearance.
  107. Practicing science can be confusing, to the point of causing a person to regret practicing it.
  108. The wise feels pity on the ignorant.
  109. The wise man may behave pathetically in public life.
  110. Nevertheless, the wise man should not isolate himself from others.
  111. Education is to turn the student’s soul towards truth, rather than opinion.
  112. A philospher must worry about the others as well, not only about himself.
  113. The philosopher must use opinions as pedagogical resource.
  114. Everyone should know math, even soldiers.
  115. If you want to reach the truth, you can’t do so without calculation.
  116. Math should be taught in school as mandatory class.
  117. Geometry can completely change the way you analyze things.
  118. Astronomy can also be useful for everyone.
  119. Imperfect study shouldn’t be encouraged.Calculus, geometry, astronomy and dialetics are responsible for turning a person away from opinion and towards the truth.
  120. You can not learn dialetics without learning mathematics first.
  121. Exact sciences are universally valid.
  122. Philosophy’s bad reputation comes from those who practice it without being prepared or without having talent, that is, people who are bad at it.
  123. Children should learn math by playing games, as it’s easier for them to remember what they learned with pleasure.
  124. Learning dialetics at an young age can make a person turn rebellious, because the youth will notice that many things he used to believe are incorrect, causing hatred towards society.
  125. Dialetics can only be taught to people with a stable mind.
  126. Women can rule the state, if they are fit for the job.
  127. No human government lasts forever.
  128. An oligarchy is a form of government exercised only by rich people, who use the poor as resource poll.
  129. Wealth and virtue generally go into different directions.
  130. The problem with oligarchy is that rich people are often terrible rulers.
  131. Plus, poor people and wealthy people sometimes conspirate against each other.
  132. Oligarchs sell public goods, empoverish their territories and attract bad reputation.
  133. A state with too many poor people is a state with too many crimes, both perpretated by poor and wealthy people.
  134. An ignorant person prefers money over dignity.
  135. People’s rebellion can turn an oligarchy into a democracy.
  136. The election of better qualified people can turn a democracy into an aristocracy.
  137. Democracies highly regard freedom.
  138. A tyrant needs to ensure that people will need him.
  139. A tyrant needs war.
  140. A tyrant’s need for war makes him hated by his people.
  141. A tyrant needs to kill those who oppose to him.
  142. To control his own territory, a tyrant may need help from other nations.
  143. A tyrant uses public wealth to reinforce his army, thus defending himself.
  144. Everyone has wild, irrational desires.
  145. We often dream about them.
  146. A tyrant is defenseless without servants.
  147. Some people think that something is only worth being done if it brings them money.
  148. Under a philosopher’s guidance, people can better conduct their ambition and desire for money.
  149. Impulse and desire must be moderated, but never eliminated.
  150. Money and power can’t compensate a soul’s decadence.
  151. Beautiful lies can destroy a person’s intelligence.
  152. An artisan makes physical objects using a mental model as base.
  153. If someone seems to know everything, they are lying.
  154. Fiction is a lie and should be treated as such, that is, shouldn’t be taken seriously.
  155. Falsifications are a toy or a game; believing something false as if it was true is silly.
  156. Reason should moderate suffering.
  157. Emotion is what makes us feel despair.
  158. Emotion harms the free use of reason.
  159. Suffering excessively isn’t masculine.
  160. The more you laugh, the harder it will be to contain your laughter next time you see something funny.
  161. The body can only die from age, illness or physical damage.

10 de novembro de 2017

“A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples”, by Rind, Bauserman and Tromovitch.

“A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples” was written by Bruce Rind, Robert Bauserman and Phillip Tromovitch. Below are some statements made in that text. They may or may not reflect my opinion on this subject. Questions about my personal opinion can be asked in the comments.

  1. The allegation that intimate relationships in childhood and adolescence always cause intense harm despite the minor’s gender do not find empirical base.
  2. Media gives the sensation that relationships involving minors are always harmful, no matter if it’s an adult-child relationship or a child-child relationship.
  3. Many researchers agree with that media’s view on things, saying that majority, or even all, of the relationships involving minors are harmful.
  4. Some researchers go as far as saying that all mental health problems that appear in adulthood are consequence of child sexual abuse.
  5. But is it true? People’s imagination dictates that all relationships with minors, be child-child or adult-child, are intensely harmful all times they occur, no matter the “victim’s” gender (if boy or girl). The purpose of the report made by the authors is to verify if that belief is correct.
  6. We have the habit of saying that all relationships involving minors are “child sexual abuse”, that all those minors are “victims”, that all those adults are “perpetrators”, but the use of those terms in scientific literature is problematic, because there are adult-child relationships that aren’t negative. In those cases, there’s no victim and, if there’s no victim, there’s no abuse. Thus, there’s no scientific reason to label all those relationships as abusive. Plus, the use of negatively-charged terms harm the neutral appraisal of those events.
  7. The attack on social values doesn’t necessarely constitutes abuse. Masturbation and homosexuality were once considered socially wrong (with masturbation being even regarded as “self-abuse”) and, however, neither practice causes damage, nor can you say that they are abuse most of the times. That way, there’s no causality between attacking social values and harm to the involved parties.
  8. An immoral act isn’t necessarely harmful.
  9. It’s different when a father forcefully penetrates his five-year-old daughter and a thirteen-year-old teen who kisses his fifteen-year-old girlfriend on the lips. Does it make sense to punish the second case? Can we really say that the second case constitutes “rape”?
  10. When science labels as “abuse” all adult-child intimacy, whenever it happens, even when there’s no damage, even when the minor claims that the act was beneficial, it reveals that science is working with moral or legal concepts. But science, if it tries to be neutral, can not give moral judgement. Let the data speak; the reader will say if it’s abuse or not.
  11. Before, all “immoral” sexual acts were considered abusive, but, today, relationships with minors (adult-child, for example) are the last frontier of traditional sex morals. It’s one of the very few sexual acts that are still labelled as “always abusive”.
  12. Even if there are researchers who say that intimate child-child or adult-child relationships are always harmful, there are also researchers who disagree. So, scientific literature isn’t agreeing in this point.
  13. The problem with some research is the lack of variable control. For example: an eight-year-old boy who has some exploratory sexual games with his brother who is ten years older, but this same boy receives daily beltings from his father. He then grows up psychologically disadjusted. Some researches would wholeheartedly ignore the father’s acts and accuse the brother of being the cause of disadjustment, for having sexually abused the minor, even if the boy claims that those games were harmless.
  14. Intimate adult-child or child-child relationships, even if the child is prepubescent, aren’t necessarely negative and not always result in harm.
  15. Some researchers reason that the result, if negative or positive, is more influenced by extra-sexual factors. It’s not the act per itself, but the conditions surrounding it (for example, if the act was forced by a stranger or violent, if the parents found out and made big deal out of it, and others).
  16. And for other researchers, the damage caused to minors is overestimated because researchers, by interviewing people who are already in treatment for consequences, try to guess how many minors are harmed. It’s like going to a hospital to gauge the percentage of ill people. Of course you would get a number close to 100%. So, clinical individuals aren’t a reliable demographic to study the impact of adult-child or child-child intimacy in the general population.
  17. For disagreeing researchers, the fact that there are people who had intimate relationships in childhood or adolescence, but say that the experience wasn’t bad nor harmful, only indicates that the symptoms had no time to appear. Before 2009, in Brazil, relationships with people under age of fourteen would only be criminal if the minor didn’t approve the act, if the minor’s parents didn’t approve the act or if the act ended in damage to the minor. A relationship which met the safety and approval criteria wouldn’t even be consiered “pedophilia”. I doubt that there’s a single man of my age in Northeast who didn’t “fool around” with their very father. Are we all waiting for symptoms to occur?
  18. Those researchers use those samples for generalizations, despite clinical and legal samples not being fit to be used for generalizations outside of clinical and legal spheres, that is, they can not be used as representative of the whole population.
  19. People who had intimate relationships in childhood or adolescence, but didn’t report, nor sought treatment, did neither thing because they didn’t feel the negative effect. So, there’s a population os “victims” who didn’t suffer with the “abuse”. It’s hard to call it abuse that way. Think about it: at what age did you lose your virginity and how was your partner? Are those relationships that uncommon?
  20. When it comes to gender equivalence, there are researchers who say that relationships in childhood and adolescence cause equivalent effect in boys and girls, but there are also researchers who say that boys respond better. It’s important to remember that “sexual relationships” here doesn’t include only sex in strict sense (phallic penetration to mouth, anus or vagina). Of course, penetrating a child causes pain, disgust and trauma most of the times. So, if we were discussing only sex in strict sense, it would be impossible to conclude that there are children who do not suffer with those relationships. The researchers are also including in that group of sexual relationships the “libidinous acts” (kisses on the lips, intimate fondling, genital tickling, mutual nudity and other non-penetrative acts).
  21. The authors of the study found out that, in the college population and the national population, men who had sexual experiences in childhood, yes, react way better to them than women do.
  22. Other researchers, however, conclude that the apparent fact that boys react better is a myth.
  23. There’s another problem with some studies: the researcher tends to pay more attention to negative experiences, despite positives. They exclude, diminish or abstract the positives, making them look meaningless.
  24. Traumatic events are a statistical minority in the population of individuals who had relationships in childhood or adolescence. For the reason why only negative relationships appear in media, see MAP Starting Guide.
  25. Even traumatic events may be a comorbity: besides having intimate relationships, the child was also neglected by parents and abused in a non-sexual manner. Is the “molestation” the only thing to blame for the trauma?
  26. Several children who had trauma not only had intimate relationships, forced or not, but also suffered bullying, emotional pressure, neglect, among other things, in a way the trauma could very well be a combination of factors, with the relationships, specially if not forced, nor painful, having a minor role.
  27. Many researches are in agreement that it’s not the intimate relationship that causes the damage, but “third variables”, such as degree of willingness, degree of pain and family dynamics.
  28. Those who research child sexual abuse must take non-sexual aspects in consideration while considering judgement.
  29. Even non-traumatic, but still negative, events are minority.
  30. If you are recruiting people who had relationships in childhood or adolescence, don’t make an ad asking if there are “molested” people around, because, that way, people who had positive experiences and don’t feel victimized won’t attend to the study, harming neutrality. After all, people who had positive experiences, such as myself, do not feel “molested”.
  31. Not only the damage of those relationships is not frequent, but is also rarely intense.
  32. How can some researchers say that adult-child intimacy has equal impact in boys and girls… if they aren’t willing to include more boys in the samples?
  33. Studies done before the nineties have subjectivity, imprecision and sampling problems, which leads them to contradict each other.
  34. To solve that problem once and for all, the study authors conducted a meta-analysis using neutral samples: college students. In the college population, there must be a good number of individuals of both genders who may or may not have liked the experience, thus, who may or may not have disclosed or sought treatment.
  35. To be fair, the authors did that meta-analysis by means of literature review. They took studies that were already available and did the math, rather than doing direct interviews. However, their results are validated by other studies done with better methods, one of them, by the way, conducted in Campinas, Brazil.
  36. On United States, half of the population is exposed to college in some way. So, the college population is perfect for that kind of study, in terms of generalization.
  37. Strangely, studies about child sexual abuse using college samples are rare… Why?
  38. This study will only use college samples.
  39. Before anyone becoming “irritated”, this study doesn’t take only forced acts into account. If it did, it wouldn’t conclude the way it concluded. It takes in account “degrees of freedom” and the presence of elements such as penetration and force. Thus, not all cases analyzed in the college population involve violence or coercion, but they also include sexual acts in which the minors engaged willingly.
  40. The study also looks for somatic problems, such as sleep disturbances or gastrointestinal problems, which could be linked to the experience of childhood intimacy.
  41. What’s child sexual abuse? Depending on your doctrine bias, it can be any intimate contact between adult and child, regardless of absence of damage and the kid’s willingness to participate, or it can be only unwanted experiences, since the “abuse” label should only be assigned to cases in which harm is done.
  42. What’s a “child”? For most of the studies revised by the authors, “child” is anyone below age sixteen. For Brazilian law, “child” is anyone under age twelve. However, more than half of the revised studies also claim that situations involving two minors are also abuse, as long as the age gap between them is five years or more (example: thirteen-year-old boy and eight-year-old girl, or twelve-year-old girl and seven-year-old boy).
  43. If we take in consideration all possible definitions of abuse, the amount of cases that can be included in all those definitions is very small.
  44. The cases analyzed by the authors vary in intensity. A simple invitation to do something intimate would already count as abuse. The scale would be: invitation, exhibitionism, fondling, masturbation, oral sex, attempted intercourse and completed intercourse. Putting things that way, one can see how the study can conclude that many cases of abuse end in no damage, because everything under masturbation generally cause no pain or suffering, unless the subject is forced into it.
  45. Damage varies according to intimacy of the act and degree of closeness between the two. An intimate fondling done by someone who’s trusted probably causes no harm, while penetration done by a complete stranger may cause a trauma.
  46. About half of the people who had intimate relationships in childhood or adolescence repeat the experience before adulthood.
  47. Use of force in adult-child relationships or in child-child relationships doesn’t occur even in half of the cases. More than half of the times, the minor isn’t forced.
  48. If a relationship ends up causing harm (by force or penetration, for example), the degree of disadjustment caused by the act per itself is small. The violence associated with the act causes most of the damage.
  49. It’s important to remember that this data refers to general population, not to those who sought help for sexual abuse consequences (who are a minority of the population and whose experiences can not be generalized).
  50. The authors verified the study subjects looking for any of the following symptoms: alcoolism, anxiety, depression, dissociation, eating disorder, hostility, interpersonal problems, sensation of not being in control of their own life, obsessive-compulsive disorder, paranoia, phobia, psychopathy, low self-esteem, sexual disadjustment, social disadjustment, somatization, suicidal tendency.
  51. Two factors that contribute for disadjust are force deployed (rape) and the fact of the victim being a girl (penetration, probably). So, boys tend to suffer less or even not suffer at all in sexual experiences in childhood or adolescence, as long as there’s no force deployed.
  52. The number of forced relationships with minors is small, compared to the number of consented relationships, be it with adults or other minors.
  53. Truthfully, what causes harm to the minor is the violence in the relationship, not the relationship per itself. Eliminating the violent element, there’s no victim. If you are a boy, however.
  54. Boys don’t differ from control group if there was no violence in the relationship they had. But girls, strangely, manifest problems even in consented relationships.
  55. Unwanted intimacy is always harmful.
  56. The chance of harm is higher is there’s penetration. Even more if the act is repeated or if it’s long-lasting. Even more if forced and done by an authority figure, such as the father.
  57. Out of the samples studied, 72% of the girls and 33% of the boys agree that the sexual experiences they had in childhood or adolescence were “negative”. However, 37% of the boys and 11% of the girls agreed that their experiences were “positive”. From that information, we draw that sexual encounters in childhood or adolescence aren’t always negative, which means that it’s not the relationship per itself that causes the damage, but elements that are associated. Plus, that shows that boys react much better.
  58. One of the studies reviewed by the authors made the interviewees classify their sexual experiences in childhood and adolescence in a scale that went from 1 (very positive) to 7 (very negative), in a way that a lower number indicated a better experience. The mean rating for boys was 3.38, while the mean rating for girls was 5.83. So, yes: boys tend to react much better to intimacy with adults or other minors during their childhood and adolescence. That also shows that intimacy before age 18 doesn’t necessarely result in harm.
  59. On one hand, the experience might have felt good when it happened, but how those children see the act after they grow up? 59% of 514 women see those experiences as negative, even if they felt positive at the time they happened, but only 26% of men (118 samples) have the same sensation. On the other hand, 42% of men see those experiences as positive even after reaching adulthood, while 16% of women keep positioning themselves positively towards the positive experiences even after maturing.
  60. It’s very unlikely that relationships before age of consent could harm sexual performance in adult life.
  61. Those who were harmed by the act get over that in some time. That means that permanent damage is also uncommon. That’s equivalent to saying that, when there’s harm, the harm is not typically intense. Traumatic sexual experiences are a very small minority.
  62. After all that was seen, it’s clear that child-child and adult-child intimacy doesn’t cause harm in a lot of times that it occurs. So, therapists who work with minors who had sexual play or relationships shouldn’t assume that those experiences were negative and must ask the minor how do they feel about them. The psychologist mustn’t treat a problem that doesn’t exist. Analogically, parents shouldn’t take their child’s romance as an automatic bad sign.
  63. But one thing is still unclear: if there’s positive and negative relationships, what causes the damage? Of course, factors such as penetration, pain and coercion influence the result negatively, in a way that the sexual experience without those elements may very well be harmless. But how can one explain the disadjustment in people who only report positive experiences?
  64. It seems that the answer resides in family. Besides the minor’s sexual experience, which was positive, family problems unrelated to their sexuality could have caused the disadjustment. So, disadjustment in people with positive experiences can be explained by other factors, such as neglect (letting the child starve or ignoring their cry) and nonsexual abuse (spanking, belting).
  65. That way, if a person had positive sexual experiences in childhood or adolescence, but still shows some sort of psychological problem, it makes more sense to attribute their problem to other factors, rather than the sexual experience.
  66. Some adults were asked if their emotional problems have those relationships they had as minors or current family problems as source. Many report that the relationships no longer affect them, but the family continues bad.
  67. The authors conclude that, in the college population, around 14% of men and 27% of women had sexual intimacy in childhood or adolescence. However, if any of them had any psychological problem, it rarely had roots in that intimacy.
  68. Thus, traumatic involvements are a statistical minority.

  69. So, the affirmation that sexual experiences in childhood or adolescence, specially if not painful or forced, are always harmful is prejudice. They can be harmful, but, statistically, they usually are not and, when they are, the damage is usually small. Trauma caused by sexual experiences are rare.
  70. One third of studied men report that experience was negative, but two thirds say it was not (that is, it could have been positive or neutral). With women, it’s the opposite. However, when damage occurs, it’s normally overcomed.
  71. On the other hand, three in every eight men who had intimate experiences in childhood or adolescence report that the experience was positive. With women, the number is one in ten.
  72. The reason for that is cultural: boys see sexual experiences like an “adventure” or a way to satisfy natural curiosity, but girls, because of social standards built around the female gender, tend to see those experiences as immoral. That’s specially bad if penetration occurs.
  73. Minors can feel pleasure.
  74. Girls tend to feel shame over those encounters, but boys see them as a proof of maturity, specially if interacting with the opposite gender, specially if the woman is older. When the experience isn’t positive, the boy is usually indifferent.
  75. Another reason for the boy to respond better to those encounters is that his body needs less stimulation to feel pleasure. They get involved with the act quicker. It seems that the male gender is more active.
  76. The reactions to the act, when it’s not painful or violent, can easily be attributed to gender roles traditionally attributed to men and women. Men learn in adolescence that they must be manly, libidinous, dominant, in movement. Women are taught to be passive, chaste, sexually reticent. But the world is ridding itself of social roles based on gender.
  77. Why is the number of negative experiences with girls so high? Because, for some reason, they are a more common target of forced sexual experiences. So, it’s not the act per itself, but the pain and violence that causes the harm. Women who respond positively or indifferently didn’t experience nor pain, nor violence.
  78. If on one hand the reactions to sexual experiences were very different between boys and girls, on the other they are very alike, if we only take in consideration the experiences in which the minor was forced. Because the effects are almost the same when coercion is present.
  79. Many people who had sexual experiences in childhood or adolescence and have some sort of emotional disadjustment already had said disadjustment before the experience.
  80. Negative sexual experiences happen more commonly inside the family.
  81. Sometimes, it’s not the father having intimate relationships with children, but children between themselves. Siblings can force each other.
  82. Sexual experiences rarely affect family structure. Usually, it’s family structure that makes those experiences easier to happen. For example: a child who is sexually involved with an adult, hiding in plain sight from their parents, is, certainly, being neglected in other areas as well. Their parents do not care. That’s why the child grows disadjusted, even if the relationship is positive: a relationship like that, in the current society, is a sign of parental negligence.
  83. If your child is going bad at school, there’s a good chance that he is being physically, emotionally or verbally abused, rather sexually abused.
  84. Verbal abuse is more harmful than intimate relationships in childhood or adolescence, according to the study. That’s because verbal abuse is more common and is always violent, while sexual experiences aren’t so common and can be willingly engaged in.
  85. If the relationship happens within family, the chance of harm is higher. It wasn’t my case.
  86. Many times, everything goes well… until someone finds out.
  87. Child-child and adult-child relationships were usually analyzed from a legal and moral bias, rather than empirically.
  88. If there’s no harm, it’s not abuse, from a scientific point of view. So science should not label harmless relationships as abusive. To deserve the “abuse” label, there must be damage somewhere.
  89. Label everything as “abuse” induces the researcher and the reader to presume that the act was negative, even if it was not.
  90. On 18th century, masturbation was immoral. On 19th century, homossexuality was immoral. On 20th century, relationships involving minors are immoral. In this century, maybe people will no longer see them as immoral. I’m sure that it was this clue that sent the conservative Christian right into overdrive.
  91. Treating masturbation like an illness spanwed treatments that caused more harm than benefit, as they treated a problem that was not there. Treating relationships with minors as “sick” makes up for the same effect, if there’s no harm in those relationships. Of course some minors may suffer with the act. But if the minor didn’t suffer, doesn’t need treatment.
  92. Some of our medical definitions have bounds with the laws, which in turn have bounds with customs and, of course, religion.
  93. Masturbation, promisuicity, oral sex and homossexuality were all behaviors once taken for “sick”. Now they are treating child sexuality as sick.
  94. A socially unnacceptable act isn’t necessarely sick.
  95. “For these male college students, 37% viewed their CSA experiences as positive at the time they occurred; 42% viewed these experiences as positive when reflecting back on them; and in the two studies that inquired about positive self-perceived effects, 24% to 37% viewed their CSA experiences as having a positive influence on their current sex lives. Importantly, SA men across all levels of consent (i.e., both willing and unwanted experiences) did not differ from controls in current psychological adjustment, although SA men with unwanted experiences only did, implying that willingness was associated with no impairment to psychological adjustment.” How can “abuse” bring benefit?
  96. If the act isn’t forced, the chance of harm is way smaller. Negative sexual experiences in childhood and adolescence, even if the partners were adults, are statistical minority.
  97. To tell a child “you have been abused” when they don’t feel abused will simply make them ignore you. The experience remains the same. If you try to force the abuse idea through the child, the abuser is you.
  98. Many minors who had those relationships refuse to be called “victims”.
  99. It’s the minor who should judge the experience.
  100. According to the authors, if a minor willingly participated in an act and the act resulted in benefit, the correct term to be employed is “child-child sex” or “adult-child sex”, saving the term “child sexual abuse” for forced or negative experiences. I, however, think that the term “sex” should be replaced with “intimacy”, because “sex” delivers the idea of penetration, which doesn’t always occur.

  101. Another problem is that the current definitions treat children and adolescents as having equal maturity. A five-year-old child is different from a fifteen-year-old adolescent.
  102. Relationships between adult and adolescent are more common and were socially accepted in the past.
  103. There’s no need to presume violence in relationships with minors below age of consent. But that doesn’t imply that the researchers want a change in the laws.
  104. Cases of sexual experiences which occur outside of family before legal age can affect the family if found out, because of judicial intervention. However, the number of minors who tell the secret represents less than ¼ of the cases. Which means that ¾ of the cases are never found out.

9 de novembro de 2017

Feuerbach’s “The Essence of Christianity”.

Filed under: Livros, Passatempos, Saúde e bem-estar — Tags:, , — Yurinho @ 17:01

“The Essence of Christianity” was written by Ludwig Feuerbach. Below are some annotations I made about his work. An annotation reflects what the author thinks about the subject and may or may not reflect what I think about the same subject. Any questions about my personal opinion can be asked in the comments.

  1. Naturally, animals have no religion.

  2. The animal consciousness is individual, while human consciousness is generic, it can generalize information to it’s species, making science possible.

  3. In humans, inner life and public life are different things.

  4. Only humans can have monologues.

  5. Thanks to the ability for generalization, the human being is capable of empathy.

  6. Religion is a way to know yourself.

  7. We are limited by the boundaries of our consciousness.

  8. A human being is only complete if it has reason, will and feeling.

  9. Reason, love and will are the most important characteristics in a human being.

  10. A human who doesn’t think, doesn’t love or doesn’t desire isn’t actually human, but another kind of animal.

  11. The consciousness sets the human apart from other animals, but it’s not the only thing that does so, because an animal with consciousness will likely develop other characteristics that set him further apart from other life forms.

  12. However, the presence of human consciousness doesn’t make humans automatically better, as other animals aren’t worse than humans in every aspect.

  13. Once you have reason, love or desire, you can’t rid yourself of those attributes; they are for life.

  14. Music is the language of feeling.

  15. Is love a human attribute… or the other way around?

  16. If love is a human attribute, submitted to men, how come people die for love, something that is in clear conflict with a person’s best interest (survival)?

  17. If love can exercise coercion on a person, then it must be something higher.

  18. The same goes for reason: a person can get so involved in studies to the point of forgetting about water, food or sleep.

  19. The same goes for desire: fasting is a desire (for control) submitting another desire (for food).

  20. What happens in most religions is that the human being, feeling that love, reason and desire are stronger than him, but are put within him, comes to conclude that those things could only have been put in him by a higher power, which can be one deity for all attributes or one for each.

  21. There’s not enough proof that body and “soul” or emotion and “soul” are different things.

  22. Humans attribute existential value to things that entice their intellectual affinity, which could explain why some people worship the sun or the moon.

  23. It’s alright to love the whole human species, but loving just yourself is vanity.

  24. If something exists, it deserves to be known.

  25. If something exists, it has value.

  26. Even if we are all humans, there’s no need to attribute your own flaws to everyone else.

  27. What is impossible for me may be possible for someone else.

  28. We won’t know if it’s impossible if we don’t try.

  29. We can’t assume that something is limitless just because we don’t see it’s boundaries.

  30. A person is described by her qualities, not by her lacks.

  31. If you accept your limitations, you will likely get used to them and live the best way you can.

  32. Your world is limited by your knowledge.

  33. Noticing the mistake you committed is proof of intelligence.

  34. Practicing philosophy is like having a monologue.

  35. In a natural state, a human would conceive a god that is pure feeling.

  36. Conceiving a god that is pure feeling is like having a feeling (faith) worshiping other feelings, which makes it a cult of oneself.

  37. To get rid of natural religion is to get rid of feeling.

  38. But if I can’t rid myself of feeling while the natural religion can only worship feeling, then religion can become a cult of oneself.

  39. Humans aren’t the only creatures to enjoy music.

  40. All religions have a degree of judgment: what I can or can not worship.

  41. You need to know God to worship him.

  42. Religion comes before philosophy, in the sense that we believe before we start questioning.

  43. Feeling isn’t “super-human”.

  44. Being agnostic is being atheist without the courage to admit so.

  45. The only Christians who can safely say that God exists are those who actually had the experience of God’s acts in their life, but personal experience can not be generalized, leaving the Christian out of proof.

  46. Existence is offensive.

  47. A person may get bored of God if she gets bored of the religion she follows.

  48. Saying that God exists, but can’t show himself as he is, makes religion impossible for as long as religion (re-connection) wants God as he truly is.

  49. Separating “God himself” and “God as he appears to me” is skepticism.

  50. If animals could worship, they would imagine gods with animal attributes.

  51. The tendency to have faith is natural in humans.

  52. Having doubts about the God I worship is having doubts about my own faith, which is, in a way, having doubts about myself.

  53. If God doesn’t need temples, why are temples all around and why are they so magnificent?

  54. The tendency to attribute supernatural causes to natural effects is what makes superstition.

  55. Whatever I can not understand probably does not exist anyway.

  56. The distance between God and man is always much bigger than the degree of similarity between both.

  57. A lot of shameful interpretations of God are actually result of prejudice against atheism: if I must believe, I’ll believe in anything.

  58. As a compilation of documents made by different people at different times, it’s natural that some biblical verses contradict each other.

  59. Religion and theology are different things.

  60. One person can be closer to God than another person is.

  61. The Trinity is profoundly contradictory.

  62. Catholic Church places Maria where Jesus was supposed to be, in a scale of importance.

  63. God is very real for those who live their religion through sacrifices, such as celibacy and fasting.

  64. The dogma according to which a perfect God can only love himself contradicts revelation and contributes to the image of a selfish God.

  65. Trinity is an excuse to worship Jesus, a behavior not endorsed by Jesus himself.

  66. If God really doesn’t care about a behavior other than faith, what’s the point of acting virtuously?

  67. One of the things that leads us to faith is the lack of sense in the world; there’s a need for a rational being that is in charge.

  68. Freedom is for those who think.

  69. If God is God, he can only be one, not many.

  70. If you no longer believes in God the way your religion tells you to, then you no longer share that religion.

  71. Religion never contributed to science.

  72. Only sensible beings are capable of mercy.

  73. Real love implies being happy when seeing that the loved person is happy.

  74. The biblical texts about love are so pure that it’s hard to believe that they aren’t inspired.

  75. If God didn’t love, he would forgive no one.

  76. Theology often separates love from God.

  77. If no one loved, no one would suffer.

  78. If God didn’t love, he wouldn’t operate miracles.

  79. If you don’t love, you have no heart.

  80. If Christ suffered for sake of others, why are Christians so reluctant to do the same?

  81. Socrates and Jesus, reason and passion: the first gladly takes the chalice, the latter would rather not, if possible (Matthew 26:39).

  82. It’s strange that theology says that God has no emotions.

  83. Christianity and theology have different gods.

  84. Only a heartless being can not suffer.

  85. You shouldn’t deny a person’s right to love themselves; that’s equivalent to telling the person to suicide.

  86. We all need goals and a purpose.

  87. Worshiping Mary closes a hole in the trinity: a Father, a Son, but the mother is nowhere to be seen.

  88. Only a mother can really love a son.

  89. God is more real for those who need him.

  90. The arguments against Mary can extent to the trinity.

  91. Trinity makes no difference for the Christian morals.

  92. If you don’t love a woman, you can’t love a man.

  93. Asking saints to deliver a request to God is idolatry, because you end up giving more value to the saint (who can ask something to God and supposedly get it from him) than to God himself.

  94. Worshiping Jesus as God’s image on Earth is idolatry.

  95. Communication is as necessary as thought is.

  96. It’s easier to endure hardships by talking about them to someone who can listen.

  97. Knowing yourself is needed for a correct understanding of nature.

  98. The biggest pain is feeling love and not being reciprocated.

  99. Reason starts with the operations of questioning and answering.

  100. It’s reasonable to think that evil always existed.

  101. If idealism cuts connection to real life, it will become useless.

  102. If kindness and politeness do not work, violence is needed.

  103. The conception of personality can only be achieved after the conception of body.

  104. Men and women are completely different, not just superficially.

  105. Gender isn’t a body attribute.

  106. There are two personality archetypes: male and female.

  107. A gender doesn’t treat the opposite gender like itself.

  108. Every person has a bit of both genders.

  109. Gender difference is what morals are rooted on.

  110. Separating humans in male and female was the wisest thing nature has done.

  111. Creation was the first miracle.

  112. To deny a miracle is to deny that God makes any difference in our lives.

  113. Paulo didn’t believe in trinity.

  114. Theology is bad quality anthropology.

  115. Matter and world are two concepts that are impossible to separate.

  116. Polytheism is the first step towards science.

  117. People who claim to believe only in the “essential” may very well believe in what’s more convenient to them.

  118. It’s easy to become fanatic if you give excess importance to faith alone.

  119. For a person who is blinded by faith, everything is idolatry.

  120. Believing in Hell reveals desire for revenge.

  121. Christians aren’t the only people capable of love and, in fact, they are capable of great amounts of hate.

  122. Religious conflicts are more hideous than conflicts between nations.

  123. A Christian may love just because God said so, meaning that his “love” is actually fear of burning in Hell.

  124. Christ wanted us to love each other, no matter what.

  125. If a person doesn’t love, isn’t Christian.

  126. No such thing as a “philosophy of creation.”

  127. Prayer reveals that a person believes in God as someone who is closer than any human.

  128. If the prayer wasn’t tended to, the believer may think “it wasn’t in God’s plans”.

  129. A loved person doesn’t need violence to have a need satisfied by the lover.

  130. Denying resurrection is denying Christ.

  131. To give sacred status to both marriage and celibacy is contradictory.

  132. Protestantism separates faith and public life.

  133. It would be harder to believe in Jesus if he didn’t bleed.

  134. Proving that Christ didn’t operate any miracle is proving that he is no Messiah.

  135. Everyone sins, but there are sins that are worse than others.

  136. We are different because those differences are needed, otherwise there would have only one human in the world.

  137. Primitive Christianity didn’t celebrate birthdays, but did celebrate funerals.

  138. A Christian can die everyday, by torturing himself with fasting and other sacrifices.

  139. But you really need to die only once.

  140. Nothing wrong in two single people lust over each other.

  141. Marriage is a weakness.

  142. You can only improve something if it’s already good in some sense; if it was completely bad, you would throw it away, rather than improving it.

  143. A lot of people believe in God due to fear of death.

  144. A believer who starts having doubts may face great guilt and anxiety.

  145. A Christian is already losing it if he starts thinking that prayer is pointless.

  146. There will have no marriage in Heaven, but that doesn’t mean that there will have no sex.

  147. A sign of fanaticism: disregarding all friendships with humans as “false”.

  148. An animal who doesn’t need others to survive is, of course, the only one in it’s species.

  149. There’s one religion for each conceived heaven.

  150. You can guess the moral values of a religion by looking at it’s afterlife promises.

  151. For as long as there are different nations, there will have different religions.

  152. Science can not prove that God doesn’t exist for as long as it speaks in a way that laymen can not understand.

  153. Why people who never had contact with Judaism and Christianity sometimes live way better than those who did?

  154. It’s possible to understand nature without appealing to religion.

  155. Nature is beautiful.

8 de novembro de 2017

A “Carta a Einstein, 1932” de Freud.

“Carta a Einstein, 1932” foi escrita por Freud. Abaixo, algumas afirmações feitas no texto. Elas podem ou não corresponder ao que eu penso sobre o assunto. Perguntas sobre minha opinião podem ser feitas nos comentários.

  1. Um problema de época: é possível um futuro sem guerra?
  2. O avanço tecnológico não é capaz de parar a guerra.
  3. Um físico não tem estudo o bastante sobre o sentimento humano, geralmente, então ele deve procurar um entendido no assunto antes de formar sua opinião.
  4. Einstein escreveu uma carta a Freud pra saber se ele teria uma resposta ao problema, já que Freud estava ganhando fama de especialista em instintos humanos.
  5. Uma resposta imparcial a um problema precisa depender o mínimo possível da política.
  6. Pelo menos para propósitos de paz mundial, deveria haver um legislativo e um judiciário internacionais, compostos pelos líderes de cada nação, mas Einstein admite que isso é superficial: não adianta uma regra perfeita que não será seguida.
  7. Um tribunal pode ter suas decisões anuladas por pressões não relacionadas ao direito.
  8. Um tribunal internacional teria que ser superior às nações que o constituem e, portanto, incontestável.
  9. Um dos obstáculos à ideia é o desejo de poder.
  10. O desejo de poder leva uma nação a se intrometer nos negócios da outra.
  11. Guerra é um negócio, existem empresas disso.
  12. Por que a população não resiste à decisão de entrar em guerra com outra?
  13. Soldados fazem profissão da guerra, mas também apenas acatam as ordens sem pensar se a guerra é necessária.
  14. As pessoas são levadas a crer que a guerra é necessária (mesmo quando não é) porque escolas, mídia e por vezes a igreja são controlados por uma minoria que lucra com a guerra.
  15. É assim que uma minoria manipula pensamentos e emoções.
  16. Como, ainda assim, uma pessoa chega a um grau de furor capaz de morrer por uma causa que não existe?
  17. Ódio e desejo de destruição são inatos ao ser humano, o qual sente prazer em odiar.
  18. Quando uma pessoa descobre como incitar o ódio de alguém, já obteve uma parcela de controle sobre esse alguém.
  19. Será que é possível evoluir de forma a superar permanentemente o ódio? Haverá um tempo em que o ser humano será incapaz de odiar sua própria espécie ou seus conterrâneos?
  20. Os intelectuais também podem ser manipulados pela mídia.
  21. Guerra não é a única forma de ódio. O ódio pode aparecer sob diferentes formas. Mas a guerra ainda é sua manifestação mais drástica e mais cruel.
  22. Einstein estava completamente convicto de que Freud podia responder suas perguntas.
  23. Um mesmo objeto pode ser analisado por mais de uma ciência.
  24. Um cientista pode não saber lidar com questões políticas.
  25. Direito e violência apenas parecem antagônicos; não é possível fazer uma lei valer sem armas.
  26. Humanos são animais.
  27. Quando as armas foram inventadas, a inteligência começou a tomar o lugar da força bruta na resolução de conflito.
  28. A forma mais segura de acabar com a violação do direito é matando os infratores, o que não significa que essa é a melhor forma de lidar com o crime.
  29. Matar um “inimigo” traz prazer ao assassino, por satisfazer seu impulso animal para a morte.
  30. Mas as pessoas por vezes pensam: “melhor torná-lo útil a nós do que matá-lo.”
  31. Pode ser que você poupe um inimigo ao torná-lo útil, mas talvez você sinta medo de uma possível vingança.
  32. Evolução modificou as formas de opressão, mas o mais forte ainda oprime o mais fraco até hoje.
  33. Mais vários fracos podem se juntar pra eliminar um forte.
  34. Quando vários fracos depõem um forte, estabelecem um novo direito em conjunto.
  35. Mas isso também é violência.
  36. Se a comunidade é quebrada, outro forte aparecerá para oprimir.
  37. A fonte de poder de uma comunidade são os sentimentos comuns em cada membro.
  38. Para que uma comunidade possa subsistir, cada indivíduo deve abrir mão de um pouco de sua liberdade pessoal.
  39. Uma comunidade perfeitamente equilibrada é uma ideia apenas.
  40. A comunidade, para ser perfeitamente equilibrada, precisaria eliminar a hierarquia em todas as suas formas.
  41. A menos que a hierarquia deixe de existir, os mais altos nessa hierarquia continuarão ditando leis para os que estão mais abaixo nela.
  42. Além disso, os mais altos na hierarquia podem querer se colocar acima das leis, de forma que as leis que valem para o povo não possam valer para os governantes.
  43. E também tem a justa violência da população que se sente oprimida e que tenta obter sua dignidade de volta.
  44. Nada disso impede a busca por soluções pacíficas.
  45. De um ponto de vista realista, algumas guerras tiveram boas consequências, mas algumas trouxeram só prejuízo à ambas as partes.
  46. A multitude de governos facilita a guerra, de forma que poucos governantes para grandes quantidades de território, obtidas pela anexação, diminuiria a chance de guerra.
  47. Ironicamente, isso quer dizer que paz pode ser trazida depois de uma guerra, na qual o vencedor conquista o território e o povo inimigos.
  48. Difícil é manter o território unido.
  49. Guerras são raras, mas destrutivas.
  50. Se houver uma autoridade central para arbitrar os conflitos entre as nações, pode ser que a guerra seja evitada.
  51. Uma organização do tipo “Nações Unidas” é inútil se ninguém a escutar.
  52. As duas forças que mantém a sociedade unida: violência (lei) e vínculos emocionais.
  53. No entanto, se não houver violência, uma comunidade pode permanecer unida pelos vínculos emocionais.
  54. Nações cristãs podem guerrear entre si, fazendo alianças com nações de outras religiões.
  55. O nacionalismo opera contra a paz entre as nações.
  56. Paz seria mais fácil de obter se o mundo fosse comunista.
  57. Mas estabelecer um comunismo mundial é um objetivo tão distante quanto difícil de alcançar.
  58. Pondo as coisas dessa forma, parece que paz mundial jamais será uma possibilidade.
  59. Só existem dois tipos de impulso: união e agressão.
  60. Nenhum dos dois é fundamentalmente ruim, ambos são necessários à sobrevivência.
  61. Um instinto, como sobrevivência, pode ter uma parcela de cada impulso.
  62. Uma pessoa pode declarar guerra por várias razões, as quais nem sempre são declaradas.
  63. É possível agir agressivamente por causas “nobres”, mas também é possível fingir que se está destruindo por uma boa causa.
  64. O impulso destrutivo é também suicida.
  65. Pelo menos em nossa sociedade, não é possível eliminar a agressividade humana.
  66. Trazer a paz pela violência já é manifestação de agressividade.
  67. Embora não seja possível eliminar a agressividade, é possível controlar suas formas de expressão.
  68. Evitar a guerra requer prática sistemática do amor e o estabelecimento de interesses comuns.
  69. Os governantes devem ser educados sem censura.
  70. Os instintos devem se submeter à razão, o que não implica eliminá-los, mas procurar formas aceitáveis de expressão.
  71. Mas esperar que todos submetam seus instintos à razão é esperar uma utopia; nem todos podem fazer isso.
  72. É mais fácil evitar a guerra pelo exercício do amor e do companheirismo, porque esperar que todos se tornem racionais é loucura.
  73. A guerra pode até se tornar comum, mas não se tornará aceitável.
  74. Isso porque a guerra mata, humilha, nos força a lutar uns contra os outros, destrói nossos bens e nos causa miséria.
  75. Conforme o poder destrutivo cresce, a guerra se torna uma ameaça a todos os seres vivos.
  76. Não vale a pena fazer guerra, mas muitos ainda a vêem como aceitável.
  77. Com o tanto que haja ao menos uma nação que pose um risco às outras, nenhuma nação parará de investir em forças armadas.
  78. Civilização trouxe tanto males quanto benefícios.
  79. Não é possível dizer aonde o processo de civilização nos levará.
  80. A civilização favorece a repressão sexual.
  81. O processo de evolução cultural (civilização) pode muito bem levar o ser humano à extinção.
  82. Sensações agradáveis aos nossos ancestrais são agora intoleráveis ao homem moderno.
  83. Direcionar agressividade para dentro tem consequências boas (você não está machucando ninguém) e ruins (você provavelmente ficará doente).
  84. Apesar de o processo de condicionamento cultural trazer consequências negativas, ao menos ele serve para nos afastar do desejo por guerra.

Freud’s “Letter to Einstein, 1932”.

“Letter to Einstein, 1932” was written by Freud. Below are some annotations I made about that text. They may or may not reflect what I think about this subject. Questions about my personal opinion can be asked in the comments.

  1. Is it possible a future without war?
  2. Technological progress isn’t enough to stop war.
  3. A physicist, usually, does not have enough study about human feeling, so he should seek an expert before forming his opinion.
  4. Einstein wrote a letter to Freud to see if he had an answer to the problem, since Freud had the reputation of expert in human instincts.
  5. An impartial answer for a given problem needs to depend as little as possible on politics.
  6. At least for world peace purposes, there should be an international legislature and judiciary system composed by leaders of each nation, but Einstein admits that it’s a superficial fix: it’s pointless to have a perfect solution that wouldn’t be adopted.
  7. A court may have its decisions undone by pressures that are unrelated to the law.
  8. An international court would have to be superior to the nations that participate in it, in a way that one couldn’t argue against it’s decisions.
  9.  One of the obstacles to the idea is the desire for power.
  10. The desire for power leads one nation to meddle in the affairs of another nation.
  11. War is a business.
  12. Why is the population so passive when the government decides that it’s time for war?
  13. Soldiers have a job in the war, but they just act accordingly, rather than thinking if war really is necessary.
  14. People are led to believe that war is necessary (even when it is not) because schools, media, and sometimes church are controlled by a minority that profits from war.
  15. That’s how the minority manipulates thoughts and feelings.
  16. How, however, can a person reach such a degree of fury to the point of dying for a cause that does not even exist?
  17. Hate and desire for destruction are innate to the human being, who takes pleasure in hating.
  18. When a person discovers how to incite someone’s hatred, he or she has already gained some control over that person.
  19. Is it possible to evolve and leave hate behind? Will humanity ever be hate-free?
  20. Intellectuals can also be manipulated by the media.
  21. War isn’t the only form of hate. It can show itself under several forms. But war is still it’s most drastic and cruel manifestation.
  22. Einstein was fully conviced that Freud could answer to his questions.
  23. The same object can be analyzed by more than one science.
  24. A scientist may very well be unprepared to deal with politics.
  25. Law and violence only seem antagonistic; it is not possible to enforce a law without weapons.
  26. Humans are animals.
  27. When weapons were invented, intelligence began to replace brute force in the task of solving conflicts.
  28. The safest way to end law infringement is by killing offenders, but that doesn’t make it the best solution for crime.
  29. Killing an “enemy” causes pleasure on the assassin, by satisfying it’s instinct to kill.
  30. But people sometimes think: “Better to make him useful to us, instead of killing him.”
  31. You can spare an enemy’s life by making him useful, but you may still dread the possibility of revenge.
  32. Evolution has modified the forms of oppression, but the strong still oppresses the weak to this day, be it with sheer brutality or cunning.
  33. But several weak people can work together to destroy the oppressing party.
  34. When several weak ones manage to destroy a strong one, they establish a new right together.
  35. But that’s also violence.
  36. If the community is broken, they will return to the original state: a new strong one will raise and oppress the weak.
  37. A community’s source of power are the common feelings in each community member.
  38. To keep the community alive and in shape, each individual must give up some of his personal freedom.
  39. A completely balanced community is an idea without empirical examples.
  40. The community, to be perfectly balanced, would have to eliminate hierarchy in all of its forms.
  41. Unless hierarchy ceases to exist, the dominant classes will impose the laws with little participation of the submitted classes.
  42. Plus, those who are high in the hierarchy may want to put themselves above the laws, so that the laws that are valid for the people are not valid for the rulers.
  43. And there’s the pretty fair violence exercised by the oppressed people who want it’s dignity back.
  44. None of this nullifies the possibility of peaceful solutions.
  45. From a realistic point of view, many wars brought good consequences, but some brought only harm to both parties.
  46. The multitude of governments makes war easier to happen, meaning that a world with just a few rulers for large amounts of territory, obtained by annexation, would lessen the chance of war.
  47. Ironically, that means that peace can be established after a war, if the nation that won claims the enemy territory and it’s people.
  48. It is difficult to keep an unified territory if the people have striking differences.
  49. War is rare, but destructive.
  50. If we make a central authority to arbitrate conflicts between nations, war may be avoided.
  51. An organization like the United Nations is pointless if people don’t listen to it.
  52. The two forces that guarantee a society’s exitence: violence (law enforcement) and emotional attachments.
  53. However, if there is no violence, a community can continue existing by emotional bonds alone.
  54. Christian nations can have wars between each other, while making allies with other religions.
  55. Nationalism poses a problem in the quest for world peace.
  56. Peace would be easier if the world was communist.
  57. But establishing worldwide communism is a goal as distant as it is difficult to achieve.
  58. Putting things that way, it looks like world peace won’t ever come.
  59. There are only two kinds of impulse: Eros (love) and Thanatos (hate), union and aggression
  60. Neither is fundamentally bad, both are needed for survival.
  61. An instinct, such as self-preservation, can have a bit of both.
  62. A person can declare war for several reasons, which are not always declared.
  63. It’s possible to act in a destructive manner for reasons that are deemed “noble”, but it’s also possible to pretend to act in a “noble” manner when all that you want is destruction.
  64. The destructive impulse is also suicidal.
  65. At least in our society, it is not possible to eliminate human aggressiveness.
  66. Bringing peace through violence is already a manifestation of aggressiveness.
  67. Even if we can’t eliminate aggresiveness, it’s possible to control it’s manifestations.
  68. To avoid war, we must exercise love and the establish common interests.
  69. The rulers must be educated free from censorship.
  70. Instincts must submit to reason, which does not mean that we have to eliminate them, but rather seek acceptable forms of expression for them.
  71. But expecting everyone to submit their instincts to reason is to expect an utopia; not everyone is fit for doing that.
  72. It’s easier to avoid war by exercising love and companionship, because expecting everyone to be rational is madness.
  73. War may become common, but it will not become acceptable.
  74. That’s because war kills, humiliates, forces us to fight against each other, destroys our property and causes us misery.
  75. As the destructive power grows, war is threat to all human beings.
  76. War is not worth it, but many still see it as acceptable.
  77. For as long as there’s one nation that poses a threat to others, no nation will drop military power.
  78. The process of cultural evolution had good and bad consequences.
  79. We can not predict where that “evolution” (civilization) will take us.
  80. Civilization encourages sexual repression.
  81. The process of cultural conditioning may very well cause human extinction.
  82. Sensations that were considered pleasurable by our ancestors are now intolerable to modern men.
  83. Turning aggression to the inside has consequences, both good (you aren’t hurting others) and bad (you will likely hurt yourself).
  84. Although the process of cultural conditioning has negative consequences, at least it serves to drive us away from the desire for war.

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