Sunday, October 17, 2010
....and a "Birthday Party".
On the existential view, to understand what a human being is it is not enough to know all the truths that natural science—including the science of psychology—could tell us. The dualist who holds that human beings are composed of independent substances—“mind” and “body”—is no better off in this regard than is the physicalist, who holds that human existence can be adequately explained in terms of the fundamental physical constituents of the universe. Existentialism does not deny the validity of the basic categories of physics, biology,psychology, and the other sciences (categories such as matter,causality, force, function, organism, development, motivation, and soon). It claims only that human beings cannot be fully understood in terms of them. Nor can such an understanding be gained by supplementing our scientific picture with a moral one. Categories of moral theory such as intention, blame,responsibility, character, duty, virtue, and the like do capture important aspects of the human condition, but neither moral thinking (governed by the norms of the good and the right) nor scientific thinking (governed by the norm of truth)suffices.
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Today, would have been my father's 97th birthday. His physical body past away, nearly 22 years ago in November of 1988. I try to focus on all the good memories and then go for a walk, thankful for the day, and even go and buy a piece of birthday cake. Well, I figure 1/2 of my genes came from him and since he cannot eat a piece of cake.......and that spiritually he's at the table...I'll eat the cake and that way we've shared the day and the cake.
Plus, I get three birthdays parties a year, with two birthdays existentialism. 1/2 of a cake to celebrate them and a entire cake on my birthday.
So, I turn the emptness into something good and enjoyable, a positive. It is better than going to a grave and standing alone in a field for 15 minutes.
I celebrate my Mom's birthday this way too, and then my birthday as well where they are invited.
The rest of the year, when occassionally they cross my toughts. I think of Dad out mowing the yard or Mom working in the garden and canning; somewhere out in West Virginia, in that place called Appalachia (Almost Heaven). As well as thoughts about my Aunts or Uncles or even Grandparents.
Those individuals were part of my life, just because "they are not here physically" their memory is a part of my life.
So, Happy Birthday Dad!