An English In Kentucky


















Tuesday September 10th 2019Tim Candler9


     Human Nature. Think I'm prepared to argue that if Human Nature was an element it would be more like the element Oxygen. The primary reason for my argument rests on the idea that I don't think the Ancient Greeks were right when they followed Socrates' suggestion that only people possessed the capacity to reason, and they went on to assure everyone that we were basically a combination of spiritedness and passion. In us people the role of the spirit was to manage the passions, and sure enough the best life was one in which being reasonable ruled, which naturally was why philosophers were the highest types of Human Being. Didn't stop there for the Ancient Greeks. They went on about us being conjugal animals, which meant mostly male dominated households, clans, tribes and so on. And we were political animals, which meant we could develop larger and larger complex societies. And unlike the animals we had imagination that was prone to take pleasure in seeing accurate likenesses which meant it was rather important for us to be able to tell the difference between things and because we had reason we could do this so that we could get ahead with giving names to things that looked alike, a valuable asset for a creature. All of which 'meant' we weren't just flopping around like Dinosaurs waiting, we were up and about, thinking about stuff, and we are always going somewhere definite, otherwise the passions usurp Spirit and we might just as well be Three Toed Sloths. The Ancient Greek idea of spiritedness has rung through the ages, it's the mysterious guiding light that passeth full comprehension but always very positive, a wet rag, if a wet rag ever sat up and said something.


     Fairly certain the Ancient Greeks set out their ideas about Human Nature more cogently than I have tried to, but the point is those ancient ideas are still very dominant in Western Society. You can hear it all the time. "Why send people to Mars?" The answer always seems to ruffle scientific and product placement possibilities like Tang, before settling on "We can't help ourselves, it's Human Nature to explore." Quite certain everyone knows about Oxygen but need to make sure that I know it. Oxygen is an atom called O. An atom is a nucleus with one or more electrons bonded to the nucleus. A nucleus is made up of protons and neutrons, except hydrogen that doesn't have any neutrons in its nucleus. An electron is sub-atomic particle that has a negative charge. This negative charge is why electrons are bonded to the positive charge in the protons of the nucleus. The O element wasn't formed in the Big Bang it was first created in massive stars when the Universe was fairly young. Today it is the third most common element in the Universe. 21% of the air we breath is O, 78% is nitrogen and there are varying amounts of carbon dioxide and methane and there are others. The vast mass of O in the universe is bonded to other elements. Bonding to other elements is something O does very easily and quickly. All of the O we breath has come from and continues to come from plants on land and in the oceans. Without O to breath you and I can't live for more than a couple of minutes. "What in all that's reasonable has this got to do with Human Nature." A tad tangential, I'd agree.


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