Why do humans sometimes act inhumanely?  

Posted by Plato Greybeard

     This topic is the most unpleasant we have had occasion to examine at Plato's Academy. In everything we have discussed prior to today, reasonable individuals could differ on the meaning and significance of the questions presented. But I suspect that we will all be in agreement that, while humans sometimes do act inhumanely toward other humans, it is a despicable act.

     The examples of such behavior are easy to come by. From the Holocaust in the 20th century to slavery, the Inquisition, genocide, lynchings, serial killers, gladiator fights and crucifixions, the list spans all recorded history. Since it is so prevalent, and at the same time so abhorrent, why does it exist at all?

     Great teachers throughout the ages have spoken against it. Moses. Jesus. Buddha. Mohammad. Every decent human being condemns it, yet it continues to this day. Why?

     Why indeed? Do humans treat other humans inhumanely because they seek revenge, to inflict punishment, because they hate or do they truly hold a belief system that justifies torture, maiming or taking another's life? Is it possible that human beings are innately predisposed to act in such a vile manner and only refrain from doing so because of the moderating influence of society?

     Does the influence of literature, art and representations on stage and screen help perpetuate such evil acts?

     Finally we come to the most perplexing and unanswerable question of them all: what can we as individuals and as a society do to stop, or at least stem the tide, of inhuman behaviors?

What is more powerful, Love or Hate?  

Posted by Plato Greybeard

      Emotions rank right up there with consciousness itself as one of the great mysteries of the inner workings and hidden mechanisms of the human mind. Why do we have them? What purpose do they serve? Are they controllable? Regardless, two of the strongest emotions are love and hate. So, the question is, which of the two is stronger or more powerful?

     Perhaps we could begin with the difficult task of defining terms. Not that agreement is likely, but think of love as a positive feeling for someone or something outside one's self and hate as a negative feeling for someone or something outside one's self. Of course, it can be said that one loves or hates him/herself, but for our purposes, let's consider only the external aspects of the two emotions.

     When we reflect on these two at the same time, it is easy to consider them as opposites, like two sides of the same coin. But are they really? If they were, you could not have one without the other: it would be impossible to love without hating, and vice versa. How often is this demonstrated in our daily lives?

     It might be more constructive to consider apathy as the opposite of both love and hate. If this is true, it would be possible to experience one without the other, each existing independently based on its source.

     But this raises an interesting question. What is the source of love and hate? Do they arise from the same source within the brain/mind? Is one more fundamental than the other?

     It is also easy to apply that other great dichotomy of “good" and "bad" to our consideration of love and hate. In an ideal world, all love would be good and all hate would be bad. But how often do we see examples of love turning destructive and good coming from hate?

     Who do we love or hate and why? Do these feelings change over time, and if so why? How do we express our love or hate? John Hinckley, Jr. expressed his love, or at least his obsession, with Jodie Foster in a most unfortunate way.

     Which holds more power, building and accomplishing through love or destroying through hate?

Extending Second Life Relationships into Real Life  

Posted by Plato Greybeard

Plato Greybeard did not attend this discussion.  It was moderated by Plato's Academy good friend, Pamala Clift.  Plato himself was off extending his Second Life relationship into Real Life by visiting his SL partner, Violette, in her home town and country!