A few months ago I finished up reading Napoleon: A Life by Andrew Roberts. After finishing War and Peace earlier, I wanted to read a more sypathetic take on Napoleon and I honestly didn’t know a lot about the man’s life outside the basics I learned in high school and university.
As the title to this post suggests, this isn’t a review of the book but something that jumped out at me in the course of reading it. I wil say though that I very much recommend the book for those that are interested in learning more about Napoleon. It is a sympathetic look at his life but not one that glosses over his many blemishes.
It is often observed that life can hardly be considered a gift or a blessing for the poor and those who suffer through disease, deformity or just terrible luck. That only one who has a generally comfortable existence relative to their situation could think so. The thing I notice about to the contrary with even the most downtrodden, is a determined desire to live; to maintain their existence however pitiful. The threshold of comfort below which life ceases to be worth living seems to be incredibly low.
This is so even for people that drop from a very high standard of living to low one. The people that I most often hear about ending their life tend to be people living historically wealthy and successful lives. The factors for giving up their life tend to vary, from mental illness such as depression, to public disgrace or out of desperation to end the suffering of a particularly vicious illness. I cannot think of a time when I’ve heard of someone ending their life simply for having a low standard of living.
None of the previous paragraph is the least bit academic and I could be entirely wrong about it but my instincts and experience suggest otherwise. My purpose for opening this way is just a vehicle for some thoughts on living and suffering in life.
I had the idea to write this much earlier this year but like many ideas it remained a (very short) draft and nothing more. With problems with computers, family and a recent return to my homeland, many posts that would have been have not been. Recent events, particularly those in Charlottesville got me thinking about it again.
I will class this as a ramble because as I write, I know where I want to go but I’m not sure how I’ll get there. I do want to make clear that this is not a personal attack on Spencer himself. Read on as I elaborate on this and see where I go with it.
I was inspired by a recent online discussion (discussion is being charitable), to put some of my disorganised thoughts on healthcare down in something close to a coherent form. Well after finishing, I hope it can be described as such.
Suppose I were to tell you that I didn’t believe the theory of evolution. After getting past your initial incredulity you might as why that is, given all the evidence and scientific research that has been done. I would respond that while there is certainly evidence, it doesn’t come up to a standard that I would accept. I would tell you than in order to believe it, I would have to personally witness it. That is, I would have to witness with my own eyes, a species mutating into another. If you’re familiar enough with the evolutionary process you would tell me that simply was not possible. As it would take far, far more time than a single human could ever live on this earth. I would respond that nonetheless, this is what I require in order to believe it.
Read on and I’ll explain.
I have just been posting or reposting a great many articles as the few people who read this blog might have noticed. I don’t intend to do this any more as I believe I have got together most of what I once had elsewhere in one place.
I believe from now forward I will be reposting what I do for other sites here just in case it goes down where it was originally posted. The articles originally from Another-Castle.com had to be fished out of a sql file and then needed some formating before they could be reposted and this took a long time. It might not ever be read but it is stuff I worked on and you never know when it might become useful.
Another problem of late has been my home computer hasn’t been working which has meant I have only had time during breaks at work to post here which has meant a lack of what was almost consistently a weekly post.
This article was originally published at Another-Castle.com
I did a lot of these but as they are mostly just posting YouTube videos, I didn’t want to go through and save all of them. This was my first and one of my favourites and is a good example of the format.