Friday, January 25, 2013
Opportunity and Opportunism
The NYT article and accompanying video were unnerving. The evangelicals in supporting an atmosphere that was already extremely hostile to homosexuality spoke in the same language of Hitler's earliest followers, that is, the language of intending to take over the world! The language of smug self-righteousness. I'm being redundant. Very large amounts of money from across the USA were targeting Uganda and other African countries as being ripe for the spread of their particular brand of Christianity. Too many fanatics on the loose! Not good for the future.
My last comments have to do with opportunism. Certain animals seem to be flexible enough in their habits that they can adapt to a wide variety of conditions under pressure. Ravens, for example, and pigeons and rats seem to be able to eat most anything when they choose to live in close association with humans. I'm used to calling them opportunistic. When I looked up the word, nearly every source gave it very bad connotations, essentially meaning 'taking advantage of unexpected opportunities without regard for the effects on others." In other words, selfishness. I've read a lot about the presence of altruism in humans and other animals. I doubt that invertebrates can have a philosophy of altruism, but there are many examples of animal behavior in which individuals and groups sacrifice their own interests for the sake of the survival of the species.
This has been a rather loose statement in response to some ideas that collided in my brain on a warm, foggy morning. Some of the issues are definitely worth further exploration and careful expression. I'm working on it.