Monday, October 08, 2007

homo irrationalis non est homo

In ancient Greece, deformed babies were abandoned to die on mountaintops. Ironically, this is the culture that called non-Greeks "barbarians".

I thought of this while waiting to cross the railroad tracks on my way to work this morning. Next to me was one of those "special ed" mini school buses. The bus was empty except for one child in a wheelchair who clearly had something wrong with him.

I started to think of our society which spends so much resources on terminally ill children, or children who will never "contribute to society"... Yet, despite the "rational" course of action, despite the "good of the many" type article, we pride ourselves on this disregard for the cold, cost-benefit analysis.

Is this a "Western" cultural thing or a universal human idea?

When I think of the Greeks, I imagine them not being that different from me. So, how was their practice socially and ethically acceptable? Did our society evolve? Or have we become better at masking our atavistic origins by the facade of "civilization"?


Post a Comment

<< Home