Wednesday, December 6, 2023

#340 / Mind&Body - The Epoch Times


I don't, much, follow The Epoch Times. I am a bit put off by its politics. 

The description below, from Wikipedia, is accurate in saying that the newspaper has "supported President Donald Trump." That is the newspaper's choice, and its publishers are entitled to it, but that is not my choice! As I say, I am a bit put off by the politics of The Epoch Times, which really supports Donald Trump, as indicated by the following excerpt from the Wikipedia write up:

The Epoch Times is a far-right international multi-language newspaper and media company affiliated with the Falun Gong new religious movement. The newspaper, based in New York City, is part of the Epoch Media Group, which also operates New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television. The Epoch Times has websites in 35 countries but is blocked in mainland China. 
The Epoch Times opposes the Chinese Communist Party, platforms far-right politicians in Europe, and has supported former President Donald Trump in the U.S. A 2019 report by NBC News showed it to be the second-largest funder of pro-Trump Facebook advertising after the Trump campaign itself (emphasis added).

Recently, despite my non-subscriber status, I received a copy of The Epoch Times, specially printed to convince me that I should subscribe. I didn't. Nonetheless, I did read the promotional edition that arrived in my mailbox, and I fastened on an article in the "Mind&Body" section. The article was titled, "How Synthetic Fragrances Wreak Hormone Havoc." I think that other non-subscribers will be able to read this article, too, should they wish to, but you might have to set up an account. It's not a bad article!

I am commenting on the article for one reason only. One of my "philosophical" observations is that human beings often tend to prefer their own creations to what is provided by the "World of Nature," which is sometimes called the "World That God Created." We tend to like "synthetics." We make them; that's why we like them.

Ultimately, of course, we are totally dependent on the Natural World, even though we live most immediately in a world that  we create, a "Human World." In fact, at least the way I see it, that "Human World" is properly understood as a "Political World." In saying this, I am referencing (yet again) my so-called "Two Worlds Hypothesis." How we look at the world in which we live is important, and I think one important insight is provided by this "Two Worlds" way of seeing how our reality is structured. 

If it does turn out to be true, as The Epoch Times' claims, that synthetic fragrances are dangerous to human health, I won't be much surprised. Trying to replace what Nature provides, by "synthetic" counterparts that are created by human beings, is not just "philosophically" suspect. I think our efforts to live in a "synthetic" world, a world that we create, as opposed to conforming our lives to the requirements of the world that Nature has created, is the source of some of our most significant human problems. 

"Synthetic Fragrances," it appears, are one good example of the issue. Want to know another one - arguably a lot more consequential? How about global warming? We are trying to power our human world with "stored" energy - "fossil" fuels - instead of living within the limits of the energy that "flows" from the operations of natural processes. That is causing us some significant problems, with human civilization now in genuine peril. 

As another example, we might remember a famous film, The Graduate. That film draws our attention to the fact that we are trying, by what we do, to replace the World of Nature with something we create ourselves - something totally "synthetic." Petroleum products are also involved (as in the case of global warming). 

Remember that word that Dustin Hoffman was not supposed to forget? Click that link to watch a key scene from the movie. That word, entrusted to Dustin Hoffman, is supposed to be a key to wealth and the good life. The word identifies a major cause of ocean-threatening pollution (just to mention one problem). It names a material that we have created ourselves, a "synthetic" material that is now omnipresent, and that we are using as an alternative to the materials that the World of Nature supplies. It is:

While I am not a fan of The Epoch Times, let's start trying to get rid of "synthetics" of all kinds. I would be with them in that!

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