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November 16, 2006



The Devil Incarnate




Mum's the word


Big cheese - The


Donkey's years


My old china


Ship shape and Bristol fashion

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Mark R

A great discussion! Some readers noted the prevalent concept in many societies, that pleasure has to be earned. I don't know if the French specifically are less prone to this than Americans and many others, it would be interesting to learn about their culture more in-depth. I have lived in many cultures, and really must insist that Americans are not alone in this concept.

Why do people think that their pleasure must be earned? From what I understood reading Ernst Becker recently, he claims that man has psychological need to engage himslef in constant "tugs of war", such as between fulfillment and sacrifice; Becker proposes that the need for sacrifice ultimately stems from an attempt to shield ourselves from our fear of death. In a sense, we sacrifice to become "immortal" - we think, "If I sacrifice something great, I will receive something great". So we think if we sacrifice our greatest physical urges, somehow we will be greatly rewarded in a non-physical, beyond-death kind of a way.

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Thank you for a very informative article. I'm glad these things are being discussed. It is much better to bring things to the surface and communicate about them than to ignore them.


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JT, I absolutely agree with you. Anything excessive is bad. But, as we are diverse in beliefs and religion, moderation has different meanings and different interpretations. No matter how much we argue, no matter how much we try to prove our point, there will always be an opposing idea. But what is important is to keep an open mind.
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Damned interesting post, I think I'm beginning to understand how tilted this society's outlook really is on some matters.

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