Old Jules Asks: questions for a Saturday

Could the human species be replaced by a large flock of free-ranging chickens?

Aside from a relatively compact population of farmers to grow the food, carpenters to build chicken-houses, and soldiers to keep the predators away?

I’ve been watching free-ranging chickens for several years and become increasingly convinced they’re an almost perfect simulation of human-society and human society minus the wars, genocides and the occasional demonstration of intelligence.

Considering chickens do the same thing humans do, but do it a lot more efficiently, could the great majority of humanity be replaced without anyone noticing?

Is the exercise of taking responsibility for what we didn’t do a self-aggrandizing or delusional hoax?

During the past half-century US presidents have apologized to:

Native Americans for the European migration into the Americas

The ‘Trail of Tears’ [moving the tribes east of the Mississippi River out of their traditional lands to areas west of the Mississippi River]

Americans of Japanese descent for the internment of Japanese descended citizens during WWII

Japanese for the nuclear detonations over Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Mexico and Mexicans for the US confiscation of Mexican territory [the entire US southwest] from Mexico after the Mexican War

US citizens of African descent for the slavery and hardships their ancestors experienced

The presidents who apologized had nothing to do with the events apologized for. In many cases nobody who participated was alive when the apology was rendered.

On the History section a frequent complaint of members of Native American descent is expressed over the fact that everyone of European descent hasn’t apologized for the behavior of their ancestors.

Occasionally, in the spirit of good will, I’ve apologized for what my European ancestors did to my Native American ancestors and what my Native American ancestors did to my European ancestors. Unfortunately my apologies weren’t well received.

Is it possible, rational, meaningful, even positive to apologize or otherwise take responsibility for actions of people we never knew?

Wouldn’t it make more sense for the religious right to encourage abortion?

Wouldn’t it make more sense for the religious right to encourage abortion among blacks, Hispanics and other minorities instead of trying to starve them out or put them in prison?

Has the wisdom of Eastern philosophy assisted Asians in a pursuit of a peaceful existence?

A not-entirely-tongue-in-cheek question.

Did we learn anything?

Several generations ask and answer questions on the forum for Philosophy. The burning issues for the youngest of them are generically the same questions all the older phases asked when they were that age. True also of the next age-group upward and so on.

The 20ish age group attempts to share their knowledge and wisdom with others their own age as well as the younger group. Those in their 30s and older appear to be fewer in numbers, but when they post they often follow the same pattern.

But when we were in those age groups we weren’t about to concede the next group upward in age had any understanding of what we were going through and the burning issues in our lives.

1] As a member of the 20ish age group do you believe the askers in their teens attempt to learn from your greater breadth of experience?

2] As a member of the 30s and 40s age group do you believe anyone younger sees you as a source of a more solid grasp of their own issues?

I’m in the late-60s age group and I don’t believe I’d have answered yes to any of this when I was living that age. I have a vivid recollection of the ‘don’t trust anyone over 30’ mindset, and recall something approaching depression as the 30th birthday drew near.

I ask because I find, despite what appears to be a consistent lesson I could have learned, I don’t look to an age group in their 70s and 80s as a source of learning or wisdom.

Do you older folks in your 70s look to people in their 80s and 90s to mine their wisdom and greater experience?

Is “Can I have all your stuff when you die?” in the minds of those around you a form of karma?

The nearest town to me is full of retirees. Every time I go to town I hit the thrift stores looking for what the most recent dead men hung on the people they left behind to dispose of. Got a 10X John B Stetson felt hat hanging on the peg for $10, several pairs of good boots for little or nothing, lots of good socks at 10 pairs for a dollar. Almost everything I wear used to belong to dead men.

I figure it’s karma if I don’t outlive the cats and chickens I have a contract with, but I’m not sure about that Stetson and all those socks. I don’t worry about the underwear because it’s all original equipment. Never could get excited about digging through boxes of somebody else’s skid marks.

So, unless the cabin burns down and destroys whatever I didn’t wear out while I was alive am I going to be dragging around karma for what’s left? What about a bag with 7 pounds of pinto beans in it? An a bunch of open bags of flour I use to vary the kinds of bread I make?

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