Music, Life and Everything

05-Mar-2019 08:16AM

I want to try writing some train of thought and seeing where it goes. I feel that a thing that is not easily discussed is values. I recently read this article written by Tony Abbott on why he left the priesthood, and was struck by what an eloquent writer he is. This is not something that I was expecting as the general discourse that I have seen from him and his companions in the television media over the last decade has been appallingly low-brow. (And so seems to be the impression of Question Time in the Australian Parliament.)

Given that he is in fact an excellent writer, I must assume that in his own way, he is an intelligent person. This road of thinking leads down several paths, and questions, such as, "How can an an intelligent person continuously make choices that I disagree with?", "How does Mr Abbott manage to hold highly cognitively dissonant ideas without showing any signs of internal conflict?", and "Why would a person whom cares enough about morality to try entering the priesthood focus on policies that funnel money from the general Australian population into the hands of the already wealthy?".

I infer from this that he is not mad, or stupid, or even evil, simply that he holds a entirely distinct set of values from myself.

But what are those? Expressing what you believe to be your values (note the careful choice of words), can be fraught with ambiguity and in-determinations.

Once I was asked by an elder colleague as part of a workshop to describe what it is that I value. At the time I rather foolishly said, "I value equality of opportunity." (This is not intrinsically foolish, but in context we were supposed to be discussing which kinds of carrots we find motivating our work.) And even though I said this, I had not really thought through of what a world could really look like with equality of opportunity, or what the consequences of this could be. Given humanities proclivity towards zero sum games, a world like this might be highly competitive and lack diversity.

Such complexity. Trying to introduce something which feels like a good idea may backfire severely (just as so many of our Governments policies seem to). Is it even possible to simply express ones own values with clarity, let alone compare them with the strange-loop in your head that is somebody else's?

And does Tony like Jazz?