March 28, 2011


GW: ... that, I think, is the whole of morality ...



In 2009 I started a series in Nederlog called GW  - favourite quotations with some explanations, notes, or comments by me - that did not grow into much, because as it happened I wrote last year mostly about ME, but that I continue today, because it still seems a good series to make, that also doesn't take too much energy, effort and time.

The reason to pick up GW again today is mostly yesterday's "The Principal Doctrines of Epicurus, with my comments" and my realization that there are three favourite quotes of mine about happiness. Here is the first:

Enjoy and give pleasure, without doing harm to yourself or to anyone else - that, I think, is the whole of morality.
   -- Chamfort

While morality often is regarded as stuffy, trite, pointless or relative, and hypocritical and conformistic for the most part, and while it may be each and all of these things, depending on the minds and characters that propound them, Chamfort's summary seems to me to be very good and fair, as it also indicates the end of a humane morality: To enable the members of a human society or group to live more pleasantly, more rewardingly, more as they please, by living and cooperating with others, who share the same end.

Another good point in Chamfort's saying is that it shows clearly what is wrong with the idea that all morals are relative: Not to the extent that what is enjoyable and gives pleasure, and what is harmful and causes grief, is mutually agreed upon or understandable from such human nature as comes with being a human being - and history seems to show that human joys and pleasures, and pains and miseries, are by and large caused by the same kinds of events, circumstances, feelings and ends, that relate mostly to a human being's natural constitution. (See also: Mencius on human qualities)

P.S. Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence".
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

    "Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)


See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

Maarten Maartensz (M.A. psy, B.A. phi)

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