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Now, it's kind of a weak answer, I guess-- except it isn't weak for me.
See, my problem is, I have this curious notion that a lot of man's inhumanity to his
fellow man must be understood within the context of the finiteness of the individual's own
lifetime. You know, that in spite of the ability of the human brain to expand time into
the future and back into the past, the fact is that generally human beings pretty much
tend to function in terms of the immediate pluses and minuses, and even though they might
give lip service to the future, the more compelling determinant of their behavior is: what
happens in their own lifetime.
I think, wiser decisions could be made in human relationship with their fellow human
beings if a little more emphasis would be given to the future, and if the individual, in
spite of his wish for immortality, knows damn well that he's not going to be immortal, if
he would take the concept of immortality beyond his own personal life and consciousness,
and project it into generations of the future -- he could make decisions now that would
be, I think, more moral and wiser.
I know I haven't made that point as clearly as it should be made.
It just reminds me of a story that one of my colleagues at the college told me about his
son, whose name is Michael. Max Hertzman, who is dead now-- one of the finest human beings
I knew, and always in trouble-- we shared an office at the college for many years, and one
day, Max came in to me and he said, “Ken, I've
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