A Civilized Heart?

At the beginning of the Enlightenment, the story of the world was told like this: Homo sapiens stand at the top of the evolutionary pyramid, the pinnacle species, a white man distinguished by his capacity for reason. One giant step down the pyramid stands the white woman, and below her are her children. Another large step down the side of the pyramid stands all the other races and below them, at the bottom, resides animals, plants, and earth. Each step down marks a distance away from reason and a step closer to the emotions, until finally at the bottom, there were no thoughts or emotions at all, just the body-machine and space. Here we would have found one of the heroes of the Enlightenment, René Descartes, asserting, as he repeatedly kicks a dog, that its cries were no different than the ticks of a clock. “Kick a dog, or vivisect a dog, and it yelped not out of pain but like the spring in a clock being struck.”

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/1o08fbk
#Compassion, #Enlightenment

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