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Pandemic and its second waves

09 Nov

In history there have been eight pandemics of this type since 1700, we will notice that at least seven had a second wave in some part of the world, according to the records of infectologists, but we have the Russian Flu (from 1889 to 1890), with the Spanish Flu. (from 1918 to 1919), Asian Flu (from 1957 to 1958), Hong Kong (1968 and 1969) and more recently Swine Flu (from 2009).

The second wave of covid-19 in Europe is spreading faster than the first, said infectologist Arnaud Fontanet, scientific adviser to the French government to fight the pandemic, while the virus mutation has spread from Spain. it is already 80% of new cases registered.

The second wave can occur for several reasons, including human behavior, which means how we deal with the virus and its seasonality, also the number of susceptible people, duration of immunity and mutations (like the second wave in Europe) are other possible explanations for this wave.

The behavior is easy to explain, hardly in more liberal countries people will be less inclined to accept the deprivations of isolation, since seasonality can be understood as peaks in different seasons of the year, in Europe the peaks are autumn and winter that happens now, while in Brazil it varies according to the region: the North and Northeast have more rainy periods, in the Southeast and South that will start in March 2021.

The promise of a “faster” vaccine is fearful, experts who respect the testing period understand that a vaccine will be very difficult before July of next year, and we must respect and be cautious with the testing period, mistakes in a vaccine may be more serious than the pandemic itself.

If the second wave occurs, the intensity and severity will depend on our ability to apply intervention measures and coordinate measures in a world that polarized even basic issues such as health, food and social security, it will depend on whether the second wave is more serious than the previous one.

The main function of clarifying the second wave, the regulatory process for testing vaccines and preventive measures is to keep the population calm and trust that there is a fight against the damage caused by the pandemic, it is difficult but without this we will have social chaos ever bigger.

 

 

A citizen planetary and prudence

06 Nov

The pandemic crisis showed that our most serious problems are global, affecting the entire planet, the second wave that is already in Europe will soon arrive in the different continents, if it has not arrived in small doses already, they lead us to think globally what it seems difficult with political polarization.

What is needed is to abandon old proposals, and make possible the coexistence of private freedom with the strong social urgencies, the proposal of the banker of the poor Mohanmmad Yunus goes in this direction, eliminating poverty, carbon emissions and guaranteeing jobs for all, has become the most urgent pandemic.

It is not the only proposal, of course, another such as solidarity, creative economy, groups of cooperatives of small farmers, can compose a productive ecosystem capable of adapting to local interests and vocations of production and human life, it is above all necessary to leave the excess consumption and social stress.

The cultural aspects in which the religions and beliefs (in the broadest sense of the word) of peoples and nations are included are not minor or negligible. I distinguish because many nations already have people of different cultural origins within them, what is called here original culture, which also includes indigenous peoples.

There is no clear agreement on how this can happen, a wide pan-national dialogue (which we have just said about “peoples”) is essential to organize a new social ecosystem where the foundation of social security combined with personal freedom are as premises for chart this future.

For the time being, as a family that has disorganized the accounts of the house, and reaps many troubles from this disorganization, there are still dictatorships of different ideologies on the planet, wars such as attempts at cultural submission, new types of colonialism, although a strong current of decolonization has emerged ( the term is this), what happens on the planet can be a rupture in serious situations and the “common home” itself can react, what we already call an aortic mutation.

A biblical passage talks about wisdom and those who seek it, it is a stage above simple intelligence, it is necessary to be open to the new and also leave what it “enters”, says the book of Wisdom (Sb 6,13-15 ): “It even anticipates itself, making itself known to those who desire it. Those who wake up early will not get tired, as they will find her sitting at their door. Meditating on it is the perfection of prudence; and whoever stays awake because of it, will soon live carefree”.

So wisdom is combined with the gift of “prudence”, and meditating on it is “the perfection of prudence”, ignorance creates only fanaticism and cruelty.

 
 

Civilization crisis and death

05 Nov

Returning to Pablo Picasso’s thought that the worst loss of life is not dying, but dying while we live is the one that best explains the civilizing state, even those who owe fraternity, dialogue, the planet as a common home seems hopeless and therefore tired , not that tiredness of the Society of Tiredness that is also a crisis, but that of those who have failed to find what unites, the positive and the true.

To speak of the post-truth, the sophistry is pre-Socratic, and the public lie has also been conveyed by newspapers and television channels, according to the political side they take, in the end everyone agrees that if you are not on the politically correct side, it is not true, so we remain in relativism and dualism, even those who preach against it, Edgar Morin is right is a crisis of thought, and Peter Sloterdijk is also “not a favorable time for thinking”, it is easier to take a side, although there are mistakes and successes on several sides, because there are only two.

I saw on Instagram that two very popular videos are of a young artist who makes puppets with skeletons, birds and funeral figures and another of a girl whose hair was decorated like a cemetery (figure above), it is a sad reality the post-Goths seem to dominate youthful fantasy.

In a BBC report on October 31, poor banker Muhammad Yunus stated: “We need to redesign the system by guaranteeing a new economy of three zeros: zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net carbon emissions. And we know how to do it. The problem is that we are very lazy and we are very comfortable in the system we have, we don’t want to leave our comfort zone ”, is a new thinking may not work, but without a doubt people, the poor and the planet need answers, the old ones create more polarization and misunderstandings, in addition to post-truths, in this case with a new meaning, from an ideological point of view they were once true, today they are post-true.

There are situations and I think that the planet itself can react, an aortic reaction, the inorganic one over the organic one, after all we came from the dust, from some chemical reaction and certainly if we don’t change the route we will go back to the dust, not that life’s fatality physical personal death, but dying in life.

The question that remains is whether this reaction from the inorganic planet could change something in the human organic, your mind, your being, for something better.

 

 

How to account for our faults

04 Nov

We all commit faults, if it is true that we cannot deceive life with death, said the poet Goethe, we cannot fail to recognize the fatality of life that is its final decline. There is no contest to be made, nobody stayed for seed, says a popular Brazilian saying, and we don’t know what is wrong with the other, except for those who believe.

During years of life we ​​walk inattentive with small and large faults, most of them we push under the carpet, other times we justify not always in a fair and coexistent way the faults we had, attributing the blame to the Other, but what to do before a moment that we must recognize what we did not do well and that we may have harmed many people.

Leon Tolstoy describes in “The death of Ivan Ilitch” a man in the face of death, who sees relatives more concerned with inheritance than with his own life, describes in the book: “He cried like a child. He wept because of his enormous weakness, and the terrible abandonment in which the family left him and for the cruelty and absence of God.”

Of course, not everyone will remember the absence of God, it is a kind of sacrament of ignorance, but there are also those who, even having “practiced” a religion, will find it difficult to perceive their faults and thus will have difficulties to account for them.

Even the joys of life seem distant at a time and that we will all be very fragile, Tolstoy describes in his tale: “The further away from childhood and closer to the present, the more insignificant, the more doubtful were the joys.”

It would be good if, due to a supernatural event, we could have clarity about our weaknesses and time to redeem them, but not everyone will, maybe something can happen.

It would be a great proof of existence and God and the idea that it is possible for humanity to have salvation, the pandemic crisis is greater because there is a civilizing crisis.

 

Death and life

03 Nov

Pablo Picasso is right in saying that “death is not the greatest loss of life. The biggest loss of life is what dies inside us while we live ”, but in the face of a pandemic that threatens everyone, in the face of a second wave that promises to be even worse, Makron and other governments in Europe have already said, we must face the theme.

Where was All Souls’ Day, remembering more parents and some people who are no longer here always made me a lull in the face of life and death, what we came here to do in this short passage, should be the question of these days.

The pandemic could have taught us more, at least it managed to stop the frantic life of the Society of Tiredness, but the vast majority of people behave as if there were not many people dying and that they too may be suddenly at a crossroads, which I think so , it will not only be personal, but the whole planet.

I read in one of Edgar Morin’s last books: “instead of being nobody’s land, we could be everyone’s land”, it is not what still happens, today is election day in the USA, without polarizing it can be said whether he won his life or death, I do not speak of government policies either, but the threats of war that always hang over humanity in times of war.

All of us will one day abandon our dreams, promises and the good things we have done, it will be time to give an account if not to God, to those who believe, future generations about the legacy we have left.

Living life and being happy should always have the happiness of others as a complement, if I am not a cause of happiness around me, my own may be compromised, and at the end of the journey only what we have done will be left and that those who stay will be happy to remember.

The relationship with the Other and with Nature, which is also another, must be modified so that we have hope for a promising future for those who are born.

 

Second wave or is it another Cov-2

02 Nov

In a recent article “Emergence and spread of a SARS-CoV-2 variant through Europe in the summer of 2020” published on October 28 on the medRxiv website, they reported the spread, presumably from Spain, of a variant of the Covid virus -19, which would already be 80% of recent infections, the article will still have peer review, but the scientific community has already raised the alarm, the article will still have peer review.

Since the beginning of September, Europe had already seen an increase in cases of infection and resumed the distance measures, it was the end of the summer, now in October the measures have become irreversible, and the President of France even declared: “the virus circulates at a speed not foreseen even by the most pessimistic forecasts… we are all in the same position: invaded by a second wave that will undoubtedly be more difficult and more deadly than the first ”, England has already decreed lock-down and we are still in the fall, the reverse this year promises to be strict.

Germany, Prime Minister Angela Merkel made an agreement with the local governors to make a “lockdown light”, but by the end of November bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms will have to close, it will be a domestic Christmas and with many restrictions in Europe.

In Italy, the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has determined that at the beginning of November bars and restaurants across the country will only be open until 6 pm, gyms, swimming pools, theaters and cinemas cannot be opened.

The measures impacted the stock exchanges that had a sharp drop, from 2% to 4% in Europe, and more than 4% in Brazil, today holidays here, the stock exchanges abroad recover, but the apprehension now turns to the scheduled American elections for tomorrow, however many votes have already been anticipated and there will be a record of votes.

The companies that develop the vaccines promise to speed up, but experts point out that this is not possible and for this variant it should also be tested.

 

Happiness from beatitude, purity and love

30 Oct

All contemporary argument about happiness when it does not go down to the bottom of barbarism, is to link it to consumption, material goods and pleasure.

That is why beatitude has distanced itself from happiness, although in the western roots of classical antiquity (Eudaimonia) it is common, in “Ethics to Nicomachus” Aristoteles establishes: “As for his name, the majority is practically in agreement: happiness calls him, both like educated people, assuming that being happy consists of living well and being successful ”, but clarifies in another point that it is not wealth:“ Life (…) dedicated to trade is against nature, and it is evident that wealth is not the good we seek; in fact, it exists only for profit and is a means to something else ”, but at this point it will say that it is pleasure.

The question arises as to what is the end of this search, whether it is success, honor, recognition, in the end what we perceive is that “If, in fact, the good were one and predicable in general, and subsisted separately, it is evident that it would not be achievable or achievable by man; but that is precisely what we seek ”, what is this end.

In any eschatology we perish and if death is only a tragic and final end, it would be good to make the most of this life and even values ​​such as honor and success would be worthless, only if these resulted in the end of “pleasure”, and not it is then humility, compassion and participating in the happiness of others are beatitudes that also result in our own happiness.

Thus, those who seek only their own happiness in no way favor their own since they have no occasion to share and selfish pleasure is only partial happiness. hedonists try to deny it, but those who really experience it guarantee that there is a balanced and always present happiness, joy and peace for those who practice it.

The Sermon on the Mount is a classic for those who believe and may well serve as a meditation for those who seek effective and full happiness:

the poor in spirit

those who cry

the humble ones

those who are hungry and thirsty for justice

the merciful the pure in heart

the peacemakers

those persecuted for the sake of justice

For these will be comforted, they will receive the land as an inheritance, they will be fed up with the justice that will finally be achieved, they will have mercy and will be called “children of God”, for those who believe in the greatest beatitude, it was the central and eschatological truth announced for all the humanity.

History will either go there or we will have a crisis process much bigger than the current pandemic, than the horrific cycles of war, and not be happy.

 

 
 

Affliction and anguish

29 Oct

Those who have read The Being and Time attentively know that one of Heidegger’s important responses is what should be read in Kierkgaard were quick to witness the celebrated response of a thinker considered to be one of the most eminent philosophers of contemporary times.

It is, therefore, Heidegger himself who Kierkegaard separating him into so-called “edifying” teachings that would be more important than “theoretical” ones, except in one case that is anguish, in his treatise The concept of anguish, and that the “the forest philosopher” is keen to say that “from an ontological point of view” it remains “entirely tributary to Hegel and ancient philosophy seen through him”. (HEIDEGGER, 2012, p. 651, n. 6).

What Heidegger saw in this 1844 book, whose authorship is attributed to Vigilius Haufniensis, a Kierkegaardian pseudonym that translates as “Copenhagen Watcher”, since Kierkegaard was Danish and his first intention is to return Socratic wisdom, which for him contemplative knowledge (theory) with practical knowledge (phrónesis), the way of ancient Greek.

Although he called Socrates a “practical philosopher, he just wanted to focus the“ anguish ”dressing on the experience of what was reflected by the soul and this meant an approximation of psychology, it was“ the doctrine of the subjective spirit ”(KIERKEGAARD, 2010, p. 25), was one of the branches of Philosophy, and of a really dialectical philosophy in the Greek-Socratic sense since modern philosophy has fixed itself on the Kantian dualism thesis versus antithesis with an improbable synthesis.

The philosopher uses the expression “hereditary sin”, used by the author throughout the work, but as the one that corresponds to what theologians, called by him “dogmatic”, call the original sin, nomenclature apart, is the aspect that brings his theme closer to the anguish of that “soul” affliction, which can have a philosophical and psychological outline, but which is basically that affliction of those who feel outside a center, from a clear perspective of overcoming anguish.

What leads existence to a singular way, to a way of acting in such a way? This is where the notions of freedom and anguish emerge as “concepts” converge to this “anguish”, but without having a locus, neither in Aesthetics, in Metaphysics or even in Psychology, so the author does not say so, but there is something afflicted and tragic in this journey in this “anguish”.

Paul Ricoeur, reflecting on these expressions of Kierkegaard, establishes that evil is “what is the most opposite to the system”, precisely because it is absurd and scandalous, irrational and incomprehensible, situated on the margins of morality and reason, recalls Ricoeur (1996, p. 16), referring to the Kierkegaardian reflections, evil is “what is the most opposite to the system”, precisely because it is absurd and scandalous, irrational and incomprehensible, situated on the margins of morality and reason.

Ricoeur thus differentiates structural evil (we have already made a post), linked to anguish and sin and free will linked to personal decisions in the face of anguish.

The point that I consider essential in Kierkegaard’s thought on this existential aspect is that “only what has crossed the anguish of possibility, only this one is fully trained not to be distressed, not because it evades the horrors of life, but because they always become weak compared to those of possibility ”(KIERKEGAARD, 2010, p. 165-166), it is here that affliction can find its opposite and we can understand that there is a source of comfort in it.

Thus anguish and affliction are not exactly curses or sinful states or diseases of the “soul” or thoughts, they are phases of rupture or transition to other more mature phases when this stage involves reflection and overcoming.

 

HEIDEGGER, Martin (1957) Ser e tempo. Campinas: Editora da Unicamp, 2012. (Multilíngues de Filosofia Unicamp). JOLIVET, Régis. As doutrinas existencialistas: de Kierkegaard a Sartre. Portugal, Porto: Tavares Martins.

KIERKEGAARD, Sören (2010). O conceito de angústia: uma simples reflexão psicológico-demonstrativa direcionada ao problema dogmático do pecado hereditário de Vigilius Haufniensis. Tradução e notas Álvaro Luiz Montenegro Valls. 2. ed. Brazil, Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes.

 

 

Happiness in Thomas Aquinas

28 Oct

To analyze beatitude, which we have already explained that is also an ancient Greek theme for happiness, Thomas Aquinas learned from the Greek philosopher to distinguish between two different forms of happiness: the natural riches that are those by which man is helped to compensate for natural deficiencies such as food, drink, clothing, housing, etc., and artificial ones that do not help nature but subject it, like money, but human art invented to facilitate exchanges, so that they were like measures for venial things, and influenced by Boethius will question whether wealth is in fact the one that gives all goods:

“Bliss is the perfect state where all goods come together.” Now, it seems that through money you can acquire all things, because the Philosopher, in book V of Ethics, money was invented to be the guarantee of everything that man wanted to possess. Therefore, bliss consists of riches ”(Thomas Aquinas, theological suma. Part III).

Even with the possession of a broader idea of ​​wealth, the natural wealth that Aristotle predicted, and artificial wealth as well, in none of them will Aquinate recognize it as a source of happiness, because it has no end in itself, and people who own them make it the ultimate end, it becomes a bond for something.

And what value this bond can have in itself, Tomás de Aquino examines honor, and says in this sense: “it is impossible for the beatitude to consist of honor. The honor is rendered to someone due to some excellence: and thus, it is a sign and testimony of that excellence that is in the honored one ”, it can also be the fame or glory, the power, and the goods of the body, but all these goods in themselves they also do not translate into happiness, but only false knowledge.

That is how bliss is itself, she says verbatim:” bliss is the most stable of goods “, so the lack of stability of fame occurs due to the fact that it derives exclusively from human knowledge, which, in turn, instead, it is limited, and it is often even false.

Similarly, Boethius argued: “human power cannot avoid the torment of worries, nor the sting of fear”.

As for the body, argues the Christian philosopher: “, the beatitude of man is superior in every way to that of animals, although many animals surpass men in the goods of the body”, so if beatitude comes from there, man would be equaling to animals, and how often this is true.

But what then is happiness for Doctor Angelico, who asks the same question as Boethius: “‘ Is it necessary to confess that God is the beatitude itself? ” and he will conclude that “the beatitude is the last end, towards which the human will naturally tends” and “for nothing else must the will tend as for the last end, except for God, for it must be the object of I enjoy, as Agostinho says ”(AQUINO, 2003, p. 62).

Here you can have a synthesis of what happiness is for the three great Christian thinkers of the medieval period.

For some authors, like Luiz Alberto De Boni, the philosophy of Tomás de Aquino along these lines: “the good and the end are identified”, thus has an eschatology, and if we understand that the end is just this earthly life limited to a temporal period his argument is not valid, but if we admit eternity, happiness as the ultimate good is that which we have already achieved here but which must extend beyond temporal life, outside of this, of course, only temporal pleasures.

In Picture above, by an anonymous author, The rich man and Lazarus, (around 1610, Amsterdam).

 

AQUINO, Tomás (2003). Theological summula. V. III. Brazil, São Paulo: Loyola.

 

 

Bliss and beatitude

27 Oct

Although the term is associated with Christian holiness, and is also one of its aspects, the term in classical antiquity had a more generic meaning, a permanent state of perfect satisfaction and fullness that only a wise man could achieve, so thought Aristotle, but today it is conditioned only to the religious sense, it is intended here to show that they can be closer than we think.

The religious meaning is also that of happiness, but in the sense of joy of balanced pleasure of the soul, which can only reach those who enjoy the presence of God, that its fullness can be achieved only in eternal life, but does not mean discarding earthly life, “I have come that everyone may have life, and life in abundance” (John 10:10), so proclaims the evangelist, but what is different between the two proposals for happiness.

Aristotle in the book “Of the causes” will say that the end of beatitude is relative to its desire, so the ultimate nature of this end moves mainly by desire and this is pleasure, so much so that it absorbs man’s will and reason to the point of make other goods despise.

Both Boethius, that the church also beatified him (that is, he proclaimed him happy, blessed and holy), and Aristotle dealt with the theme, and their question is what if pleasure is really the ultimate end of happiness, of beatitude and that it also Tomás de Aquino will argue the contrary.

What Boethius says is that the consequences of pleasures are sad, all those who want to remember their sensualities know it, because, if these could make them happy, there would be no reason why the brutes too would not be considered such, and this is very reminiscent of current cases of abuse and objectionable violence.

For Boethius: “The beatitude is the perfect state of the union of all goods”, and so it seems that through money you can acquire all things, because the Philosopher, in book V of Ethics, says that money was invented for to be the guarantor of everything that man wanted to possess, which today can be translated as money buys everything.

In addition, Boethius also says: “Riches shine more when they are distributed than when they are conserved. For this reason, greed makes men hateful, generosity makes them illustrious ”, and so wealth is not condemned, but its bad distribution.

In the representation above the painting “The cheerful violinist with a glass of wine” (1624) by Gerard van Honthorst (1590-1656).