Believing things to be true because one wishes them to be true is a prime malady of the human condition. It is an opposite of objectivity, reflecting a shortfall of intellectual honesty. It has led to wars, famines and other guarantors of human suffering.
Meditation for Monday of Week 20 in the season of Growth
- “I don’t like that kind of music but I can hear that it is intricate and the performers did an excellent job with it.”
- “Indian cuisine does not appeal to me but this is very fresh, colorful and I am beginning to appreciate the spicing.”
- “Basketball bores me but I can see how hard those guys played.”
All these are statements of respect for value. Respecting value means acknowledging the merit in someone’s work or work product, even if we do not enjoy the product.
In Ethical Humanism, we distinguish between a person’s worth and a person’s value. We say that worth is intrinsic, a product of being a living human being. It refers to the value the individual places on her own life. Value refers to the contribution the person makes to others.
Respect can be a tricky word for that reason. For example, many people become offended when someone disagrees with them. They may interpret the disagreement as disrespect. In so doing, they be confusing their intrinsic worth with the value of their opinion. Of course, disagreement can be disrespectful if it involves name-calling or other insults. But a disagreement with the content of someone’s opinion is not disrespect of the person. We have a right to evaluate the merits of what people say to us. Democracy depends on it. We even have a right to say “that is very poorly reasoned.” This is not a comment on the person’s intrinsic worth but on the value of their contribution to the discussion at hand. The same reasoning applies the quality of someone’s scholarship, musicianship, culinary skills and every other thing that people do for use or consumption.
Film and Stage
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea’s music is characterized by his consummate musical intelligence and respect for each voice in the ensemble.
- Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
- 1982 concert
- München, 1992
- San Sebastian, 2008
- Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Chile, 1995
- At Tbilisi Jazz Festival, 2012
- “The Ultimate Adventure 2007” album
- Live in Munich 1992
- Bern Jazz Festival 1986
- Jazz Night in America
- "Past, Present & Futures" album
- “Chillin’ in Chelan” album
- Return to Forever, 43 Jazzaldia Festival
- Live in Hamburg, 1987
- Festival de Jazz de Vitoria-Gataez, 2013
The technical difficulty of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, “Waldstein” (1803) suggests that he must have had great respect for Count Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein, for whom he named the work.