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RE: Greek oath



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Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
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Your comment is well taken.

We can subscribe to the sentiment of leaving our place better than we
found
it without carrying ancient political baggage of Athens.

Mukul Asher

-----Original Message-----
From: Charu datt [mailto:charuX@lucent.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 13, 1999 6:36 PM
To: debate@indiapolicy.org
Subject: Re: Greek oath


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Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
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Very nice indeed. A noble sentiment. BUT...

i believe we can learn something from the context in which
this oath was created. athens is held up as the cradle of
western democracy and some sort of ideal political system.
the actual 'citizens' of athens, or people who could vote,
constituted less than 10% of the people of athens.
another 15% or so were so called 'free men' and the
remaining majority were slaves.

what can we conclude from this?
that entrusting all political power to a sub-10% elite
results in a flowering of art, litereature, and culture?
that slavery of near 80% of the population is desireable?

what i conclude from this example is that it is foolish
and dangerous to worship designated ideals without
questioning what they mean and examining the consequences
of how these ideals/slogans are interpreted and applied.
worthy sentiments [such as expressed in this oath],
absent scrutiny and thoughtful examination are worthless.

"Dr. Sanjeev Sabhlok" wrote:

> Very nice. Will place it on an appropriate place on IPI's site and
pass it
> on to others.
>
> At 10:01 PM 10/30/99 -0700, Mukul Asher wrote:
> >I have come across the following oath which the Athenians were
required
> >to take in the ancient times. Perhaps it has relevance for each and
every
> >one of us in our individual professional and personal lives.
> >
> >We will stive increasingly
> >to quicken the public sense of public duty;
> >That thus... we will transmit this city
> >not only not less, but greater,
> >better and more beautiful
> >than it was transmitted to us.



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