Cranky Parrots? Weird Island Animals Described in Long-Lost Report

May 10, 2015

Credit: Julian Hume, London Natural History Museum

By Joseph Castro

The dodo bird was not the only wacky animal inhabitant of the island of Mauritius: Bad-tempered parrots, wart-faced pigeons and several other now-extinct but noteworthy indigenous animals called this land home, new research suggests.

Historians had previously identified the animals that lived on the island before Dutch settlers arrived in the 17th century, but the details about these creatures had remained largely unknown.

“There are lots of reports of the original wildlife of Mauritius,” said Julian Hume, an avian paleontologist and artist with London’s Natural History Museum. “But almost all of them only say things like, ‘This bird was easy to catch,’ and ‘It was good to eat.'”

Now, Hume’s colleague Ria Winters has discovered a report on these animals written by a Dutch settler. A translation of the report, which Winters found in the Netherlands’ National Archives in The Hague amid thousands of other yet-to-be translated documents, provides far more information about the behavior, ecology and physical appearance of the animals that once roamed the island, Hume told Live Science.


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48 comments on “Cranky Parrots? Weird Island Animals Described in Long-Lost Report

  • 2
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Humans aren’t the only ones causing extinction events. Animals domesticated by humans can also do a lot of damage. One example is cats. These cuddly, seemingly harmless pets are responsible for hunting the Stephens Island Wren to extinction:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephens_Island_wren

    This hunting activity of cats has nothing to do with survival since pets are fed, it is strictly the killer instinct of a predator at work. I find this extinction event particularly sad and obscene; those unique birds were brought to extinction solely for the sport of a few common pets introduced to the island by us.



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  • Surely the real problem was not the settlers but the precariousness (is that a word?) of the ecosystem? It depended on minimal contact with an increasingly contacting outside world. Unfit for survival.



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  • 4
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Surely the real problem was not the settlers but the precariousness (is that a word?) of the ecosystem?

    Oops.. Excuse me but the “surely” alarm just went off : ding!
    (Re: Intuition Pumps and other thinking tools by Daniel Dennett).

    It depended on minimal contact with an increasingly contacting outside world. Unfit for survival.

    Well I might agree with you if cats could swim but…

    Saying the ecosystem of the island is too fragile because those flightless birds couldn’t survive dozens of cats imported by ship or plane is like saying that plants that die as a result of being sprayed with Roundup are unfit for survival.

    Perhaps you forget to take into account that, due to natural selection, those birds evolved on that island and probably survived for millions of years before humans imported cats to it. If they were truly “unfit for survival”, natural selection would have weeded them out long before any settlers set foot on the island. The birds were simply overwhelmed by the artificial introduction of a predator that didn’t evolve on that island.

    We humans have most likely been around for far less time than those birds and we are currently at risk of becoming extinct in a mere century or two (perhaps even less). So what does that say about our own “fitness for survival”?



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  • If they were truly “unfit for survival”, natural selection would have weeded them out long before any settlers set foot on the island. The birds were simply overwhelmed by the artificial introduction of a predator that didn’t evolve on that island.

    The birds were fit for survival on an island that had minimal contact with the outside world.. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the world they lived in. There was nothing artificial about their extinction; what happened was entirely natural.

    As for us humans – we’re like every other living thing; adapt or die.



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  • There was nothing artificial about their extinction; what happened was entirely natural.

    This is very sad. And from a Christian to boot.

    As for us humans – we’re like every other living thing; adapt or die.

    And this…. Kill or be killed. You weren’t listening in Sunday School Ewan. And this from me, a satan inspired immoral atheist.



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  • 7
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    There was nothing artificial about their extinction; what happened was entirely natural.

    Right.

    And I suppose that the impending extinction of rhinos and elephants due to systematic poaching for horns and tusks is also entirely natural right? What about the threat of extinction of sharks caused by the ridiculous demand for shark fin soup… Nothing artificial about that right?

    As for us humans – we’re like every other living thing; adapt or die.

    You’re right, those silly sharks need to adapt, grow arms and learn to use an AK-47… or die. After all, we’re at the top of the food chain and we have dominion over the earth so all that matters is that we survive right?

    Just one little hitch…. Our own survival depends on the survival of all those species we’re driving to extinction (through entirely natural means BTW). All living species are interdependent, that’s what the word ecosystem means. Not caring about the survival of those species is tantamount to committing a slow but sure-fire global suicide. It is actually the antithesis of adaptation.



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  • It’s a lovely idea that living things naturally take responsibility for their local ecosystems but I’m not sure that it’s backed up by evidence.

    What living things do is exploit their local ecosystem for all its worth; their care and concern for the survival of other species is minimal (no – zero). Of course, living things which do that in an unsustainable way are likely to suffer in the long term and that may be the course which humanity is currently on. But it’s a perfectly natural course.



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  • Ewan. I am surprised by your views on this subject. They seem to be out of character. Or, the rest of your posts are out of character, and this is the real you….. or, you forgot to take your tablets. I don’t detect you are supporting the “Dominion over animals and birds” stuff, but I’d like to hear you say this is not your motivation.

    Nearly Naked Ape says it best. Animals in nature live in balance. That balance is maintained (unintentionally) by predator and prey relationships. Seasonal food variations. Animals live in harmony with their environment. We do not. If we kill animals or worse, send them to extinction by selfish actions, we commit a great moral sin. Something I accused you of earlier above. Given your faith, I thought you would have been reviled at the thought of the Rhino going extinct to feed Asian superstition. I am.

    We don’t inherit the earth from our forebears, we borrow it from our grandchildren. Everything you do today Ewan, impacts on the child of tomorrow. If your actions today, kill children tomorrow, your moral standing is the same as people who kill children today. A tick of the clock is irrelevant.

    To take your attitude to nature, will have an adverse affect on the future. All life on this planet is linked. We may think we are smart enough to be special. God’s chosen. Above and separate from nature, but nature will not care for your specialness, when it floods your city or starves your descendants due to climate change. Your moral standing today, will be measured in the future.



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  • Saying something is natural is not the same as saying it is good.

    “Good” is a human construct. It is a word that is absent in nature. Human’s have created the world and given it definition. Could the word “Good” be used to describe Ewan’s views above.

    Nature doesn’t care. We should.



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  • 14
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    It’s a lovely idea that living things naturally take responsibility for their local ecosystems…

    I think you’re trying to put words in my mouth. Of course, animals (wild and domesticated regardless) can’t possibly take responsibility for anything at all. The only “living thing” who can (and must) take responsibility is us. I’m not blaming the cats is that’s what you’re getting at, I’m blaming the settlers of course.

    What living things do is exploit their local ecosystem for all its worth…

    The idea that all “living things exploit their resources for all its worth”, that is anthropomorphic at best if by that, you mean all animals.

    Animals (other than humans – we’ll get to humans later) don’t exploit their local ecosystem, they draw whatever resources are available in their habitat to ensure their survival and that of their offspring. They take what they need and no more. They are also themselves resources for predators above them in the food chain of course.

    Over time and with evolution, a balance between vegetal and animal resources and predators occurs and this is what creates a functioning sustainable ecosystem. Plants and animals don’t exploit the ecosystem, they are the ecosystem.

    Now, about the “living thing” called homo sapiens… When we were hunter-gatherers 100,000 years ago, we were an integral part of the ecosystem and probably a useful one. The equilibrium was stable because of our ancestors’ low level of technology, our relative physical weakness compared to other predators and our short lifespan. Obviously all that has changed now.

    Of course, living things which do that in an unsustainable way are likely to suffer in the long term…

    Again this “living things” smokecreen…. The only “living thing” that overexploits the resources not just of its environment but of the whole planet in an unsustainable way is us. What other “living thing” could you possibly be talking about?

    … and that may be the course which humanity is currently on.

    May be?… That definitely IS the course we are on. How much more evidence does one need?… Overfishing of the oceans. Almost half the species of known marine life gone… The coral reefs are dying, mountains of plastic polluting the oceans, global warming, overpopulation, dwindling freshwater sources… Do I need to go on?

    … But it’s a perfectly natural course.

    Well natural doesn’t always equate good. Earthquakes and floods are natural. Doesn’t make them desirable. Saying that humanity’s course to self destruction is perfectly natural strikes me as a disingenuous way to avoid looking at the big picture by using a the statement which on its own is semantically correct but vacuous (not to mention obscene) in the current context.



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  • We may think we are smart enough to be special.

    Doesn’t evolutionary science suggest that there is nothing “special” about mankind, it’s just another species? And it’s in the nature of species to, at some point, become extinct.

    Life, on the other hand, is special. And life in some form (in an extraordinary multitude of forms) will go on no matter what mankind does.



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  • Ewan. You’ve got to be politician, or at least have done media training. This response is spectacular in it’s twisting of what I said, and the avoidance of the main thrust of my comment, that is, that your views expressed above can be considered immoral. And this from a Christian.

    You cite this quote from me…

    We may think we are smart enough to be special.

    But you fail to complete the quote with the following indicates you tried to SPIN, what I said. Does the expression “Taken out of context” mean anything.

    God’s chosen. Above and separate from nature, but nature will not care for your specialness, when it floods your city or starves your descendants due to climate change.

    I’ll leave it for others to judge whether your comment was a fair representation of my post. I would also invite you to defend your position in relation to this comment.

    There was nothing artificial about their extinction; what happened was entirely natural.



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  • The only “living thing” that overexploits the resources not just of its environment but of the whole planet in an unsustainable way is us.

    Species were going extinct long before humans appeared on the planet. And they tended to be driven to extinction by better adapted competitors. The extinction of species isn’t innately A Bad Thing, it’s part of the evolutionary process.



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  • Did you ever play Dodge Ball.

    The extinction of species isn’t innately A Bad Thing, it’s part of the evolutionary process.

    Yes species go extinct all the time. That’s not a “Good” or ‘Bad” thing. They are human constructs. Meaningless in this context, unless you wish your comments to apply to Homo Sapiens. If that is your position, then I consider that immoral.

    Species go extinct for many reasons. 99% of all species that ever existed have gone extinct. But NONE of those species went extinct voluntarily. We are the only species that developed intelligence, and we are the only species with the ability to adjust our behaviour and avoid extinction, but we are doing exactly the opposite. Would you consider the extinction of Homo Sapiens, to be a Good or Bad thing. Is it a moral position for Homo Sapiens to go extinct, voluntarily, when they should and do now how to avoid it. Is short term greed a justification for the extinction of humanity.



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  • If the word natural is to be granted a negative, then the opposition must mean something. For me Satre provides the closest most rational definition. Unnatural is what humans do. And yet this seems incomplete, so- Unnatural acts are the product of human thought of any introspective kind (both in the moment or at any initial time when the act was first performed). Even so this is still not complete, in that the unnaturalness of an act (one that could only be achieved by humans at present) is only manifest when introspections concern second order effects and not immediate mechanical effects of those actions.

    Killing an attacking sabre toothed tiger is natural. Scaring off the tiger when you could more easily kill it (because it was merely defending its young and you wish to demonstrate non lethal intentions) is unnatural.

    “Unnaturalness” hinges upon a unique quality of thought that is new in nature.



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  • Is short term greed a justification for the extinction of humanity.

    Who is this justification being made to? Each generation of humans – like each generation of any other living things – is responsible only to itself (unless you count people who don’t exist.) And each individual in that generation is going to die at some point, whatever happens, so they might well argue that making the most of their life is the only thing that matters. Why is it important that there are human beings around 1000 years from now?



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  • Each generation of humans – like each generation of any other living things – is responsible only to itself

    I don’t know about others, but I am gobsmacked that you can write this. This is pure selfishness. How can you be a christian, and believe this. Do you have children? Grandchildren? Do you care what happens to these loved ones in the future. Do you care that the parrots were sent extinct. Or that Leadbetter’s Possum is about to go extinct so some timber barron can get rich and drive a BMW.

    We don’t inherit the earth from our forebears, we borrow it from our children. You commit a grave moral sin if you hurt your children. By not caring about the consequences of your actions puts you in company with some pretty terrible psychological profiles. Ewan. Surely not. I’ve read your stuff. Surely you are better than what you’ve written above. Of is your religion such that you only care about the afterlife, and to hell with tomorrow.

    Why is it important that there are human beings around 1000 years from now?

    Why? Because we may be the only intelligent self aware life form in the universe. Because we have the potential (Note this word) to create marvelous future for all living things, including the parrots, even if they are grumpy.



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  • -meh David, it’s what you believe as an atheist, or what you’re supposed to believe, all you can justify on your assumptions -yada, yada-

    He’s still beating around the bush.

    :zombie grumble:



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  • Because we have the potential (Note this word) to create marvelous future for all living things, including the parrots, even if they are grumpy.

    Would that future potentially include ending all extinctions of living things (or perhaps all extinctions of living things which had evidence based value for humans) and taking control of the evolutionary process?



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  • I’ll employ Ewan’s forum strategy, and ignore any questions of depth, pick up some inconsequential snippet and ask a question about that. No I won’t. I will persist and try to hold Ewan accountable for his position. Have you notice how Ewan refuses to justify his position in relation to the morality his own statement.

    Each generation of humans – like each generation of any other living things – is responsible only to itself

    Do you have the courage to justify this statement.



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  • Many (not all) Christians have at base an ultimate selfishness that concerns itself with their personal salvation. Family and mankind fall away in the approach to God. The inferior, “testing period” of their existences (what the rest of us call real life) is treated with all the showy seriousness of an examination, but like an exam the expectation is of instant disposal thereafter.

    No Christian except those nominals who trust decently to their own instincts, will build “Jerusalem” with us. None, save these, will take as their responsibility our children’s children, as we do theirs and whom they will simply commend to God. Handed meaning on a plate, like the poisoned rosy apple, they have the most valuable part of themselves stolen…their real life.



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  • Thank you Phil. And we atheists are supposed to be the bastions of evil and immorality. It’s a pity Ewan doesn’t have enough courage in his faith to admit to your summary. If we succeed, my grand children will be able to chat to your grandchildren. If we fail….



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  • Each generation of humans – like each generation of any other living things – is responsible only to itself

    Do you have the courage to justify this statement.

    I’m not sure where courage comes into it but I’ll happily give my reasoning. Incidentally, I used “generation of humans” to mean humans currently living.

    The alternative to being responsible only to the living is to also be at least partially responsible to the dead (humans from the past) and to the imaginary (potential humans in the future.) Neither of those groups can call one to account for one’s actions so that seems a fairly meaningless responsibility to me.

    However, you can be called to account by living people who feel responsible to those groups on their behalf. This was done on behalf of the dead by our Labour candidate in the recent election who (rather bizarrely, I felt) asked us to vote for him “as a last chance to save the legacy of World War 2”. And you, I think, have been calling me to account on behalf of future generations for the views that I have expressed.

    But those future generations you seem to speak for are imaginary; they have no existence except in your imagination. And while I am happy to accept a degree of responsibility for my fellow humans (a responsibility which includes taking care of the environment), I don’t feel any great need to take on responsibility for the well-being of the products of their imaginations.



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  • And while I am happy to accept a degree of responsibility for my fellow humans (a responsibility which includes taking care of the environment), I don’t feel any great need to take on responsibility for the well-being of the products of their imaginations.

    Can you explain the last sentence a little more fully, Ewan? This seems to have sprung from nowhere.

    We can only do our best (as my Mother always consoled).



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  • Can you explain the last sentence a little more fully, Ewan? This seems to have sprung from nowhere.

    Future generations have no existence, except in our imaginations, and the last thing they need, if and when they do exist, is to be weighed down by the dead hand of the past. Let your and David’s grandchildren find their own friends.

    The present generation, however, very much does exist and I’m with your Mother; our responsibility is to do our best for it and not worry about the rest.



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  • and the last thing they need, if and when they do exist, is to be weighed down by the dead hand of the past. Let your and David’s grandchildren find their own friends.

    No. I see the problem. There is no intention of requiring anything whatsoever of the coming generations. They have their lives to lead, knowing more than we did. WE are the least able to judge and call the shots.

    It was just a comment about an ability to meet because decay might be allayed and not a requirement to meet that we sought to enable. The decent environment created, like you said, but hopefully a concerted effort to take a little more poison out of society. A little less selfishness. A little better behaviour from a slightly more equal society. A little more reason. A little more compassion. A little more knowledge and self knowledge. A little more freedom for our kids kids to invent their own future.

    A little more opportunity for man’s grand adventure.



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  • Ewan. You’ve confirmed what I thought you were saying. You do a Pontius Pilate and wash your hands of responsibility for the future of humanity. I personally am appalled at this attitude. I don’t understand how you can reconcile your faith with your malicious disregard for the future of your children and grand children.

    I certainly don’t subscribe to this world view. I am of the view that my role on this planet is the ensure the next generation of humans have a better life than the one I’ve had. Is see this as an obvious and ethical truth. My investment in the future will benefit people that I love dearly.

    A very sad outlook Ewan.



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  • I am of the view that my role on this planet is the ensure the next generation of humans have a better life than the one I’ve had.

    Have you asked the next generation if that’s what they want your role to be? They might prefer you to concentrate on your own needs rather than theirs. (They might also have a different view to you as to what “a better life” might consist of. Succeeding generations tend to disagree on that.)

    I can see the temptation in dedicating one’s life to the future of humanity. For a start, it’s clearly A Noble Thing To Do. But also, those future humans aren’t in a position to tell you to blank off and let them lead their own lives, so you can meddle to your hearts content.

    The trouble is that a steady gaze into the distant future isn’t always compatible with a clear view of the near present. Great humanitarians don’t always make the best parents.

    I would suggest that you have faith in the future generations, Dave. Like every generation, they will face up to the challenges they are presented with and deal with them, just as we did. And don’t burden them with an investment they must work to pay off. Invest it in your own life; they’ll have enough to deal with.



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  • The trouble is that a steady gaze into the distant future….

    No. Not for me. I’m in no sense an idealist only a Betterist. I can only set a course from here and now that I think will lead somewhere a bit better. Thats why you should not try to reach through the generations with dogmatic nonsense, nonsense like religious mind control with its threats, bullying and fatuous promises. You may gift a process that is seen to be valuable, like the scientific method, like cultivating a rich interior life, like the habit of finding and engaging with problems, then live an illustrative life to sell these things.

    Do I think these things might reach into the future? I think any good bits of them might, because I see these things sit in a long tradition of evolving achievement. But I think if there is greater merit to be had my kids, being given the tools for autonomy, are the best to find it and course correct.

    Bill Gates’ children may complain that he didn’t invest enough of his wealth in them, but he is making a judgment call about their future happiness. He knows that he isn’t ten thousand times happier than a lowly millionaire. He remembers why he can die happy because of his personal efforts. Loving kids is not about giving them what they want but giving them the tools that they need for building achievement and that solid happiness that comes from making a difference…making better.

    Do I want a distant future? Oh my, yes, but my sorry brain cannot conceive any future problem other than that my grand children might face that there is any merit in investing in. I haven’t taken a more lucrative job, prefering to risk a little in the pursuit of a sustainable future. They seem happy that my investment in them is in part shared with everyone, not the riches of ghettoised wealth in a sea of misery, but a safer and more equitable decency.



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  • You may gift a process that is seen to be valuable, like the scientific method, like cultivating a rich interior life, like the habit of finding and engaging with problems…

    Or like developing meaning and purpose in one’s life, or coping with desperate situations.



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  • Or like developing meaning and purpose in one’s life,

    I’m delighted you chose “developing” here. I see this as acknowledgement of the great risk in taking the poisoned apple. Being given a job by the boss may be being given a purpose but it does little to secure the rich personal meaning you might be able to develop.

    or coping with desperate situations.

    Here, at least, we may agree on something. Love and its handmaidens, empathy and compassion, the richest of evolution and culture’s combined efforts. We are wired for this stuff. We innoculate and heal with it.

    No? A gift from God? You’d strip us of our birthright to the glory of your man and leave only the observation, that every intention of the thoughts of [mans] heart was only evil continually? (And no. I know you are too good a man for this. But you will be misapprehended because of the place you appear to come from…. I still have that tenner… )

    Dying in a ditch I will think of how loved I have been and how I love. I will count myself lucky that I am not like my friend’s elderly dying mother who screamed daily and inconsolably that she was going to hell. I will simply stop and make way.



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  • Dying in a ditch I will think of how loved I have been and how I love.

    Not a possibility open to those who have no sense of ever having been loved or loved.



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  • Not a possibility either to those who have not been seduced by the fantasy of a Loving God.

    But a blessing for those who know the reality of a loving God.

    Lifes a bitch sometimes.

    So form a relationship with it.



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  • But a blessing for those who know the reality of a loving God.

    Unless, as so many have, they drank the Kool Aid of a loving God with an eternal naughty step, like my friend’s mother. Also, as statistics show, less and less accessible to the increasingly educated. That’s not fair!

    Lifes a bitch sometimes.

    So form a relationship with it.

    You and me both…But which of the two of us might be more inclined to muzzle it? And why?



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  • You and me both…But which of the two of us might be more inclined to muzzle it? And why?

    I love Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, the song at the end of Life of Brian. (Though possibly not as much as Every Sperm Is Sacred which is a complete delight.)

    The film may be a satire but the song expresses fairly clearly the idea that, in any situation, we Christians should seek out the good. Not be defensive, not be aggressive, but search out God’s presence in that which scares or offends us.

    However, it’s an attitude which is much easier to hold in theory than in practice and, at the first sign of trouble, we tend to revert to the usual old responses and muzzle the aspects of life which challenge us.

    So I wouldn’t bet the mortgage on me…



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  • Have you asked the next generation if that’s what they want your role to be? They might prefer you to concentrate on your own needs rather than theirs.

    I had to go out last night but this bothered me. I note the conversation with Phil has veered in other directions, but I can’t let what you wrote go unanswered, from where I stand. Sunday morning seems an appropriate time to respond.

    First. Thank you Ewan for setting me straight. Here I was labouring under the misapprehension that having a “Social Conscience” was a good think. Not being selfish. Considering other people. Walking softly on the planet. So thank you. Given your the resident RCC spokesperson, is this official policy? Live for today and to hell (literally) with tomorrow.

    I thought that I had some responsibility to my grandchildren. I was even deluded enough to think I has some responsibility to all the grandchildren of the world. I can now go back to driving V8’s. I’ve always wanted a 351 Mustang. I can sell my solar panels and scrap metal my rainwater tanks. I can turn into a consumer and buy crass useless and wasteful trivia. I’ll tell you Ewan. This is a load off my mind.

    I imagine those future generations now, screaming at me. “Burn that fossil fuel. Cut down those rain forests. Mine that mountain. We won’t need it. We’ll be fine with this greatly reduced land mass to live on. We don’t mind the population of the planet going to 9-12 billion when it can only support 1 billion. We all like the movie The Road and want to live in just that world.”

    I’ve seen a Hoatzin dinosaur bird in the wild in the Amazon. I guess it will be okay for future children just to see my pictures.

    But also, those future humans aren’t in a position to tell you to blank off and let them lead their own lives, so you can meddle to your hearts content.

    I had no idea that RCC’s had this as official policy.

    So if I can summarize your position. You can’t kill a child today, because that is a sin and you will go to hell. But, if you knowingly kill a child tomorrow, because of things you do today, that you know are wrong, that’s okay and you can go to heaven. Stupid me. I thought religion was supposed to be the epitome of morality.



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  • Live for today and to hell (literally) with tomorrow.

    I think my position is more Live for what is real rather than what is imaginary.

    I think that’s the more moral stance. After all, what is imaginary comes from oneself so living for what is imaginary is an aspect of living for oneself. It’s selfishness in selflessness’s clothing.

    Much better, in my view, to focus on what is real; real people and a real environment. Taking up your shared responsibility for them is probably enough for one lifetime.



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  • These two paragraphs are in conflict. Which one is right.

    I think that’s the more moral stance. After all, what is imaginary comes from oneself so living for what is imaginary is an aspect of living for oneself. It’s selfishness in selflessness’s clothing.

    OR

    Much better, in my view, to focus on what is real; real people and a real environment. Taking up your shared responsibility for them is probably enough for one lifetime.

    The first indicates that my concern about global warming is imaginary. It’s selfish of me to have solar PV on my roof. The second implores me to take “Shared Responsibility”. Which I thought I was doing, and until now, you have refused to do. Have you had a road to Damascus moment.

    And you are consistent. I’ll give you that. Your forum style is text book. Dodge the difficult. Focus on the trivial. You refuse to answer the question. You say I should keep out of the future. Leave it to those present. I should not display social responsibility. You write, “Each generation of humans – like each generation of any other living things – is responsible only to itself” I then asked, “If you do something today, that kills a child tomorrow, are you without sin. For the third time. At this stage, in the absence of any answer, I’ve had to demote you well down the list of contributors to this forum for your ethical and moral standards. I guess others will form their own judgement.

    It is immoral not to care about your grand children and great grand children.



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  • These two paragraphs are in conflict.

    I don’t see the conflict myself. You’re concerned about a real environment, just as I am.

    If you do something today, that kills a child tomorrow, are you without sin.

    Sin is all to do with knowledge and intent. If you do something, or fail to do something, knowing that it will cause harm to someone then that is sinful. And none of us is without sin.

    I’ve had to demote you well down the list of contributors to this forum for your ethical and moral standards.

    Goodness – do you really keep such a list? I would have thought that it would be difficult to know where to place oneself objectively on such a list.

    Anyway, must dash. It’s a busy time of year for us Catholics what with First Communions and Confirmations taking place at every turn.



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  • David, I’m gobsmacked too. There is clearly God’s work and there is Man’s (!) work. Best not get above yourself. I wonder, also, if this is part of a continuum of that Appeal to (God’s) Nature that has you witholding analgesics from the sick as Mother Teresa did? Pain is purposed afterall.



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  • Och Aye Cap’n Phil. Must remember I be but a colonial boy without manners or morals and must respect my betters.

    I suspect that given his QWERTY over again, Ewan would amend that first statement instead of being backed into a charade of face saving nonsense. But what would I know. I’m off to skin some kangaroos and feed the drop bears.



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  • Ewan would amend that first statement instead of being backed into a charade of face saving nonsense.

    Yep. I’m sure Ewan will do as well as any of us when push comes to shove. But the Magisterium looms, distorting all around it, discounting the here and now, confounding decency in those of lesser character.

    I be but a colonial boy

    You can try and under-rank a Scouser if you like, but you’re on a hiding to nothing.

    What do you call a Scouser in a suit?

    The accused.

    We’re the undiluted, unreformed feedstock for Oz….and don’t you neo-cultured lot forget it.



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