Undoubtedly there is no simple answer to this question — genetic or experiential answers abound.  However, it it not the why but the observed facts that have impressed me over the years.

Relatively early on I discovered that women unleashed could do pretty much the same things that men do before all the options for doing so were opened up in this country.  Sarah Lawrence College which made a point of liberating women was my second home during my college years in the mid 1950s (my wife to be’s college).  Then I had the good fortune to start my teaching at Vassar College during the women’s revolutionary years of the early 1960s.  My wife and I as dormitory house fellows there for several years encouraged our students to take up the traditionally male professions — law, medicine, and some of the academic fields including mine in philosophy.  After Vassar I got back to Hunter which had been started as a woman’s college and thereafter did a visiting year at Barnard.  Put together I saw a much more compassionate disposition towards people and the world upon the part of my women students than I had experienced as an undergrad or grad student mainly in male institutions.

In the course of time I came to accept David Hume’s psychological explanation of our moral dispositions.  Our moralities are based on sentiments (feelings).  Some of us care for others and others are psychopaths with a spectrum of betweens stretching out between the poles and, of course, with overlapping gender dispositions.  Some men are extremely caring; some women are brutes.

The long and short here is not that I am endorsing Senator Clinton for president, although I am beginning to lean that way.  It is that with some Margaret Thatchers apart, I trust women more than I do men to do the right thing.  Trying to induce people to be moral through religious or philosophic doctrines is a dangerous business due to the universal tendency to rationalize.  Thus, there is none more dangerous than he or she who believes that Jesus told them to kill, kill, kill or who has discovered a moral principal with which to justify the most vicious human atrocities.  Check out Manifest Destiny or the New Israel justifications to discover the roots of America’s genocidal past.

Bush claims Jesus is the philosopher who told him to invade Iraq — smirk, smirk?  I cringe at each of his news conferences when the questioning touches upon the wars and Bush becomes the Yale DKE frat joke monger and nickname player — far removed from the human suffering that his actions have induced and which he seems determined to carry out until ousted from office.

May we find some good women who are not determined to kill, kill, kill!

I am worried about two bloggers whom I used to post regularly — Zena from Beirut http://beirutupdate.blogspot.com/ and  Laila, the Mother from Gaza: http://a-mother-from-gaza.blogspot.com/ They have been off line for quite a time now.

I hope that they are both okay with both Lebanon and Gaza having been virtually destroyed as livable human habitats.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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