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Max Weber Institute

 
Welcome to the Max Weber Institute for the Study of the Fifth Day of Creation @NewRuskinCollege.com
 
#####  1   #  On the First Day of Creation,the Universe was created, 14 billion years ago.
####  2 ##  On the Second Day of Creation, four billion years ago, life began on Earth.
###  3 ###  On the Third Day of Creation, seven  million years ago, hominids first walked on the Earth.
##  4 ####  On the Fourth Day of Creation, 10,000 years ago, agriculture, the first genetic engineering, began.
#  5 #####  On the Fifth Day of Creation, June 5th 2006, the new man, Homo Sapiens Engineerus.

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"The primary task of a useful teacher is to teach his students to recognize 'inconvenient' facts - I mean facts that are inconvenient for their party opinions. And for every party opinion there are facts that are extremely inconvenient, for my own opinion no less than for others. I believe the teacher accomplishes more than a mere intellectual task if he compels his audience to accustom itself to the existence of such facts. I would be so immodest as even to apply the expression 'moral achievement,' though perhaps this may sound too grandiose for something that should go without saying."

------ Max Weber, Science As A Vocation

 

News of the 5th Day of Creation:

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Science: biological sciences news
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Genetics news
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Link to Innovations Report

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Link to National Center for Biotechnology Information

Life Science at University of Texas

Health Central

The Bio-Terror Threat

 

  • BioSpace - an aggregation of news, information, and services for those who work and invest in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Bio Online - comprehensive site for biotechnology-related information and services.
  • BioTech's Life Science Dictionary - free, searchable online dictionary of biology, chemistry, and biotechnology terms.
  • SciWeb - web site for bioscience professionals.
  • Information Systems for Biotechnology - provides information on agricultural and environmental biotechnology research, product development, regulatory issues, and biosafety. Supported by a grant from USDA/CSREES to Virginia Tech.
  • Biofind - allows users to post free information, including business rumors, innovations, jobs and events, offering a real time knowledge base for the biotech community.

 

Link to Weber Texts

SocioSite: MAX WEBER [1864-1920]

Information resources on person, work and interpretation of Max Weber. Editor: Albert Benschop (University of Amsterdam). ... Max Weber. [1864-1920]. ...
www2.fmg.uva.nl/sociosite/topics/weber.html - 25k -
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Max Weber's View of Objectivity in Social Science

An essay on Max Weber's view of objectivity in social science, by Steve Hoenisch. C RITICISM . C O M :: Home Philosophy ...
www.criticism.com/md/weber1.html - 70k -
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Max Weber

Max Weber, 1864-1920. Max Weber is best known ... an "economist" in that light. Major Works of Max Weber: Roman Agrarian History, 1891. ...
cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/weber.htm - 13k -
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Weberian Sociology of Religion

... Introduction. Max Weber's Approach to Religion. ... Max Weber's Texts. This is the main project of Weberian Sociology of Religion Homepage. ...
www.ne.jp/asahi/moriyuki/abukuma/ - 12k -
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SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
MAX WEBER. MAX WEBER: Basic Terms

(The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology).
Definitions of Sociology and Social action: Sociology is ...
ssr1.uchicago.edu/PRELIMS/Theory/we

 

SSR Prelim Summary Archive
... If you notice that a summary is not available for a particular

reading and you areable to provide one, please contact us at

ssr1@cicero.spc.uchicago.edu for ...
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Max Weber and the rise of the West
Max Weber (1864-1920). home author list ... At the beginning of World War I, Max
Weber supported enthusiastically the German aims and volunteered for the ...
www.riseofthewest.net/thinkers/weber01.htm - 8k -
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Verstehen: Max Weber's HomePage

Verstehen: Max Weber's HomePage "A site for undergraduates" By Frank W. Elwell Rogers State University. ... Printable Version. The Sociology of Max Weber. ...
www.faculty.rsu.edu/~felwell/Theorists/Weber/Whome.htm - 90k -
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Iron Atoms on a Copper Plate
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Note electron waves inside and outside the circle.

The wavelength of visible light is about 10-6 m. The size of a typical atom is about 10-10 m, which is 10,000 times smaller than the wavelength of light. Since an atom is so much smaller than the wavelength of visible light, it’s much to small to change the way light is reflected, so observing an atom with an optical microscope will not work. - --  IBM

II. Verstehen and forms of Rationality Webers sociology centers on the subjective meanings that human actors attach to their actions within specific social-historical contexts. He calls the understanding of that sense Verstehen. With this speculative model, Weber placed himself in the Hegelian tradition as well as within the historicism of Wilhelm Dilthey, but went further in applying his philosophical ideas to a wide spectrum of empirical material. He identified four major types of social action: humans engage in purposeful or goal-oriented rational action (zweckrational); in a rational action that may be value-oriented (wertrational); they may act from emotional or affective motivations; or, they may participate in traditional, communal action. An example of purposeful rationality, where both goal and means are rationally chosen, is the engineer who builds a bridge by the most efficient technique of relating means to ends. Value-oriented rationality has a substantive goal, which in itself may not be rationalsuch as the attainment of salvationbut which is nevertheless pursued with rational meansfor example, ascetic self-denial in the pursuit of holiness. (Literary Encyclopidia)

 

The Rejection and the Meaning of the World

Max Weber

9. WORLDVIEW AND CULTURAL VALUE

Religious postulates can come into conflict with the 'world' from differing points of view, and the point of view involved is always of the greatest importance for the direction and for the way in which salvation will be striven for. At all times and in all places, the need for salvation-- consciously cultivated as the substance of religiosity--has resulted from the endeavor of a systematic and practical rationalization of life's realities. To be sure, this connection has been maintained with varying degrees of transparency: on this level, all religions have demanded as a specific presupposition that the course of the world be somehow meaningful, at least in so far as it touches upon the interests of men. As we have seen, this claim naturally emerged first as the customary problem of unjust suffering, and hence as the postulate of a just compensation for the unequal distribution of individual happiness in the world. From here, the claim has tended to progress step by step towards an ever-increasing devaluation of the world. For the more intensely rational thought has seized upon the problem of a just and retributive compensation, the less an entirely inner-worldly solution could seem possible, and the less an other-worldly solution could appear probable or even meaningful. In so far as appearances show, the actual course of the world has been little concerned with this postulate of compensation. The ethically unmotivated inequality in the distribution of happiness and misery, for which a compensation has seemed conceivable, has remained irrational; and so has the brute fact that suffering exists. For the universal diffusion of suffering could only be replaced by another and still more irrational problem, the question of the origin of sin, which, according to the teaching of prophets and priests, is to explain suffering as a punishment or as a means of discipline. A world created for the committing of sin must appear still less ethically perfect than a world condemned to suffering.

In any case, the absolute imperfection of this world has been firmly established as an ethical postulate. And the futility of worldly things has seemed to be meaningful and justified only in terms of this imperfection. Such justification, however, could appear suitable for devaluating the world even further. For it was not only, or even primarily, the worthless which proved to be transitory. The fact that death and ruin, with their leveling effect, overtake good men and good works, as well as evil ones, could appear to be a depreciation of precisely the supreme values of this world--once the idea of a perpetual duration of time, of an eternal God, and an eternal order had been conceived. In the face of this, values --and precisely the most highly cherished values--have been hallowed as being 'timelessly' valid. Hence, the significance of their realization in 'culture' has been stated to be independent of the temporal duration of their concretion.

Thereupon the ethical rejection of the empirical world could be further intensified. For at this point onto the religious horizon could enter a train of thoughts of far greater significance than were the imperfection and futility of worldly things, because these ideas were fit to indict precisely the 'cultural values' which usually rank highest. These values have borne the stigma of a deadly sin, of an unavoidable and specific burden of guilt. They have proved to be bound to the charisma of the mind or of taste. Their cultivation has seemed inevitably to presuppose modes of existence which run counter to the demand for brotherliness and which could only be adapted to this demand by self-deception. The barriers of education and of esthetic cultivation are the most intimate and the most insuperable of all status differences. Religious guilt could now appear not only as an occasional concomitant, but as an integral part of all culture, of all conduct in a civilized world, and finally, of all structured life in general. And thereby the ultimate values which this world offered have seemed burdened with the greatest guilt.

Wherever the external order of the social community has turned into the culture community of the state it obviously could be maintained only by brutal force, which was concerned with justice only nominally and occasionally and in any case only so far as reasons of state have permitted. This force has inevitably bred new deeds of violence against external and internal enemies; in addition, it has bred dishonest pretexts for such deeds. Hence it has signified an overt, or what must appear worse, a pharisaically veiled, absence of love. The routinized economic cosmos, and thus the rationally highest form of the provision of material goods which is indispensable for all worldly culture, has been a structure to which the absence of love is attached from the very root. All forms of activity in the structured world has appeared to be entangled in the same guilt. Veiled and sublimated brutality, idiosyncrasy hostile to brotherliness, as well as illusionist shifts of a just sense of proportion have inevitably accompanied sexual love. The more powerfully the forces of sexual love are deployed the less they are noticed by the participants, and the more veiled they are in a Pharisaic way.

Ethical religiosity has appealed to rational knowledge, which has followed its own autonomous and inner-worldly norms. It has fashioned a cosmos of truths which no longer had anything to do with the systematic postulates of a rational religious ethic; with the result that the world as a cosmos must satisfy the demands of a religious ethic or evince some 'meaning.' On the contrary, rational knowledge has had to reject this claim in principle. The cosmos of natural causality and the postulated cosmos of ethical, compensatory causality have stood in irreconcilable opposition.

Science has created this cosmos of natural causality and has seemed unable to answer with certainty the question of its own ultimate presuppositions. Nevertheless science, in the name of 'intellectual integrity,' has come forward with the claim of representing the only possible form of a reasoned view of the world. The intellect, like all culture values, has created an aristocracy based on the possession of rational culture and independent of all personal ethical qualities of man. The aristocracy of intellect is hence an unbrotherly aristocracy. Worldly man has regarded this possession of culture as the highest good. In addition to the burden of ethical guilt, however, something has adhered to this cultural value which was bound to depreciate it with still greater finality, namely, senselessness--if this cultural value is to be judged in terms of its own standards.

The purely inner-worldly perfection of self of a man of culture, hence the ultimate value to which 'culture' has seemed to be reducible, is meaningless for religious thought. This follows for religious thought from the obvious meaninglessness of death, meaningless precisely when viewed from the inner-worldly standpoint. And under the very conditions of 'culture,' senseless death has seemed only to put the decisive stamp upon the senselessness of life itself.

The peasant, like Abraham, could die 'satiated with life.' The feudal landlord and the warrior hero could do likewise. For both fulfilled a cycle of their existence beyond which they did not reach. Each in his way could attain an inner-worldly perfection as a result of the naive unambiguity of the substance of his life. But the 'cultivated' man who strives for self-perfection, in the sense of acquiring or creating 'cultural values,' cannot do this. He can become 'weary of life' but he cannot become 'satiated with life' in the sense of completing a cycle. For the perfectibility of the man of culture in principle progresses indefinitely, as do the cultural values. And the segment which the individual and passive recipient or the active co-builder can comprise in the course of a finite life becomes the more trifling the more differentiated and multiplied the cultural values and the goals for self-perfection become. Hence the harnessing of man into this external and internal cosmos of culture can offer the less likelihood that an individual would absorb either culture as a whole or what in any sense is 'essential' in culture. Moreover there exists no definitive criterion for judging the latter. It thus becomes less and less likely that 'culture' and the striving for culture can have any inner-worldly meaning for the individual.

The 'culture' of the individual certainly does not consist of the quantity of 'cultural values' which he amasses; it consists of an articulated selection of culture values. But there is no guarantee that this selection has reached an end that would be meaningful to him precisely at the 'accidental' time of his death. He might even turn his back to life with an air of distinction: 'I have enough--life has offered (or denied) all that made living worthwhile for me.' This proud attitude to the religion of salvation must appear as a disdainful blasphemy of the God-ordained ways of life and destinies. No redemption religion positively approves of 'death by one's own hand,' that is, a death which has been hallowed only by philosophies.

Viewed in this way, all 'culture' appears as man's emancipation from the organically prescribed cycle of natural life. For this very reason culture's every step forward seems condemned to lead to an ever more devastating senselessness. The advancement of cultural values, however, seems to become a senseless hustle in the service of worthless, moreover self-contradictory, and mutually antagonistic ends. The advancement of cultural values appears the more meaningless the more it is made a holy task, a 'calling.'

Culture becomes ever more senseless as a locus of imperfection, of injustice, of suffering, of sin, of futility. For it is necessarily burdened with guilt, and its deployment and differentiation thus necessarily become ever more meaningless. Viewed from a purely ethical point of view, the world has to appear fragmentary and devalued in all those instances when judged in the light of the religious postulate of a divine 'meaning' of existence. This devaluation results from the conflict between the rational claim and reality, between the rational ethic and the partly rational, and partly irrational values. With every construction of the specific nature of each special sphere existing in the world, this conflict has seemed to come to the fore ever more sharply and more insolubly. The need for 'salvation' responds to this devaluation by becoming more other-worldly, more alienated from all structured forms of life, and, in exact parallel, by confining itself to the specific religious essence. This reaction is the stronger the more systematic the thinking about the 'meaning' of the universe becomes, the more the external organization of the world is rationalized, and the more the conscious experience of the world's irrational content is sublimated. And not only theoretical thought, disenchanting the world, led to this course, but also the very attempt of religious ethics practically and ethically to rationalize the world.

The specific intellectual and mystical attempts at salvation in the face of these tensions succumb in the end to the world dominion of unbrotherliness. On the one hand, their charisma is not accessible to everybody. Hence, in intent, mystical salvation definitely means aristocracy; it is an aristocratic religiosity of redemption. And, in the midst of a culture that is rationally organized for a vocational workaday life, there is hardly any room for the cultivation of acosmic brotherliness, unless it is among strata who are economically carefree. Under the technical and social conditions of rational culture, an imitation of the life of Buddha, Jesus, or Francis seems condemned to failure for purely external reasons.


 

The 5th Day of Creation: BBC:


June 7, 2006 Researchers from Harvard University have begun efforts to clone human embryos, defying hopes by President George W Bush for a US ban.

The scientists say they hope to harvest stem cells to try to fight blood diseases like leukaemia and diabetes.

The Bush administration has banned the use of government money to support human cloning research. But the world's richest university decided, after two years of vetting, to support and fund its project privately.

Research 'justified'

It is thought Harvard wants to become a world leader in the field. Next year it is due to begin building a science complex that will house the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. . . .

 
 
 

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