Archive for the 'philosophy' Category

14
Feb
09

Maxim #1

What is the meaning of life? That question is an attempt to avoid the responsiblity that God has given directly to us: That we define our own meaning.

How great and terrible is that gift. Don’t be afraid of it, though. Attack life.

26
Jan
09

The Realist’s Manifesto

It seems it is now time to tell people, in the plainest of language exactly what I think and I why I think it. It’s best to arm one’s self with aforethought when entering the culture war. So here is the Realist’s Manifesto.  Part I

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What if a symptom of regression lurked in the “good,” likewise a danger, a seduction, a poison, a narcotic, through which the present lived at the expense of the future? Perhaps more comfortably, less dangerously, but at the same time in a meaner style, more basely? — So that morality itself were to blame if the highest power and splendor possible to the type man was never in fact attained? So that morality itself was the danger of dangers?” ~Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morals

The world upon which man is birthed and carries out his life as best he can is one of immense beauty and near infinite complexity. Hard and rigid beliefs constrict men and societies until they are honor-bound to obey the subliminal laws of culture. Culture is formed from a myriad of factors, not the least of which are religion, available natural resources, other nearby cultures and historic ideological figures. In a word, culture is everything, and men die because of it, for it– and without it. Men need culture and will always seek it.

The oldest cultures in history were wandering tribesmen. They formed their own micro-societies, moving about to secure food and shelter. Their leader was doubtless the man who was strongest, fastest, and most willing to shed blood. He was a man to be feared and respected, because if one would follow him, one could find what was needed to feed family and to protect life from other wandering tribes. The ancient wandering tribesman had the advantage of making his own mythology from his limited perceptions of the world around him. He was not told by the likes of today’s talking heads how the world should be observed. Though he was limited in his ability to determine causality, he never lacked the ability to see phenomena clearly, he never denied seeing what he was seeing. Indeed, his vision was much clearer than ours because he knew that the Law of the Jungle was unalterable and easily observed. The strong survive. Morality melts before the sword of the unjust. So the just must take up their own sword…

Even those that deny Kipling’s Law of the Jungle with their words, live under the power of that same law everyday. It is too easy to condemn one who uses strength and power to protect himself. It is arrogance and pernicious criticism. Few are willing to die for ideological pacifism. And one could suspect that even those who are willing, do so in penultimate stubbornness, bearing death before the humility of admitting one wants to live.

Morality only guides the just, but it cannot protect from the unjust. To the reaver, the thief, the tyrant, morality is the great enabler of his  crimes leaving gaps in the victim’s defenses.  And it can never be moral to die in a gutter to a robber, to leave behind fatherless children because of the aggressions of  a maniac, or to accept psychological destruction at the hands of a rapist. So the Realist’s morality leaves no gaps. The aggressor sets the rules of the deadly game. It is a game we are willing to at least try to win, because this life is what we desire. We do not give into death and destruction merely as a means of displaying our nobleness. Most of all though, the Realist knows that there is evil in the world. He knows what that evil looks like, and he is never afraid to point out the evil, which seeks to hide amidst subtle words and clever lies. This evil often resembles the person who blames a rape victim for her defilement on the fact that her slip was showing. Heads deserved severing when Muhammad’s image or name is defiled. This is the type of evil the Realist plainly sees and without telling himself comforting lies, aggressively attempts to destroy.

Next: Part II

13
Nov
08

God is dead. God remains dead.

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? ~ Nietzsche~ Thus Spake Zarathustra

In 1885, Nietzsche announced the death of God to a stunned world. Yes–We–killed God. And we mutilate His corpse even today. The media hacks at His body at every chance. Look! It’s another fallen pastor! This proves that there is no God, at least no Christian God.

And of course the Darwinists make it their reason for living, kicking the rotting meat that was God. It seems the only reason they want to study science at all; to silence that nasty little voice in their head that whispers: “Perhaps God…is.”

As unbelief becomes more prevalent, I expect our society to slowly come apart at the seems.

19
Oct
08

Why I’m an existentialist

I know–some of my blogs have been far too serious of late. But it’s the mood I’m in, so I’ll let my demon carry me.

Perhaps I inherited my nature from my mother. She was a pessimist in my estimation. I haven’t seen her in almost twenty years, so maybe she’s donned rose-colored glasses–but I doubt that.

My life experiences have I think, to a greater degree affected my thinking than my genetics. After all, genetics would be the easy way out, something to blame for my own glass-half-empty ethos–and that just wouldn’t be existentialist of me.

What is existentialism? Well, I’m no expert, like my friend, Dr. Michael LaBossiere, but here’s a quick overview:

1) Personal choices and responsibility reign supreme. The blame game is counter-productive (enjoying one’s self at the expense of progress, as Ralph Peters puts it) and quite often wrong. It’s the mere avoiding of the painful truth that our own choices often get us into bad spots.

2) No set of hard and fast rules can make everyone happy all of the time.Technology cannot and will never save humanity from itself.

3) At times there are difficult or downright horrible truths to be faced. But face them we must. Many times the universe is illogical–which brings into question science AND religion–neither can escape the existentialist’s questioning mind with easy answers. But ultimately we must choose something.

4) There is no magic way of avoiding pain and each of us must find his or her own path and define ourselves through our personal experiences. We have no inherent value except that which WE build through our actions.

5) To sum it up, existentialism is about the individual, which is why Nietzche said (I’m paraphrasing) that he despised systems and systemizers.

Interestingly, existentialism has been the philosophy of people who’s beliefs would seem to be diametrically opposed: Dostoyevsky (Christian); Nietzsche (Anti-Christian), Kierkegaard sp? (Christian); Sartre (Atheist). But they all had many things in common too. They did not believe that a system or government could make individuals happy. It’s personal and up too us to find what does that.

Before I went into the Army, my friend Dr. LaBossiere told me I was Nietzschean. I disagreed at the time, primarily because Nietzsche was an atheist, and I’m not. But in many cases Mike was correct. As Nietzsche believed, so do I: The universe is a big, oft-illogical place with no easy answers. Sweet lies will not relieve us of our burden of choice and personal responsibility. And finally, sometimes things go really, really bad, no matter what we do.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky is one of my favorite authors. Reading his books, though sometimes a literary chore because of the dozens of characters and psychological complexity, is like looking into a mirror. I see my own thinking on those pages.

Nietzsche’s writing is the same. Though his themes are dark, I find myself feeling energized by his works. I’m less familiar with Kierkagaard, but from the little I’ve read I like what I see.

My time in training with the Army has revealed something to me. I’m not being true to my self if I’m overly and senslessly positive. I feel like that kind of thought is at once disarming and a lie.

Last week, someone told me that I’m too serious. I shrugged my shoulders, because, for one thing, they’re wrong. For another, if by too serious they mean–seeing the world the way it really is– then I’ll accept the brand.

Besides, paradoxically, I’m happier being a pessimist! Too bad girls do hate a pessimist….

06
Sep
08

Shopenhaur–A world of dreams.

My favorite philosopher? Many will be surprised, knowing my Christian beliefs. But for me it’s an easy choice. I have to go with German philosopher, Arthur Shopenhaur. A genius to be sure. But was he right in his assertions?

Shopenhaur lived from 1788 to 1860 in Germany, and penned his most famous book, The World as Will and ideas.

The book’s title perfectly sums Shopenhaur’s thesis. The world is naught but what is represented by both our conscious and unconscious minds. In many ways Shopenhaur mirrored Kant’s beliefs; the “thing-in-itself” is never truly perceived. Only our mind’s interpretation of it.

But Shopenhaur takes this one step further. He says there is one thing we can be sure of, and that he calls–Will. Will is us, and we are it.

According to the German philosopher, the universe is under the rule of a supreme–and dark–Will. We are manifestations of this Will, and are controlled by it to some extant.

Human will, it seems to me, is wholly unstudied by science. We can map the brains impulses during certain activities and thoughts. MRIs can show scientists what parts of the brain are activated during those activities and thoughts. But what caused the thought in the first place?  What was the impetus for me to pick up a cup of coffee, sip it, then resume typing? Why did I do it at a precise moment in time? There has to be a first cause–something which present science cannot understand, otherwise, all of our brains observable activity is random; chaotic bursts of firing synapses. And we know that this cannot be the case in reality, because we manage to be orderly beings.

So Shopenhaur diverges with Kant by stating that there is one thing we can be sure of: Our own will.

When we look at all of the great people throughout history, one thing must stand apart from all other things. One attribute far outstrips the importance of all the others in people who have left their stamp: Will. Not intelligence (At least as measured by the woefully inadequate IQ tests), not beauty, not riches, not physical prowess. But will, drive, want–whatever you want to call it.

In my life–I have been weakest when my will was weakest, and most powerful when it was strongest. My intellect did not change. How I look changes little form day to day.

Shopenhaur was on to something.

Another reason that I like Shopenhaur, is that his writing ability may have been without peer amongst philosophers. His ability to communicate ideas, with the intended emotions is undeniable. Only Friedrich Neitzsche comes close,  though their philosophies differ greatly. Ultimately, Shopenhaur came to believe that the only way to make it through this world was by leading an acedic life-style, while using art to express one’s inner reality. I concur.

Shopenhaur. He influenced both madman and genius–and few people now know it. From pacifists like Leo Tolstoy, to psychopathic war-mongers such as Adolph Hitler. From the orchestral juggernaut of Richard Wagner, to the frenetic madness of Friederich Neitszche.

So, I choose a relative dark horse amongst philosophers. I encourage others to check out Shopenhaur’s writings.




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