When Nietzsche spoke about the bitterness of truth, or perhaps when the Buddha† chimed in on a similar note by proclaiming how life was trodden with endless miseries – the eternal theme behind human existence has remained the same, it was suffering. If all of life is indeed no more than suffering, starting from the most basic of all life functions, the need to survive and preserve oneself – how do we chose to continue living with this knowledge? This same epiphany that points many thinkers toward nihilism also leads them to this very unpleasant question. They come to understand that nothing in this life has any intrinsic meaning attached to it, and everything ranging from our thoughts and actions to the social norms and constructs to religion and superstition are no more in objective meaning than the meaning we give it, as these emotional creatures we are. All this facade we’d built has no more utility than to emotionally comfort in the midst of a cruel reality we’re tasked with navigating right up from birth.
How can the Nihilist rationally conclude not to kill himself?
In the past couple of months, I have increasingly grown to embrace various artistic expressions in my own life. While I have pretentiously touted myself as an academic and intellectual type who sees no more to life than quantities and qualities, numbers and theories. I now must admit that I may have been driven emotionally and that I now take it back. This is not to say I have lost my intellect, that would be impossible on a psychological level, but only that I have reached certain epiphanies in my life, through meditations prompted by excruciating circumstances and such about the metaphysical realities that surround life. Continue reading
In today’s installment, I wish to present my arguments against a sexually-liberated society as it is observed in the progressive parts of the Western world. I want to explicitly state for the record that I don’t contest it personally, and that I still hold sexually-liberated societies, when maintained within healthy bounds, to be a driver toward the general well-being of the population. With that said, what is it about sexual liberation that got me all worked up?
the central doctrine of utilitarianism is to do only what feels good when it is accepted by society
By definition, a sexually-liberated society is one where men and women partake in sexual encounters, notably in a casual setting, without the looming threat of being disowned by one’s society or judged for that matter. Sexually liberated societies are not new by any means. Perhaps a notable parallel to our present-day society can be observed in the Roman empire at its epitome of civilization. I often like to define the peak of any civilization as such time when it allows its members to indulge without moral restraint in the many pleasures derived from food, drink and sex. This may be fueled by prosperity – and may be used in some regards as a measure of how well a civilization has flourished to be able to cater so needlessly to its members. The Romans in other words, during the time before they fell, were over-indulging in their own virtues – and they did it for too long and without restraint. Continue reading
Any system that proposes an ideal of virtuousness or relates to matters involving virtue can only be solidified upon the metaphysical and epistemological that were foundational to its synthesis. We need to make clear the underlying postulates in order for one, the Stoic or an individual who wishes to be Stoic, to be equipped to apply the ethics of Stoicism to any specific situation, under any prevailing circumstances. This, in my outlook, is the absolute abstraction of any ethical philosophy. The ethics synthesized lies in the intersection of the dichotomy consisting of epistemology and metaphysics. I am willing to explicitly dismantle and state herein after the epistemological and metaphysical components of the dichotomy for the benefit of future readers who may choose to critique my work objectively. It may also enable future thinkers to develop upon the Stoic ideals, again in an objective way.
To be able to comprehend the sphere of influence exerted by ethics, we must state explicitly the nature of the being for whom ethics will be of concern. A lion has never been demeaned for its lack of ethics in hunting for a prey, and neither has a baby. Closer inspection reveals a communal predisposition, the lack of free will or higher introspection (self-awareness). I loosely define introspection as the ability for a being to contemplate the higher realities surrounding itself. If the lion can appreciate for a moment that the animal it’s chasing belongs to an endangered species, it will decide not to pursue that animal for prey any further. Free will follows from a conscious contemplation of one’s existence, or self-awareness. Similarly, a baby is driven by its emotional imperatives and has very little in the way of cognitive abilities. Infants, therefore, have been known to look up to authority (of the mother or alike) to impose and guide virtuous behavior. Ergo, it can be asserted that ethics is only a concern of beings who are free enough – in physical, metaphysical and mental capacity – to intend a will and act it freely. Continue reading
[Also included in this section is a lengthy introduction that will be foundational to upcoming sections. I might seem to use culture and society interchangeably, but society should refer to a people’s culture, accounting for their demography while culture is an ideologically constituent part of a demography. Cultural ideology on a whole encompasses the theological and philosophical realms.]
An innate desire to creatively and artistically express oneself is among the fundamental of human wills. I’ve often emphasized my theory of cognition and religion and culture being as one closely woven net, almost like an inseparable fabric. As a result of my insistence of the mentioned, I’ve managed to offend many people. Culture encompasses the various demographic intricacies operating in one’s immediacy – these include popular theological and philosophical ideas, geography and race and complex environmental feedback mechanisms. Religion refers to the majority religion among a demography that influences their theological ideology as mentioned above. Cognition, in this context, is defined as an individual’s ability to perform tasks of reading and writing, comprehending and reproducing information effectively and efficiently with respect to some statistical benchmark. Like gravity, IQ and other metrics of cognitive ability are all relative – and it wouldn’t do justice to compare the IQ of a chimpanzee with a gorilla. Just like the animals, I believe every civilization, over time, with the aforementioned factors of complexity, developed a standard cognition among their people that we call today as average – like the international average IQ of 100. Inductively reasoning from present-day IQs of many civilizations might be key to understanding their culture and religions.
Metrics such as the popular IQ measure an individual’s ability to perform specialized tasks by narrowing down with the specifics at hand. It is iterative and systematic. You could train your brain with IQ tests for a couple weeks leading up to your counsellor’s appointment and pull off a few 10 or more points on your existing IQ. Such cognitive metrics measure how well your brain has specialized – from the time of birth, that is. I believe as one gets older and leaves childhood, IQ is no longer a complete and holistic measure of one’s cognition. Therefore, a fair measure of brain function would be accomplished through divergent reasoning. Divergent tests measure the collocially-called creativity metric – also a statistical measure of how well an individual’s brain is divisive. As one progresses in age with experience, this divergent and rather chaotic type of cognition manifests into convergent cognition. Everything from the simple essay prompts to analytical problem solving can be employed in the task of measuring this lesser-known type of cognition.
This likely will be my last time discussing religion. Unlike the last two times where I directly spoke out against certain religions and how they manage to work in contemporary times, today’s installment will be more on understanding why they work – a question that will require a philosophical analysis of this concept. Our discussion will be focused on exploring why religion might have been necessary and maybe still is. Later, we will get to understanding some shared ideologies among religions.
Where do we start? A new World Order? Sure, let’s start here – despite your forced consent that would’ve otherwise made no difference if you’d answered. The fundamentalists of religion saw the state of political chaos – the anarchy – invading our civilization as the people grew. With more people came more demands to meet their individual and collective needs. People would then give in to their animalistic instincts – their innate desires and ambition – and that would soon overcome any order of the people. Imagine a world without law and order, a world where ethics and moral were foreign ideas – this is exactly the kind of place religious fundamentalists realized and saw. In fear, they envisioned a word of order. A world where man’s innate desires were suppressed for the greater benefit of his fellows – and indirectly himself. The fundamentalist knew order cannot result from the reign of another man – because man’s ambition of a control of his territory would destroy his obedience – and conflict would soon prevail. The solution was to device something of an outside entity – a supreme and perfect being in all regards of man. An entity that lives and grows in apparent truth with the belief of man and other men.
Resources come at a premium – and anyone from a third-world can perfectly relate to this. Nothing is free. In a world survived by man’s innate desires, it would have been hard to ensure fair distribution of vital resources such as food. Also, as anyone who watches the National Geographic can describe – these desires are often lawless in modern hindsight. Animals aggressively secure their territory, their food and their potential mate at any costs. They fight among themselves and among others and form clans – where they venture together into unknown territories to conquer or mark as their own. The fundamentalist knew man was no different from his ancestor and such instincts would soon creep in as they outgrew in numbers eventually leading them to their own destruction. A need for a system of order was in dire necessity. A system to channel man’s own emotions – that he has been naturally predisposed with – against his unknowing will for the benefit of other men and himself. A concept of religion was therefore required.