Saturday, December 4, 2010

FEMINISM = THE NEW CHRISTIANITY

Almost two months ago, I replied to this RIDICULOUS, anti-male-libido, anti-natural, biology-loathing, down-right hateful, irrational and illogical feminist RANT, which I suggest you read, in order to understand what I'm so unrelentingly and loudly responding to below:

Ye Olde "Boys Will Be Boys" Plea:

After two months of it saying "Your comment is awaiting moderation", I know that the blogger doesn't have the backbone or intellectual honesty to allow it, so I'm putting it here instead:
Excuse me? Richard Roeper is just as bad as boorish construction workers who yell misogynistic, annoying, harassing things at you as you walk by minding your own business? How do you figure? That quote of his up there is his view on what most men care to see when looking through such magazines as Glamour and Vogue, and, frankly, I agree. What I take offense to is him calling it sexist, like an ingratiating coward, at the end. His statement actually sounds quite realistic. Why else would they look through such magazines as those, unless they're trans-gendered (nothing wrong with that)? And where do you get the effrontery in comparing him to sleazy perverts that approach you with offensive requests on subways?! What are you talking about?! You just SLANDERED the man!
And in regard to the quote itself, which you hate so much and call “degrading,” I have to ask: would you care to see a lineup of obese, hairy men wearing nothing but briefs on a poster in the subway? That wouldn’t be inappropriate and grotesque to you? It sure would be to me, and I don’t think either of us should be most unfairly called sexist or mean for feeling that way. Taking the subway in the morning is bad enough without being surrounded by half-naked, unattractive people. At least on television you can change the channel, for Pete sakes. And, no, such comments are NOT naturalized in our culture anymore. Guys get their heads bitten off for saying MUCH less than he does there, believe me. And more and more do I witness and hear of guys agreeing with extreme feminists on such issues of sex and sexuality, either because they’re attracted to them and want to get on their good side, or just because they’ve become ashamed of being attracted to women of a certain physique, and/or for their own biological urges of – dare I say it? – seed-spreading in general that radical feminists hate so much and wish to tyrannize over with their contemptuous, anti-libidinous ideals. The reason being for all this loathsome, unwarranted shame is that, most unfortunately, and most frighteningly, radical feminism has become mainstream feminism, and, I fear, worst of all – the new Christianity.
What a lousy blog!
Aaaaah, that feels better. If that's what feminism is all about now - an expression of insecurity by women who don't feel that they fit the mold of what men find most attractive, and so lash out against them by throwing shame on their biological urges and the preferences and inclinations of their sexual prowess - then FUCK FEMINISM! It is no better than any foul dogma. It carries with it everything that is wrong with Christian doctrine, for it is puritanical in nature and stems from resentment. And for the record, I always hated the expression "boys will be boys" too. For it demeans and degrades men as being mere children because of their instinctual, sexual urges, and if that isn't sexist, then the word "sexist" has no meaning. The proper saying should be, "MEN WILL BE MEN!" And no amount of heavy-handed feminist preaching, and ostentatious, disingenuous outrage and filthifying is ever going to change that. Christina Aguilera is hot, Rosie O'donnell is NOT. Megan Fox is hot, Queen Latifah is NOT. (Unless, of course, the guy has a fetish for obesity, which would make him the exception, not the norm.) And that's ALL...there IS...TO IT! This isn't the 17th Century anymore, and there is no going back! And even if we could, that would STILL entail a preference of physicality, so there will always be women feeling alienated regarding the matter. There's no getting around it, only getting OVER IT!!
And fuck Marxism too! It doesn't work in reality and the 20th Century, and North Korea today, are proof of that. The Communist Manifesto, though quite economically sound and moral, gives way too much power to politicians, who, for the most part, are parasitic scum. Marx had no foresight. Marxists play a serious game of cognitive dissonance, just like religionists do. They're in a perpetual state of denial. I don't know about you, but I don't wanna live in an Orwellian world. I just thought that I'd add this last part in because it's been bugging me ever since I took Marx, Marxism and Post-Marxism during my Honours BA almost 2 years ago. You see, it's not so much Marxism that I have a problem with, which looks good on paper, but rather Marxists, who should know better, but try their hardest not to.
"'Faith' means the will to avoid knowing what is true." - Nietzsche
Take care.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

An Oldie for the Blahs

November from Now On

Such a profound November. Yet a month I used to dread. But it’s so enchanting. So alluring. It’s amazing how I’ve changed. The benediction of the ultimate acceptance of reality. Not only the acknowledgement, but the embrace of the amoral and dark force in nature. That force being nature itself. A force I revel in. A force my spirit dances in.

It’s a beautiful transformation when a free-spirit, such as myself, realizes and admits to himself that if God exists, he is the father all evil. November blahs go right out the window. Now I only find the melancholy of its grey and blue skies sublime, soothing, truthful, and benevolent. No matter how cold it may get, it makes me feel so warm. So whole. A part of a whole.

The much welcome change into the antithesis of my former apprehension was evident this time last year, but is at full, sublime force and bloom now; just like November (this month I used to despise) always has been and always will be, whether one likes it or not. But what does this mean? It is a not so mere metaphor for how silly, dishonest, and self-alienating idealizing (in its perpetual and unconscious state) is in the face of reality. As if accepting reality and life for what they are is abnegation! The opposite of such cowardice-manipulation is most certainly where one may find the truth. That is, of course, if they have the stomach for it. Look now: I rid myself, once and for all, of all the cowardly untruthfulness of idealism and instead of becoming depressed by the blunt, harsh, gloomy honesty of this month, I now fully delight in it. Like I delight in life. My life. All mine.

I have no delusions to be crushed by. For delusions are so easily shattered and squashed. Entropy, calamity, chaos: these are the true gods of the universe. Unconscious, callous, overtly heartless gods. Prayers don’t come true because they (these terrible three) don’t have ears to hear them with. You must make them come true on your own. Accepting all this aforesaid realism (this true connection with reality) brings us to the embrace of the essence of being and chance. In this way we feel no other option or greater justice than affirming our lives. Seeing all the past as the necessity which led us to the necessary and beloved present, to the rich and relentless here and now. All this is the love of fate.

In this way you will never again be dismayed by the sight of a barren, leafless tree under a grey November sky. You will see in it only beauty, splendor, right, and truth.

May the scales fall from your eyes.

11/11/06

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What Art Can Never Be or Do

One thing art can never be is a negation. It can nullify nothing. No matter how shocking, frightful or abhorrent one may find it, it can only be an affirmation of life and of that which peaks through it. If a tragedy, say by Sophocles, brings an entire audience, men and women, to tears, it still remains in the positive. For it has opened up the spectators to life (as long as they have allowed it to). Indeed, their tears are evidence enough of this. Through any piece of artwork – be it a play, a poem, a song, a painting, a movie, a sculpture, etc. – life is opened up through it to the observers or witnesses, and they are in turn opened up to life through it. For this reason, art can only be an affirmation of life and reality, no matter how abstract or surreal a given piece may be. Now in this standard case that I have given, it surely makes the people enthralled feel, and, in that way, it consummates them with life and existence itself, for it gives them a taste of its miseries and sufferings in a ferocious gulp. But let us now put this thesis of art’s inability to negate or be purely negative in the context of the shocking, offensive brand of artwork.

Let us say that we have before us a painting where, at the centre, there stands Adolf Hitler, on a stage – with a halo around his head. Before him stands an enormous pile of human bones and ashes, which he is elevated over. His arms are stretched downwards to the front of him wide open, with eyes directed towards heaven, along with his palms, which are slightly upturned, all as if to give thanks to God, with a look that says, “Thy will be done, Master, for I – am your messenger and prophet. – Mankind’s true Saviour and final Redeemer.” Is this painting in poor taste? Of course. Is it ghastly? Indeed. But does it contribute nothing at all? Certainly not! For it opens us up, with ever greater clarity, to the diseased, depraved mind which produced such a morbid display, or, if it is just another piece of dark, post-modern irony, then at least to the mind of which it expresses and warns of – the mind of the Nazi and Hitler himself. For this reason, with all its negativity, it still carries with it the positivity of truth, which only art can bear (and bare) and encompass, and in all its disturbing affects, negates and/or nullifies nothing. A perspective and deep-seated, abysmal world-view has been realized, and for that alone the artwork is worthy of praise. For that reason alone, its positive character cannot be denied.

And now for the million-dollar question: “Is all art, no matter how ridiculous, positive, then? Does anything declared to be a piece of artwork ‘open one up to life, and life up to the person?’ What about shit on a stick? Does that contain any positivity to it? If so, do tell!” Good question! I like it. I shall indeed oblige, as it is only fair to want to know what could possibly redeem such a display of “art.” And the point will once again be shown that no matter how puerile, “bad” or “shoddy” it may be, an “artwork” is not, and cannot, be a nullification. Even such a vacuous thing as shit on a stick, presented in its glass casing for show at some godforsaken museum, would have its eye-opening aspect to it, and, hence, the dung on a twig, put on display for all to see, would, indeed, contain a fragment of something positive, something truthful. Like all art, it cannot be purely negative, no matter how ugly and grotesque it may seem. For (in this case) it has opened up those who have seen it, and even heard of it, to how desperate some so-called artists are in attracting attention to themselves, and whose egos are so impoverished as starving artists, that they will put out there in the awaiting world the most basest of expressions, in order to have some effect (or affect) on the minds of others. A pathetic expression of will-to-power and a being-in-the-world. Such a sad person would now be opened to the world for existential consideration, even though there would be nothing at all, artistically speaking, to consider in the “abstract” itself. Not to mention, we would have a better idea of what kind of committee such a museum would have as its regulative body. We would be one step closer to answering the infamously rhetorical and undying query, “What’s this world coming to?”

Friday, June 18, 2010

Some Jazz

I went to a jazz bar last Sunday night that I'd never been to before. The band was incredible! And, as I was hoping, I was inspired - though I often feel inspired. I hadn't written anything in a while, so I - without thinking much about rhyme-scheme (quite a change for me), word-structure or phrasing - started writing down, with mad speed and a streaming consciousness, the following. I didn't even care to give it a title. Very strange for me. I think I'll call it - The Need:

The need to find a connection,
The need to find a muse.
The gladness to find a location,
A place to suck and use.

These surroundings I need,
To some creativity to concede,
Too long without dispersing writ,
I love jazz.

Solos, tunes and notes,
A stream-of-consciousness rarity for moi,
Stop and clap,
Now a drum solo, like an unrelenting, mad beat of my heart while I fuck this adorable waitress that's been serving me.
I fucking love jazz.

This is no Sunday-night blahs,
Nor a June bug bitching,
More like swarms flying into my skull,
Oh, the obsessive thoughts!
A summer of languor,
Going by so fast.
To take it, or have it take me...away?...so lame...
So empty.

Can't help but love life,
To fall down before it...to give it my all,
I care not now for a rhyme,
Now the sax chimes.

So beautiful, like the ever-flowing, yet static, needs of my soul,
Play on, play on, great men,
Move me; I need movement.
I need my ardour to be morphed into something...
Something special, but what?

Such a horrid, clashing feeling of wanting to do so much, yet so easily embracing sloth,
To be and not be me at the same time...
What fucking gives?
Just like this oscillation between poetry and prose.

Is something wrong?
Intertwined with a guitar solo like this, everything seems so fine.
And now this killer sax...
I love...love jazz...

I went back there again last night, and this other band just blew everyone, including myself, the fuck away! Such musicianship. They were really loud, too, and I was reading Kierkegaard's Either/Or (1843), something I've been slogging through this Spring, because of how boring and pointless most of it is, which is a shame, because it started off so great, and I was able to get through more of it than I would have in my quiet room in this quiet house, within that same time-period. So then I came across a few lines in a paragraph that truly smacked of both coincidence and irony, and to me of, well, something I've been noticing about myself, and what calms the intrusive thoughts, due to my PTSD, which make reading (no matter how interesting) all the more difficult:

"You know there are neurasthenics who are disturbed by the slightest noise, who are unable to think when someone walks softly over the floor. Have you noticed that there is also another kind of neurasthenia? There are people so weak that they need proper noise and distracting surroundings to be able to work. Why if not because they have no command over themselves, only in an inverse sense? When they are alone, their thoughts disappear in the indefinite; on the other hand, when noise and hubbub surround them, this compels them to pit their will against it." - Soren Kierkegaard

I have never heard this term, "neurasthenia," before (mainly, I think, because it's no longer in scientific use). But what I know for certain, is that I am, indeed, a combination of both the former and latter type of whom he speaks of here. I need complete silence to concentrate even remotely, and cannot handle people even whispering and walking softly around me (let alone conversing loudly), but "proper noise," as Kierkegaard astutely refers to it here, like loud, fabulous music, will lock my concentration and will-power on what I have to read through like nothing else. And existentially speaking - and this book is foundational for existentialism - it's so magically perfect that as I was realizing all this about myself within the situation itself last night, I came across a few lines, within a very thick book, that elucidated it for me. Beautiful! Amor fati, Nietzsche would call it. - The love of fate.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Final Preliminary Hermeneutic for Early Existentialism

This will be a preliminary hermeneutic of note 1052 of The Will to Power. What we find here is one of Nietzsche’s greatest dichotomies: “Dionysus and the Crucified.” They represent two types of people. Both of these types are “religious” types, though antithetical to each other in their piety. The former is the pagan, and the latter is the Christian. Dionysus represents “a form of thanksgiving and affirmation of life,” whereas, Christ dead (or dying) on the Cross, represents “an objection to this life, as a formula for its condemnation.” The dichotomy is hence one of life-affirmation (the enhancement of life) versus life-abnegation (the denial of life). Nietzsche uses this antithesis to get to the psychology behind both of them, especially the hidden meaning behind the Crucifix, because the influence of its religiosity has been far too great, and, for Nietzsche, far too fascinating, to be ignored. The meaning of both ends up to be the expression of either strength (as with Dionysus) or weakness (as with the “Crucified”). The former is an abundance of vitality and strength to the point where no matter how much hardship the Dionysian spirit comes into contact with, life is perpetually affirmed, embraced and celebrated with an exuberant soul. This is amor fati: the love of fate.

Because “life itself” reoccurs in all “its eternal fruitfulness,” the Dionysian spirit feels him/herself affirmed within it, as within a whole, in which everything is a part of that whole as what must be, and so feels whole – feels complete. And so the Dionysian revels in life, with all its “torment, destruction,” and perpetual “will to annihilation.” The Dionysian’s inexorable exuberance of spirit demands this. All suffering can be for it is the constant tweaking and sedimentary use of it through creativity and destruction (even creativity in destruction). This is the joy of such a spirit (indeed life cannot help but be a joy for such a spirit). It is its overflowing will-to-power. And if such a type is not satisfied with meanings given to him or her from the outside, then (s)he creates new meanings, and justifies the whole of life through them, until the time comes to even destroy them, and create newer, even more profound meanings and values, and uses them to enter a new life-affirming stage. Perhaps they are even the expression of that new, wondrous stage, whatever it may be. Life is the Dionysian’s journey and adventure to be had. Hence, Dionysus represents the glorification and exaltation of life.

And then, on the antipodal side of this, with all its morbidity and castration of life, is the Crucifix: the glorification and exaltation of death, misery and suffering, and not as a justification of them in life, but as a confounding and eternal charge against life. People wear this symbol around their necks. But would they wear an aborted foetus around their neck? Would they nail one on top of their doorstep so it can bless them as they walk in and out of their home? Of course not. But the Crucifix is an abortion, where God has his son sadistically brought to his death. Comedian and social critic Lenny Bruce most astutely quipped in the 1960s that “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” “One will see,” Nietzsche says, “that the problem is that of the meaning of suffering.” Here, as the innocent writhes in pain on two slabs of wood, suffering is no longer affirmed, it becomes a weapon, and through it the type of life-sapped weakling, whom is exalted by this imagery, has a nihilistic mouthpiece, which says that all of life is nothing but suffering, and even denies joy as something that can only lead to more suffering, instead of the inverse of this, which is played out by the Dionysian. In this way, the only thing this paltry image justifies is its type’s incapacity to feel the joy of life, and, hence, his/her sloth, hypocrisy and cowardice in refusing to even try and justify it.

The Christian,” whom Nietzsche believed to be a world-weary calumniator of the earth, “denies even the happiest lot on earth: he is sufficiently weak, poor, disinherited to suffer from life in whatever form he meets it,” even if that be joy and happiness. His constitution is too weak and fragile to handle it, as with any other potency which life may come in. The Dionysian, on the other hand, is a person of eternally durable, sound, self-empowered constitution, which can not only handle such potencies of life, in whatever form they may come, but embraces them, and affirms him/herself, and all the contingencies of life, through them and his/her actions. There is no being overwhelmed for the Dionysian. This is why Nietzsche writes that “the god on the cross is a curse on life, a signpost to seek redemption from life; Dionysus cut to pieces is a promise of life: it will be eternally reborn and return again from destruction.” That is, such a spirit lives as if each moment - is for eternity.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

(First) Preliminary-Hermeneutic Presentation on Heidegger (April 2009)

This preliminary hermeneutic will be an attempt to gain clarity, and a more concise understanding of paragraph one of page 163 of our text of Being and Time. What Heidegger offers us here is the problem and dilemma of empathy, and its association with Dasein and Being-with-one-another. He says that “the special hermeneutic of empathy will have to show how Being-with-one-another and Dasein’s knowing of itself are led astray and obstructed by the various possibilities of Being which Dasein itself possesses so that a genuine ‘understanding’ gets suppressed and Dasein takes refuge in substitutes.” This is one of many of Heidegger’s calls for authenticity. In better understanding the subtle expressions and instances of empathy we may come to a better understanding as to why and how it is that we mask ourselves with so much conviction towards others and even to our own eyes. However, the question is then: why empathy as the bridge to reach this goal of understanding?

In the previous paragraph he wrote that “only on the basis of Being-with does ‘empathy’ become possible: it gets its motivation from the unsociability of the dominant modes of Being-with.” That is, empathy can only show its kind smile, in the muck and swamp of human disingenuousness and callousness, which is human interaction with subjects for the most part. Especially when others are treated as mere “subjects,” or “numerals,” as Heidegger puts it. One could easily get the idea that perhaps all this talk of “Others” is a direct precursor to Sartre’s famous, dark words in No Exit: “Hell is other people.” But I digress. The point is that to suddenly feel empathy is to allow one’s Being-with to be a vulnerable state and openness towards others. It is also a break and relaxation from the frivolous expending of Dasein’s energy on Being-with-one-another as something other than oneself, and in convincing oneself that this inauthentic display and phoniness is actually the real self – the real Being of one’s self.

In coming to know why empathy is suddenly felt, we may come to know what the instances are to bring about this species of feeling, and why, for the most part, we have a sense of selfish apathy towards others to the point where we have to fog our constant inward glance, so that we see a person other than the one we actually are. For the actual image of ourselves could very well be a revolting sight to our very Dasein if it stood there bare, clad in nothing but clarity. He states that “the possibility of understanding the stranger correctly presupposes such a hermeneutic as its positive existential condition.” Meaning, the legitimate and honest-eyed taking of this task is also a will-to-authenticity and embrace of the Being-with and Dasein-with of another. In this way, a positive, genuine Being-with-one-another can be achieved, and in the process, our actual Being can possibly be realized.

All this coupled with his further claim that “so far as Dasein is at all, it has Being-with-one-another as its kind of Being” reminds me a great deal of the arguments for existentialism, ethics and freedom laid forth by Simone De Beauvoir in The Ethics of Ambiguity, that isolation of any kind is counter to freedom and is in fact a form of slavery. We need others to feel and truly experience our freedom. In the ebb and flow of our reactions between each other - in the gifts, benevolence and echoes of truth we grant each other - we are truly free. “To will oneself free is also to will others free,” she said. Our very presence grants people the ability to choose how to manoeuvre and exist around us. Without others and objects there is no choice to be made and, therefore, no actual liberty of movement and reaction. We cannot act on our freedom if there is nothing to express it for and fulfill it with. She explains that being imprisoned is the worst kind of punishment because one merely exists, and cannot contribute to an outside world. The prisoner lives only as a “for-itself.”

And so with Heidegger, an “‘inconsiderate’ Being-with ‘reckons’ with the Others without seriously ‘counting on them’, or without even wanting to ‘have anything to do’ with them.” Yet, as he warns in the following paragraph, “One’s own Dasein, like the Dasein-with of Others, is encountered proximally and for the most part in terms of the with-world with which we are environmentally concerned.” And so, in a life without a concern for the world or the people around us, or even a life in complete isolation, for that matter, we offer our Dasein no assistance whatsoever in knowing, finding or understanding our essence, our Being. The Being of our Dasein, therefore, becomes the sham and facade of a base, shallow, inauthentic existence.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Preliminary-Hermeneutic Presentation on Merleau-Ponty (Existence and Sexuality)

This will be a preliminary-hermeneutic of page 169 of our translation of Phenomenology of Perception. Here, Merleau-Ponty explains that sexuality “can underlie and guide specified forms of” our experience, “without being the object of any intended act of consciousness.” This makes sexuality “co-extensive with life.” Meaning, it is so heavily and richly intertwined with human actions and lifestyles, that ambiguity is, in fact, “the essence of human existence,” granting the dynamically colourful nature of “everything we live or think,” hence our lives always having “several meanings.” It is for this reason that it is impossible to untie the two – existence and sexuality – in order to understand the preconscious sexual undertones of any given situation, making a purely Freudian attempt quite futile. All of our human motives and motility could be “perhaps a generalized expression of a certain state of sexuality,” which makes figuring out the precise source of “so many rationally based decisions” impossible for seeing where one begins and one ends, for the simple reason that it is not merely about one beginning and one ending. They are both concomitantly working together as sublimated sexuality by virtue of being in the world.

The framework of sexuality” and “the framework of existence,” due to being “so loaded with the passage of time,” have become completely inextricable. As Merleau-Ponty puts it, “There is an interfusion between sexuality and existence, which means that existence permeates sexuality and vice versa, so that it is impossible to determine, in a given decision or action, the proportion of sexual to other motivations, impossible to label a decision or act ‘sexual ‘or ‘non-sexual’.” Hence the hidden acts of sexuality when walking to our car, when riding a bicycle, when going grocery shopping, when buying a movie ticket, when catching a Frisbee and the possibility of having a preconscious orgasm when we finish washing the dishes. “The fact remains that this existence is the act of taking up and making explicit a sexual situation, and that in this way it has always at least a double sense.”

This could, in fact, make sense within a lock-and-key understanding of what Merleau-Ponty is trying to say. It makes sense within his philosophical framework of phenomenology that our sexuality be, in fact, located not only throughout our very limbs, but also in the things we encounter in our day-to-day lives. They are what bring out our “sexuality” in its generalized form. They unlock a specific amount and type of our sexuality in a given, particular scenario, in a way that no other particularity could at that moment or with another person. The experience becomes the key to unlocking a specific, transformed sexual movement. Hence why a given person’s sexual energy might be more vibrant when going to see a travel agent, than when going to a job interview for a job he or she has no desire of being employed in. The way we bend our arm to go for a glass of wine could be sexually charged quite differently than the way we bend it for a glass of grape juice. However, to say it again, we have no way of determining which act has more sexual content in it than another.

This sublimation of our sexuality by our very existence, Merleau-Ponty calls “transcendence,” and is a “tension which is essential to it” – existence, that is. An asexual drive, then, would be the essence of a very different type of existence than a sexually driven one. Our sexuality must, then, be one of the forming factors of our habits, and part of the fixation which expels itself through them with subtle variability in different moments throughout our lives. However, with or without habits, the sexual fixation is always there. Except, it is not that it is behind our thoughts, it is our thoughts, irrelevant that they may not be explicitly, or even implicitly, sexual in nature. And it cannot be determined how our sexuality will expel itself in our daily lives, based on how it might have in the past, due 1) to the fact that we do not know exactly how it has done so in the first place, as our sexuality has been so finely fused with us as a whole, and 2) to the indeterminacy of existence itself.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Preliminary Hermeneutic on Nietzsche's Zarathustra


-->
This preliminary-hermeneutic will be an analysis of half of page 207 of Walter Kaufmann’s Portable Nietzsche, which is a section of On the Virtuous in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Here, Nietzsche’s Zarathustra rails at the hypocrisy, ostentation and disingenuousness so commonly found behind words, acts and demands of virtue. In the second indented paragraph, one can easily think of both mild and extreme examples – both common, both offensive. In the extreme case, one might recall the madness of September 11, 2001, where nineteen hijackers, so “proud of their handful of justice and” so ready to “commit outrages against all things for its sake,” killed nearly 3,000 people in the name of what they deemed holy, righteous and true. “Oh, how ill the word virtue comes out of their mouths! And when they say, ‘I am just,’ it always sounds like ‘I am just – revenged.’” For a milder case, we could look at instances in history and the present that, though not life and death matters in the literal sense, are, in fact, anti-life and a trampling-over of the liberties of others: for example, the monopoly and demand by the Church in the Middle Ages that all art be Christian art, outlawing all the rest and deeming it heresy; or, as another example, the burning of books and banning of plays by puritans; not to mention, in the more extreme case, the torture and burning of men and women, who dared question the moral authority of the Church, or whose views did not fit into its narrow, orthodox interpretations of the Bible.
And we can, most certainly, look at the present for more examples and see the phenomenon of creationism and its adherents in the United States, who use the judicial system to ban the teaching of evolution by natural selection in the public school system and/or, depending on the city or state, hope to implement a course on “Intelligent Design” to be taught as a prerequisite for attaining a high school diploma. This is their justice, and woe to he who dares stand in their way because, as with the other examples, “With their virtue they want to scratch out the eyes of their enemies, and they exalt themselves only to humble others.” That is, they use obnoxious morality, and what they call justice, to condemn and look down their noses at others in order to then feel better about themselves in gaining a superficial, fictitious feeling of superiority over them. Meaning, their so-called virtue is not a virtue at all, but a weapon. However, Zarathustra sees that they are, in fact, morally superior to no one, and are painfully transparent to him in their dogmatic, self-serving ways. Their “virtue” and “justice” are only the exaltation of ways they can be deemed virtuous, by attacking any opposing virtue, way of thinking, or way of life. It is an expression of their militant but petty and pathetic will to power, and it is nihilistic because it demands complacency and a refusal to both question their so-called virtuousness and justice and to evolve to see the infinite limits of human existence and individuality. It is the inexorable demand for stagnation, and with it “the world is drowned in [and suffocated by] their injustice.”
And at the opposite end, Nietzsche writes of those to whom virtue is merely “‘sitting still in a swamp. We bite no one and avoid those who want to bite; and in all things we hold the opinion that is given to us,’” they sadly and apathetically say. This is to mean that virtue to them is simply not getting in people’s faces, and avoiding conflict. But worse than that, like drones, they accept the opinions of others as granted, instead of questioning them and weighing them out against existence and their lives to see if there is any truth in them. It is more nihilism, just a quieter form of it, one that does not make the news, though it is arguably just as dangerous for Nietzsche. “And then again there are such as love gestures and think that virtue is some kind of gesture,” Zarathustra remorsefully adds. This can be tied into those whom he speaks of in Part 1 as “the flies in the market place.” Be they the grand, ostentatious gestures and fine words of politicians or religious leaders, either way, people eat them up. They swallow them whole. It is quite shocking now, decades later, to see clips of loud, eloquent speeches by Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin, where they lecture the immense crowds on how people must be peace-loving! Such a thing should be both risible and abhorrent coming from the mouths of such megalomaniacal men as these. But the people cheered and roared in admiration and idolatry for their mass-murdering, yet so proud, leader(s) and the feelings of virtue, justice and, hence, good conscience that they instilled in them. They applauded as a herd releasing their lowly will to power. They still do.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Disproving God - No Sweat!! ;)


When I finally wrote out this argument back in July of '08, it had been something I'd been wanting to put down on paper for quite some time. I've added and taken away from it since then, though. And with it being Valentine's Day Weekend, I thought I'd make it red, being as it is my favourite colour, and 'cause I'm a sentimental guy. :) It always makes me shake my head when I hear a theist say that “God exists outside of time.” As if time is a fucking bubble you can jump in and out of. Such monstrous nonsense! - Mainly because it is being claimed about a living being. (I will explain why shortly). Their claim is often coupled with their rhetorical question, “how can something come from nothing?” But this is a straw-man, to be sure, for whoever said it did, outside of conjecture? It was never claimed as a scientific theory that the universe came out of nothing. Time began at the Big Bang, and to put it more precisely, the Big Bang is the shifting of time and energy. It is also the expansion of the black matter of space; something which is still expanding as you read this, and will continue to for quite some time. At the time of the Big Bang, all that existed were energy and elementary particles. In a televised conversation with Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke, and journalist Magnus Magnusson back in 1988, Stephen Hawking actually refers to a "before the Big Bang," in the same paradoxical sentence that he states that time began at the Big Bang, which is very perplexing, but understandable, since we are so often confined to verbal language: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O9cYTZXekA. (Thank Dog for YouTube). Anyway, if time had not yet existed, they (energy and those elementary particles) are what would have existed “outside of time,” if anything ever did exist in this abstract, non-rational way. Meaning, it can be inferred from this alone, that something always existed, and never nothing. Putting God in the picture merely complicates things, and it is quite unnecessary. Therefore, Occam’s razor is fulfilled by there not being a God. But this argument is not nearly strong enough to show a devout theist the unlikelihood of God. So let’s move on.

For much more importantly, one only needs to observe the First Law of Thermodynamics as to clearly see why it is that there could have never been nothing, and that science in fact claims the contrary. For it states that – come on, everybody say it with me – “energy cannot be created nor destroyed.” Meaning, all the energy that currently exists in the universe has
always existed, and no god or first cause was ever required to create it. That is, under this natural law: something has always existed – and never nothing. But this is controversial, as well, as it is hypothesized by many that this law which energy lives by only came into existence after energy itself came into existence, after the Big Bang, and not before (and, once again, I don’t even know what “before” could even mean in regard to the Big Bang). After all, how could energy exist at all, if not along side time? Exactly. And I pose this question for God’s existence, as well. And you don’t have to repeat to me the mantra that “God is spirit and beyond our understanding,” as I don’t believe in sprits, and am trying to explain inductions and deductions which I and others have come to based on what we know about the natural world. Can you at least be serious till the end of this write, please, and put aside your petty, unfalsifiable metaphysics? I thank you for your cooperation.

So here is where the theist and even deist anxiously jump in. “But you clearly have not disproved God,” they say, happily and proudly stating the obvious. No, of course I haven’t. I have only shown his/her/its existence to be improbable and superfluous.
Disproving God, on the other hand - is what I am about to do.

The main two aspects of the theistic God are that he has a mind, and was himself not created, as he is the beginning of all things. That is, he is both sentient and the alpha. But a sentient being cannot
be the alpha! All sentient beings have a first thought, a first feeling, a first perception. God would have had to of had a first thought, feeling, perception. There cannot be an infinite regress of these things. There cannot be an infinite regress of a stream of consciousness. It is a logical absurdity. Awareness and thinking begin for all sentient beings at a point in time. God, like all sentient beings, would have had to have come into existence. He would have had to have evolved into existence, as all new species do, or he would have had to have been created by a being greater than he, which means he wouldn’t be God – in the first place. Therefore, though it is possible for a supreme being to exist, it is quite impossible – for God to. And let no one tell you that God cannot be disproved, or that he exists outside of time, ever again, especially since thinking (or simply awareness), something God does partake in supposedly, occurs in time, and we have now seen the consequences of that, as there cannot be an infinite regress of thoughts, or awareness in general. Sorry, theists.

Of course, we would be shamefully naïve if we thought it ended here. For they could just wave their pious hands at all this, as they are so good at doing, and say 1. God is all-knowing and therefore does not need to think, and 2. if it is plausible for there to be an infinite regress of time, then it is plausible for there to be an infinite regress of thoughts, and if time did not need a beginning, then neither would a sentient being necessarily have to (in this case, God). But of course this is just more nonsense:

1. Someone can know all there is to know about a subject and still have to think about it, and not merely to remember or analyze it either. Look: 2 + 2 = 4. You already knew that two plus two equaled four, yet seeing that made you think about it. Why? Because you're a sentient being and are therefore aware of the world going on around you. Well, God, if he existed, would be aware of the entire UNIVERSE that he decided to create. Thoughts are thoughts, and neither thinking nor awareness are not negated by omniscience. In fact, thinking and awareness are a prerequisite for omniscience. After all, how could our beloved supreme being in question know, if he could not even think? And if he wasn't aware of anything, how could he know anything? It makes no sense. His sentience is perpetual, as it is for all sentient beings until they die. And there simply cannot be an infinite regress of sentience. Again, it's a logical absurdity.

2. First, the burden of proof would be on the person saying that time did not begin, since the Big Bang Theory is so well established. However, open-minded as we are, let us accept that it is at least possible that time did not begin and that there is an infinite regress of it. This does not negate the logical absurdity of an infinite regress of thoughts or awareness (i.e., sentience), as thoughts are propelled forwards by a thinking being, not backwards. If then they reach for the bottom of the barrel for the old hat that God cannot be comprehended by our finite minds, then we can merely say, “But thinking can be, for it is something we, animals and birds do, indeed, partake in.” Here, then, is where they might desperately rebut that it could very well be that there is an infinite regress of God’s thoughts and awareness, but we just cannot comprehend that backwards stream of consciousness, as we cannot comprehend there being an infinite regress of time. However, in this case, God cannot exist within the realm of logic, reason and the natural sciences (a wicked game of hide-and-go-seek) and faith in his/her/its existence is merely and disturbingly illogical belief in the absurd and realistically impossible.

But, then again, we already knew that, didn’t we, my fellow atheists? I mean…what else could their faith be?

“Faith is believing what you know aint true.” – Samuel Clemens

Friday, January 22, 2010

Nietzsche Presentation for Early Existentialism


In his preface to The Case of Wagner, Nietzsche makes the seemingly nihilistic claim that “morality negates life.” However, when understood within the context of his philosophy, it is clear that this statement is, in actuality, an expression of war on nihilism as he saw it. In the second half of On the Despisers of the Body, Nietzsche deals with the psychological problem of rancorous, self-loathing human beings in a state of decadence  that is, a state of decline and decay  who can only express themselves in a morally oppressive manner, infecting others with their low-mindedness, morbidity, resentment and unwarranted guilt. In this way they can suck the life out of those who dare have more joy in vitality and worldly success than they, and, at the same time, gain a feeling of mastery, accomplishment and self-worth by tyrannizing over themselves. This is where their power lies, and their so-called morality is, for Nietzsche, something to be condemned. They do not express their ascetic ideals for the good of anyone but their own impoverished egos, and so he has his Zarathustra reprimand them, saying, “Even in your folly and contempt, you despisers of the body, you serve your self.” As with his other works, the problem of morality is of prime interest. A major aspect of it is, of course, that people use morality to appear and feel superior to others. It is a weapon and tool for their inferiority and feebleness, a mask and masquerade. In aphorism 352 of The Gay Science, he propounds that the person who needs this moral attire the most, is not the barbaric type, but the weak “herd animal with its profound mediocrity, timidity, and boredom with itself,” who then uses morality to appear justified and “divine.” 
Nietzsche often wrote as if he believed in breeds of man, and, for him, the type Christian has always existed: world-weary calumniators of the earth and slanderers of the body, completely degenerate in instinct, retarded in spirituality. Socrates and Plato are perfect examples of this. In his preface to Beyond Good and Evil he calls Christianity “Platonism for the people,” and in Twilight of the Idols he states that Plato built the “bridge which led” from antiquity “to the ‘Cross,’” claiming him to be “morally infected and so much an antecedent Christian” (What I Owe to the Ancients, 2). These “despisers of the body,” whom he chastises, are such a type as this, and so his Zarathustra tells them, “I say unto you: your self itself wants to die and turns away from life.” And in turning away from life they live as though dead, and this, in turn, ties in with an interpretation of the statement “God is dead,” which is rarely discussed or even touched upon.
           As far as Nietzsche could see, the Christian god wants more than anything that we deny ourselves the sensualities and worldliness of this life (Stoic philosophy, the dominating philosophy of Tarsus, where St. Paul was from, being the backbone of the New Testament). But for Nietzsche, self-denial is the embrace of nothingness (a dominating theme throughout his later works). It is the embrace of death while still alive. Basically, it is the crucifixion of all that makes us human. For Nietzsche, the Buddhist or Christian monk who has been able to kill off all his desires, and blunt himself against life, is officially dead. He walks, talks, eats, breathes, etc., but he is dead. The shell of a hallow man, one might say. And because the Christian god wants self-abnegation of us as an ideal, he – is dead. It is for this that in Twilight of the Idols he calls Christianity a “hangman’s metaphysics,” (The Four Great Errors, 7), and says that “Christianity, which despised the body, has up till now been mankind’s greatest misfortune” (Expeditions, 47). Or as he so succinctly summed it up in The Anti-Christ: “In God nothingness deified, the will to nothingness sanctified!” (18).
This ascetic ideal as a crutch for the self-image of such a miserable lot is perfect for those who are “no longer able to create beyond” themselves, though that be their “fervent wish,” as Nietzsche puts it, and that is why they have become “despisers of the body,” for it both eludes and fails them time and time again. “And that is why you are angry with life and the earth,” Zarathustra rails at them. “An unconscious envy speaks out of the squint-eyed glance of your contempt.” Parallel this with his words in On the Genealogy of Morals:
The sick are man’s greatest danger; not the evil, not the “beasts of prey.” Those who are failures from the start, downtrodden, crushed – it is they, the weakest, who must undermine life among men, who call into question and poison most dangerously our trust in life, in man, and in ourselves. Where does one not encounter that veiled glance which burdens one with a profound sadness, that inward-turned glance of the born failure which betrays how such a man speaks to himself – that glance which is a sigh! “If only I were someone else,” sighs this glance: “but there is no hope of that. I am who I am: how could I ever get free of myself? And yet – I am sick of myself!” (III:14).
And in Human, All Too Human:
There is a defiance of oneself of which many forms of asceticism are among the most sublimated expressions. For certain men feel so great a need to exercise their strength and lust for power that, in default of other objects or because their efforts in other directions have always miscarried, they at last hit upon the idea of tyrannizing over certain parts of their own nature, over, as it were, segments or stages of themselves. ...thus a philosopher adheres to views of asceticism, humility and holiness in the light of which his own image becomes extremely ugly. This division of oneself, this mockery of one’s own nature, this answering contempt with contempt of which the religions have made so much, is actually a very high degree of vanity. ...man takes a real delight in oppressing himself with excessive claims and afterwards idolizing this tyrannically demanding something in his soul. In every ascetic morality man worships a part of himself as God and for that he needs to diabolize the other part (I:137).
And, hence, his thesis statement and conclusion to his third and final essay of On the Genealogy of Morals, What is the Meaning of Ascetic Ideals?  that “man would rather will nothingness than not will.”