Monday, 20 May 2013

Chasing Cheese is All We Need


I've been watching some of the debate (or row, to be more accurate) between LudditeReturns and Inmendham on YouTube. It's raised a few interesting issues which I thought I'd bring up here. I may simplifying the positions somewhat, but even if I am my outlines will serve as a general delineation of a standard quarrel between ANs and their opponents.

As far as I can make out, LR defends life on the grounds that the hedonistic chasing mechanism that constitutes our existence provides enough pleasure for its participants to justify itself. Or in other words, people find fulfillment in pursuing desires and find pleasure when those desires are fulfilled. That's just what human life is and to desire it to be otherwise is misguided. LR claims that Gary is judging human life from an unjustifiably third-person perspective and finding it wanting. LR claims there is no need for "meaning" and that Gary is making all sorts of category mistakes when condemning the process as a whole. People in this camp also state that the activity of pleasure seeking is in and of itself enough to provide meaning if someone feels the need for it.

In reply, Gary is arguing that the hedonistic wheel is turned entirely by a fundamental lack or deprivation in our existence. As Schopenhauer pointed out, we are fundamentally incapable of being satisfied as every desire leads to a new one and all satisfaction is but temporary. So consequently anyone who realises this is therefore bound to realise how futile and undignified the whole cheese-chasing process is, and will also most likely suffer a loss of appetitie for the game as a result.

More importantly, (and as far as I know LR has failed to address this so far, but I could be wrong) the perpetuation of this hedonistic chase causes an enormous amount of unjustifiable and unredeemable suffering. The question for anyone then becomes how can the perpetuation of the chasing game be justified?

Of course, there are those who claim it doesn't need to be: party on, and if there's "collateral damage" that's just tough and let's barrel on until the axe falls. This is the position Gary rages against and terms 'nihilism'.

In conclusion, it strikes me that LR and all of his ilk willingly put on the blinkers and ignore the bigger picture of suffering in order to revel and wallow in their own egos. Regardless of the issue of meaning, anyone who enjoys the cheese-chasing is surely obliged to acknowledge that the issue of whether it is right to create a new cheese-chaser/boulder-pusher is a legitimate one that demands justification. Can the creation of a new consciousness destined to go through all the usual stages of life, and all the accumulation of suffering that necessarily entails, and which ends in a return back to the Nothingness from whence it came really be as unproblematic as the Yea-Sayers claim?

I think not.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Spreading the Disease from "Love"


Thanks to the Anonymous who posted this a few days ago!

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-angelina-jolie-mastectomy-first-person-20130515-dto,0,5217359.htmlstory

"Article is about a woman who rushed to have TWO children after finding out she carried the same mutation Angelina Jolie did that led her to get a double mastectomy. She did it so she could enjoy as many Mother's Days as possible with her daughters (what a thoughtful and considerate woman). She did actually think a moment about the possibility that she could pass the same deadly mutation on to the girls, but that appears not to have figured largely, if at all, into her decision whether to have them in the first place. Well, at least she gratified her selfish "needs" by breeding. Here's how she closes the article:
"Sadie and Twyla are too young to know the full extent of our family history, or what they might face. They each have a 50% chance that they inherited the deadly mutation from me, but they won't get tested until they are at least 18. I try not to think about what those results may be."
That's right, lady. Just bury your head in the sand. After all, they'll have to deal with the fallout... not you."