Well, I haven’t posted for over a week now. Most of my writing time and energy has gone to a novel I’m writing and the rest to answering Jubilare’s excellent arguments prompted by my article concerning the inequality of the sexes. How often on the internet does one see people arguing intelligently about something and both profiting from the discussion? It helps that Jubilare and I come from a similar theological background, but one should not absolutely need a common background in order to profit from an argument. The only thing absolutely needed is a belief in absolutes. Most modern argumentation, especially in the political arena, falls to the level of a shouting match where each person vies for more time to air their viewpoints, because confidence counts more than truth to the masses. That modern man relies more on rhetorical tricks and sophistry shows the lack of logical and philosophical training in people’s education and the atmosphere of moral relativism in which we live. Political correctness and ideological purity have taken the place of philosophy.
Yesterday, I almost watched two episodes of Concrete Revolutio in my quest to finalize my watch list for this season. I’ll admit that I was in a black mood, which caused me to see the bad points of the show more than the good. Though, the episode at first excited me with it’s allusion to Black Cat.
The fights were indeed enjoyable, but little else. The constant flashbacks also annoyed me. But, paying attention to the opening lyrics made my enjoyment decline sharply:
Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this song not an ode to moral relativism, solipsism, and nihilism? There exist no absolutes besides oneself, our worldview consists of “unanswerable cries”, and the world is hopeless. One thinks that the revolution referred to in the song is a revolution of the moral order–following the course of Nietzsche in eschewing traditional values and sound philosophy in order to find one’s own truth–as if truth varied! Treating ourselves as absolutes leads to confusion and despair. Perhaps, philosophy and ethics are hard–as hard as it was for me to write good responses to Jubilare’s cogent arguments. But, we ought to force ourselves to examine morality and ask hard questions about the nature of existence until we discover the truth, which does not vary. We should be surprised if someone handed us seven donuts when we asked for a dozen. We should be very upset if the clerk insisted that one dozen meant seven and refused to give us twelve because the notion of a dozen meaning twelve was outmoded. Morality is like this because morality, like philosophy, is the search for absolutes and universals.
Not long ago, I received an individual’s comment which, for the first time ever, I deleted. Why? My initial response was that this person could not really believe what they wrote and played the part of a troll. There were two meetings with this troll. Another blog contained a post on the subject of the need for humane laws for prostitutes. I commented that the blogger’s article was very interesting in not discussing whether prostitution was moral or not. For, if something is immoral, why would we create laws to enable a person to act immorally? Would it not be more prudent to ban the practice and let the very dangers of the illicit profession dissuade people from engaging in it? To use another example, should Americans–as has been proposed in the past–provide watering stations for illegal immigrants because many die of thirst crossing into the United States? The trollish commentator said that I should not let my religious hang-ups keep me from joining the 21st century.
In the above case, I declined to feed the troll and was surprised when this individual found my apparently famous Shogo Makishima post. In his deleted comment, the troll denied the idea of sin, writing the absurdity “the only sin is man,” and claimed that Makishima only committed deeds we all wish we should do. Shogo is not a villain who should have been a hero but a real hero. Do you see why I deemed this commentator a troll?
But, the more I watch Bishop Sheen’s Life is Worth Living TV series, the more I think this commentator meant what he said, which would make him a far more ghoulish troll than one usually meets online. To borrow from Fulton Sheen, he makes the id or subconscious the master and reason and will the slaves of the subconscious. Where free will and reason do not rule, philosophy is useless. The only purpose of a philosophy which places the subconscious above reason is to excuse us from those evil deeds we commit when we decline to follow reason. (Guilt is the product of a rational mind.) Worse, if irrationality usurps the place of rationality, then reason and meaning depart from our lives, giving us the twin evils of moral relativism and nihilism.
Books and shows which project moral relativism and nihilism, like Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure and, I suspect, Concrete Revolutio, exude a diabolical imagination. (For a great article on the imagination, see Russell Kirk’s “The Moral Imagination.”) Concrete Revolutio even hints at this orientation by giving several characters horns or hairstyles which include cornute projections. But, horns alone would be a silly reason to suspect this if not for the song and the fact that the first episode and most of the second appeared rather vacuous–flashing lights, pretty colors, but nothing of moral substance, as we find in shows like Rurouni Kenshin, Code Geass, Inuyasha, and even All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku. (The moral imagination is not a rare thing, thanks be to God!) Or, am I wrong? Does the show not display the axioms found in the song?