“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” – Morpheus
The Red Pill in the Matrix liberates the human mind from the Matrix and grasp the true reality. In philosophy, the red pill is the principle of insufficient reality. In the book, Joyful Cruelty, Clement Rosset addressed the cruelty of reality and the standard evasive strategies philosophers have used to avoid it. Every attempt to minimize the cruelty of truth, or the harshness of the real, has the inescapable consequence of discrediting the most brilliant efforts and the most noble causes. Continue reading The Principle of Insufficient Reality
The other day I got into a debate on twitter about the morality of sharing ebooks. Someone was posting free copies of Roger Zelazny’s books on kindle, and I replied that I was entitled to ebooks of the printed books I own. This writer challenged that assertion and asked for an argument. I refused to engage in his Empire-inflected moralizing, that the writer owned the medium his story is printed on, and used the Ship of Theseus example to deconstruct the notion of ownership.
O sweet & deadly nihilism, what cruel beauty…
Of the four flavors of psychological states,
Three intoxicants are poisonous
Naturally & culturally, individually & socially!
First venomous flavor is the cockcrow
Of arrant meaninglessness–
A failure of Grand Purpose,
Promises a bitter aftertaste of Discouragement & melancholia!
Second rancorous flavor is the faith
In some conjectural Everything, a great Chain of Being;
A cosmic guarantor of infinite worth!
Woe unto he who loses his faith,
for he loses his own self-worth too!
Third malignant flavor is the visceral gasp
At the infinite flux, absent a safe respite;
Nothing to do but condemn all
For the sake of some Cloud Cuckoo Land,
That has no staying power whatsoever!
And the Fourth flavor? Curiously,
Neither aim, nor unity, nor Being apply!
Nothing left but a brand new tomorrow
Freed of crumbling relics & monuments of yesteryear!
Freed at last to create new selves, new worlds, new futures!
While I’ve read several works in literature that could pass as nihilistic, it wasn’t until Fate/Zero I could say I’ve come across a truly nihilistic masterpiece. Even the classic Neon Genesis Evangeliondid not reach this nadir of such depraved nihility. Gen Urobuchi, the writer of Fate/Zero has expressed similar sentiments in his other works such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica, but Fate/Zero serves as a platform that displays a potpourri of various philosophies that are exposed one by one as fictitious or illusory.
I have been enjoying the ongoing Japanese anime Fate/Zero, & episode 11 consists of a dialogue between three legendary kings who expressed philosophical differences about ruling. The interlocutors are Saber (King Arthur), Rider (Alexander the Great) and Archer (Gilgamesh), but the most interesting aspect was the diametrically opposite approach between Arthur and Alexander regarding how to rule. It was fascinating enough to inspire a lengthy rant on morality, Nietzsche, and representation. Continue reading Dialogue of Kings: a clash of moralities
Nietzsche is often taken as a poster-boy for atheism due to his infamous phrase, “God is dead!” However, that is not a clear endorsement of atheism but rather, theothanatology. In his writings, Nietzsche did refer to atheism and oftentimes in jest. His hermeneutic-psychoanalysis of Christianity led him to be exceedingly critical of atheists, as well as scientists and skeptics. Continue reading Nietzsche & atheism