Archive for August, 2005

STOP THIS!

by Jason Stotts

Okay, boys and girls, here’s another important distinction that you should make when you speak or write.

“I feel” means that you are telling someone about your feelings or sensations…the next words out of your mouth had better be “happy”, “sad”, “cold”, “tired” or some other such feeling or sensation.

“I think” means that you are telling someone about your ideas…the next words out of your mouth had better be “…that capitalism is good”, “…that pride is the crown of the virtues”, or that “…there is a special place in hell for socialists”.

If someone around you opens there mouth and says “I feel” and then start talking about ideas, you are obligated to SLAP THEM ACROSS THEIR BITCH FACES.

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Are Three-Somes Morally Acceptable?

by Jason Stotts

Today boys and girls, we are going to talk about a “naughty” subject: ménage-a-trois. The other day I had an interesting discussion with one of my friends about our respective pasts and he raised the issue of three-somes (3S’s). Naturally, being philosophically inclined, I was inclined to raise the question: “Are three-somes moral?” I think this is quite an interesting topic which is sure to spark a lot of interesting conversations.

Let us first draw a distinction between 3S’s in a relationship and 3S’s outside a relationship. As I have written elsewhere and said many times, I believe that sex outside of some kind of relationship is immoral – so if sex with one person would be wrong you can imagine what my position is on sex with two or more people. The question of from inside a relationship is different though…

If one is in a committed relationship with someone else, then I think it makes the question of moral permissibility more interesting and complex. First, there a number of just practical considerations that must first be taken into account. You have to really trust your partner and know that they will not just leave you for this new person or else it will cause jealousy and/or insecurity and it will ruin the relationship. There is also the issue of danger – there are many STD’s around and you certainly don’t want to get one nor give one to your partner whom you love. There must also be clear and open communication between the partners about intent, boundaries, and what it entails for the future. However, just because one has given consideration to these issues and thinks that it is practically feasible, does not mean it is morally permissible.

It is my opinion that the morality of a three-some inside a relationship depends on just one thing: the free and unequivocal consent of both the partners. I believe this way because Morality deals with issues of whether something is pro-life or anti-life and given that one could take care of all the practical issues and that there was free consent of the partners, then a moral issue wouldn’t arise.

Relationships are in a sense “contracts” between two parties for some end (namely to be together in a loving relationship). Since they are contracts, they have implications and terms, whether explicit or implicit – such terms may include such things as commitment, fidelity, and mutual support. It is up to each relationship to set their own standards and rules, although there are obviously some societal norms which most relationships share. Since the boundaries of a relationship can be set by the consent of both parties in the relationship, if they both choose to allow for sexual relationships with others, then such relationships are acceptable. It is not for those outside a relationship to set the boundaries for those inside the relationship – although if the people inside the relationship are being irrational, such should be pointed out to them.

So, if someone wants to have a 3S and they are inside a relationship, as long as they can overcome all practical problems and get the free unequivocal consent of their partner, then a 3S is morally permissible and acceptable by all standards.

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An All Too Common Confusion

by Jason Stotts

I often hear people make a silly and obvious equivocation between two terms that mean drastically different things: namely Intelligence and Knowledge. I think though, that we must do as The Philosopher suggests, and start with that which is first.

Intelligence is a capacity (potentiality) for thinking and reasoning, analogous to a motor.

Knowledge is having actual understanding of facts and theories; it is basically justified true belief, analogous to fuel.

Now, when one calls someone “Intelligent” one means that the person in question is good at using their mind for thinking and reasoning.

When one calls someone “Knowledgeable” one means that the person in question knows a lot of (true) facts and theories.

Now, the Intelligence and Knowledge work together as do motors and fuel – the motor needs fuel in order to operate. (Although in this analogy the “motor” can run on other kinds of “fuel”.) Thus the two terms are often used together, although they mean different things.

It is from this intimate connection that the problem arises and although the two terms are intimately connected they are not the same thing.

One could be knowledgeable without being intelligent (i.e. know a lot about sports).

One could also be intelligent without being knowledgeable (i.e. a smart child or a intelligent adult ignorant of a specific subject).

So, next time you talk about someone being knowledgeable or intelligent, take a moment to think about the difference between the two and use the right term!

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A Shattered Crown

by Jason Stotts

Life, we say is the highest value, Eudaimonia our moral purpose, and Excellence is our way. Borne of this though is something else, something which makes our life and our happiness more worthy: that thing is Honor or Pride.

We would think a man poor, who thought himself happy without virtue. We would think him base if he thought himself happy through ignoble activities. We would think him insane if he thought he could flourish through self destruction. We think then, that virtue is integral to Eudaimonia, that without the crown of the virtues, that there could be no happiness. That without Pride our lives would not be as worthwhile to live.

What man would want to live as an ignoble savage, as a brute, in a subhuman existence? No man in his right mind would do so.

Virtue is a necessary condition for Eudaimonia and it is also a sufficient reason to live.

We often hear bemoaned that there is a lack of morals nowadays – my response is that Honor is dead among the brutes who now call themselves Men and that until we restore pride, we shall not have morals.

Why do we have morals? To live. Why do we want to live? A better question. We must have some reason to live, something that makes our lives worth living. We must have a raison d’être. Without such a reason, without a purpose, our lives are meaningless. We say that Eudaimonia is our purpose, but we must not forget that virtue is the most integral part of Eudaimonia, that any sort of “achievement” of values through ignoble activities will not raise us to the level of Eudaimonia.

Some people weep for the death of “morals”, I weep for the death of Man.

No Man would choose to live as less than a Man; no Man would renounce Eudaimonia as his purpose and goal. To be a Man means to be a king, a king who wears the crown of the virtues.

Let us destroy the Christians for what they have done. They have broken the crown of Man. They have shattered virtue through their insidious and inverted ethics. To be a Christian means to be less than a man. It means to willfully put yourself in a position to never be happy, never be free, and never know the beauty of life as Man qua Man.

Virtue is what makes us Men, pride is the crown of the virtues – to destroy pride is decadent and abominable.

The Christian is anti-life and anti-man, he is a breaker of crowns. Let us Men therefore be anti-Christians.

Man is the anti-Christ, the cure to the infectious evil and decadence that is Christianity.

It is time for Man to take back his crown from the lecherous hands of the Christians and pick up his sword, Justice, and to once again rule the world and recast it as it might and ought to be.

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Wow

by Jason Stotts

So, this picture is inadvertantly courtesy of Sandy, who happened to have a link to it on her AIM profile, so click on it and take a look.

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Is Animal Testing Ethical?

by Jason Stotts

Recently on the news I saw a bunch of “bunny-huggers” gathered somewhere protesting the “unethical treatment of animals” because these animals were being used to test pharmaceutical products to make sure they were safe for human use. Now, this seems to me to be 1) an evil inversion of Morality, 2) ridiculous that people would waste their time trying to save lesser animals, and 3) a true ignorance of the nature of the enterprise for which the animals are being used.

First, Morality is about serving the life and interests of HUMANS, therefore protesting as unethical actions aimed at trying to save the lives of humans is not ethical and just, but rather it’s unethical and unjust.

Second, lesser animals have no moral status and can be used however we want within reason. It is not immoral to kill animals per se, it would, however, be immoral to irrationally slaughter animals for “fun”, but the immorality comes not from killing the animals but rather from the motives of action. Killing animals for food or to save the lives of people is ethical but killing them for “fun” is indicative of mental problems.

Third, it is not only moral, but also just to use animals in order to try and save people. Animals have no intrinsic value; they have instrumental value (or perhaps sentimental value for pets), as such they are to be used to further our lives if they can be. The testing done on animals is to ensure the safety and lives of people – anyone who would object to letting an animal die to save a person can hardly be described as a moral person, in fact they are immoral and are operating from an inverted sense of morality.

Just as a closing thought, if giving the choice between saving a dog or a monkey at the expense of your own life, would you do it?

The rational answer, is of course, NO!

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A Picture

For those who have asked.

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Thoughts on Sex and Love

by Jason Stotts

I think sex is a necessary condition of an intimate relationship. Personally, I think that the Platonic/christian relationship is inherently deficient for true love: true love should involve a person’s entire being and we are of course creatures of mind and body – to neglect one or the other is to have an incomplete relationship. Now having said that, I think it is further necessary that a proper relationship be built on mutual values and virtues (e.g. independence, honesty, integrity). This is important because we desire perfection as people, both in ourselves and in others – we desire that not only does our partner share our conception of the Good, but also that they strive for this Good. Further a relationship of two virtuous individuals is the only way to have a proper flourishing relationship – one in which both partners are benefited and made more excellent. A relationship in which one person is dominant and the other submissive – whether because of power issues, differences in character, or a deficiency in one of the partners – leads to a relationship in which neither partner can be truly satisfied because one partner will be forced to carry the other and the other will be forced to be carried, the first of which is foolhardy and the second ignoble and the combination ergo insufficient as a basis for a proper relationship.

A proper romantic relationship must be of two strong individuals (as we just saw) who are dedicated to one another (through mutual interests, virtues, desires) and who desire to be with one another both in everyday life and erotically. A romantic relationship necessitates sexual intimacy. To be complete, love must be spiritual and physical – of mind and of body.

Now, this is not to say that sexual encounters are per se wrong outside of romantic relationships, I do not believe that to be the case. However I do believe sexual relationships qua sexual relationships without any sort of love (whether romantic or of a close friend) or shared values is improper – it is ignobly acting as no better than a beast. Having said that I certainly don’t believe sexual relationships amongst close friends are wrong, but neither do I believe they are necessary. I would hesitate to use necessary because I can think of many relationships in which there could be very close friends, but where it would be inappropriate and wrong for them to have sexual relations (i.e. one of the friends was dating someone else who was not comfortable with an open relationship). But given that there are no external considerations, I see no reason which would preclude two close friends from being intimate – as long as each was fully aware of the nature and extent of the relationship. By this I mean that one person isn’t expecting it to develop into a romantic relationship and the other person not wanting it to, this would destroy the original friendship.

For all of these reasons and more I would say that Platonic/christian love IS WRONG – it is acting against the proper nature of people and of love. This condemnation is not to say that you cannot love someone who you do not have sex with, but the Platonic/christian ideal is fundamentally mistaken, although without going into the issue of justice in love and conditional vs. unconditional, the distinction is not as apparent as it could be. But that shall have to be another article.

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