Our Humanity

One o’clock 🕐. Played the turquoise Fender for only 15 minutes. It sounded different to me, yet I know it’s a brain chemistry issue. I started the gabapentin one week ago today. Materialism is only one perspective on the world. As a moral philosophy, it is hedonistic, like Epicurus and Lucretius. From a Christian standpoint it is unworthy and maybe pretentious. I don’t know: what is the ethics of a materialist? Isn’t it pleasure, and maximizing this? Cramming in as much sensation as possible before you die? And then what is the Christian ethics? Or what is spirituality, if not the practice of loving and giving of yourself? It is forgoing selfish satisfaction that others may benefit.

The Flies was a weird play. After all, Orestes commits a double parricide, a sanguine murder, then wriggles out of feeling any remorse for the crime. Somehow his freedom permits this. I think that’s a little extreme. It is human to have a conscience and to feel guilt for doing wrong. What Sartre proposes is inhumanity. And that’s like Ayn Rand’s ruthlessness as well. No pity and no remorse or guilt. Like Nietzsche, they offer us the overman, the superman without a trace of conscience, who blasts his way through life heedless of the bones he breaks. The predecessor of Nietzsche was probably Machiavelli, likewise brutally unscrupulous… Fortunately for us, our humanity is resilient and keeps bouncing back from the digressions of renegade thinkers such as Sartre and Rand. I was just an adolescent when philosophy enchanted me and perhaps steered me wrong. I think back to WW2 and the victory of Christianity over the depravity of Hitler, whose mind was fed on thinkers like Plato and Nietzsche; who got elitism on the brain and carried it to nightmarish extremes.

The history of philosophy is very interesting, and the way intellectual trends influence political events and vice versa. But after a while it’s good to come back to our roots and be thankful for them.

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