Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Modality of Praxis

I want to develop this idea more, but like everything else I think and write, I'll just start with the cursory. I have rejected ethics and morality. I no longer believe that they are viable, true or beneficial. You can understand this assertion by reading through my blog. Simply, I wish to justify life with life, and never, justify any aspect of life with abstraction or idealization. I want a radical abandonment of metaphysics and any justification that requires a metaphysical framework.

Why are you vegetarian then? Does that not build a lifestyle on moral principles?

Yes, vegetarianism, the common-usage of the term, requires a moral framework to allow for it to sensibly exist. The issue that first needs to be clarified is what do I mean when I refer to myself as a vegetarian?

For one to be an individual, a novel thinker and a person that is not alienated from his own ideology, he must be highly idiosyncratic, which creates semantic difficulties when communicating your ideas. I use the term vegetarian loosely as a quick way to reference myself as a person identified with those that are concerned. The primary difference between a vegetarian, and its subgroupings, and those that eat traditional diets is an issue of concern. Vegetarian are motivated by the presence of new awarenesses and new relationships that occur when one becomes concerned. Traditional diets are monolithic, silent ruins that say nothing and simply exist; the transformative power of concern is not present. Alienation from particular realities are highly present in a traditional diet. The attempt to jump this chasm of alienation, brought to you through concerns is an essential feature of vegetarianism. This is why I use vegetarian to describe myself, because I am concerned, and I am made aware.

Language operates in generalities and labels provide simple summaries. For one to have a truly unique idea, to think differently and to be fully creative, one must invent a new language to accurately describe it. Fortunately for you, I am not Heidegger, and I am not going to spend 200 pages redefining numerous words idiosyncratically and explain them in order to just build my new philosophy. Vegetarianism works as a pragmatic term I use to differentiate myself from those that persist on traditional diets.

Ideology and Praxis
What is the nature of my brand of vegetarianism? There are two modes in which one can practice an ideology. I will label them the dogmatic/religious approach and the experimental/scientific (more in line with the broader, weaker Wissenschaft than the hard English term science).

What is the dogmatic approach? It assumes core axioms that are believed to be evident. In vegetarianism, we can arrive at this with the assertion that the consumption of meat causes environmental damage; environmental damage is wrong because it will cause suffering and death; therefore consuming any meat is wrong because it is causing suffering and death. Another one would be, all living beings have some formation of a nervous system which causes pain when killing the entity. Causing pain is wrong because of the Kantian universalization of the principle (i.e. the golden rule, do on to others as you would want on to you.) Therefore killing any living animal is wrong because it causes pain. These are the unfurling of logical arguments with axioms and justified consequences.

We suddenly enter a very structured prison. You can never consume meat ever in the dogmatic position. Your logic requires justifications, and a contradicting action unhinges the entire project. The person becomes rigorous, inflexible and highly insincere. Their behavior must always be justified beforehand by their deterministic logic, that they love as a ferocious shield against detractors, but malign when they feel trapped and hypocritical.

Humans, as humans, do not function well in this sort of system. It is unnatural, as the justification for the behavior seeks out abstraction and logic, when naturally human behavior is highly passionate, capricious and strange. The dogmatic approach demands us to deny the human, to deny the body, to deny life in the pursuit of ideals, metaphysics and logic. Humans do not operate long on mathematics though; numbers do not sustain; the entire project decays in the total denial of the human condition -- something like a vegetarian anorexia nervosa sets in, a paralysis like Christianity. Passion is lost and the world no longer justifies the person's existence. Wasn't that the whole point though, to save the world so we could have it? The dogmatic approach is a great irony, for it asks us to save the world by throwing it out from our hearts, but then why save it?

The experimental approach is how I've chosen to pursue vegetarianism. There are no axioms, no mathematics to build, no metaphysics to justify life. Life is life -- in absolute purity. One ceases to eat meat as a way of sharpening, intensifying life to strengthen it and make it a canvas of potential creativity. To merely choose and act thrusts you into the world, and allows for a host of realities to appear to you. Some choices allow for a greater expression and understand, while other choices are shallow and superficial and lead no where. To try vegetarianism, as a thing you try everyday in experiment, uncovers a world or perhaps creates a world of intense meaning, where one becomes more connected with their primary source of being in the world -- food. Fauna is different, flora is different, the world seems to be alive again because you are merely just more aware of it through concern. Nothing in the world changed though, you just dared to experiment to see the world differently like an unknown artist paints a tree in a way that it has never been painted before. You become directly invested and connected with life.

Rules are to be used as if rules in a poem form or in a style of artwork; this is what dead ethics can be, where misery is abound and nothingness reigns -- a great art blooms like graffiti on a Church's weathered steeple. The motivation for life reveals itself not as a mathematics, rather, the flux of becoming, the shadowy, black desires that are the vital forces of life and people begin to make their presence available. My vegetarianism was justified by many rational thoughts, but in reality, the rational thoughts were merely justifications for the much more complex and true-to-life passion that I felt for such a lifestyle. I chose to feel and think the way I did before I ever had a truly good justification for it; one seeks justification only after one has been convinced of its vital power in the world by coming in contact with it.

The terror of the nihilism that will onset once values and ethics reveal themselves to be hallow have been a main concern for the last century, but if we do the unthinkable, and dash the whole project and accept morality as hallow, we can suddenly use them again; no longer conceived as universal, necessary truths but rather as creative tools to strengthen our lives through discipline. Our passion and vital energies are no longer lost by the sickening structures of morality's mathematics; our rules are dumbbells that we may use to exercise our lives. We can touch what once belonged to God and manipulate them to rip them from the Heavens to benefit our vital human energies.

In my diet, I choose to eat fish on occasion. I am not a hypocrite because there are no axioms to contradict; only the perpetual experimentation of new ideas and new ways of being. What stays, what fades away? Like good art or an indelible poem there is something that is beyond words to justify why it is great. An experimental practice of something, allows for the eventual creation of something that works, just clearly works well by how it allows for life as life to exist in a meaningful, fulfilling and empowering way. There won't be a quiet abstract equation for life in the future, only a fertile and healthy human body engaged in life.

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