Thursday, May 12, 2005

Trading Shoes

I will make the imaginative leap suggested by Marco, to trade shoes with him, and attempt to imagine that I no longer believe in an absolute morality. To help me I will consult the immortal 'Kasidah of Haji Bdu El-Yezdi", by Sir Richard Burton:

There is no Good, there is no Bad;
these be the whims of mortal will;
What works me weal that call I 'good';
what harms and hurts I hold as 'ill':

They change with place, they shift with race;
and in the veriest span of Time,
Each Vice has won a Virtue's crown;
all Good was banned as Sin or Crime:


Do what thy manhood bids thee do,
from none but self expect applause;
He noblest lives and noblest dies
who makes and keeps his self-made laws.

All other life is living Death,
a world where none but Phantoms dwell,
A breath, a wind, a sound, a voice,
a tinkling of the camel bell.

It now appears to me that my self-made laws require me to subject all lesser mortals to my will. Thus I will no longer dabble in the shallows of logical argument, but will use all means at my disposal to enforce my will. The cloak of pseudo-intellectual blogger falls away, and I find that I have become a Pirate King. Arr!


Marco said...

That's actually quite a useful experiment. That is exactly the conclusion I believe Osama Bin Laden Made. The circumstantial evidence of him switching from being supported by US in his Afghanistan vs USSR days, to being the US's sworn enemy. His manipulation of the Islam religion to use suicide terrorists as his pawns. A willingness to assert his will in a number of different ways that don't match with scriptures he quotes. He certainly isn't "selfish", but he exerts his will for the peer he identifies with, rather than his view of absolute good. His various rantings are a means to an end - to further radicalise his (absolutist) pawns. He may have even slipped in some code as to what his followers should do, meaning he needed to pad out his speeches with further rantings.

Dave said...

Arr, your Majesty.

BTW, I haven't so much abandoned my self-appointed jester status, merely subjugated it beneath a teetering pile of CV's and interviews that need reading.

I will get back to perfunctory participation in philosophical debates when I have two minutes off the phone. Which won't be until June at the earliest.

Marco said...

It is scary however - I do think that society just couldn't function unless relativists were a minority. I think most biological traits that encourage relativism have been breeded out. However, now that you have been (temporarily) liberated from your cloak of righteousness you can stop dwelling on why abortion should be illegal, and move on to how to make it happen with the means you have!

Marco said...

Come on - when are you going to move on to your thoughts on cost-benefit analysis on abortion law reform - say for this country, any other country, or a hypothetical caliphate which had the powers to enforce its laws globally albeit with the monetary constraints of say the UN.