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Friday, November 14, 2008

A new Morality: Love, Beauty, Truth/Virtue, Honor, Pride. Part II

Previously, I hoped to establish that morality does not leap spontaneously from the head of zeus, nor can it be arise by sitting down one day, humming a zen tone, and then getting back up with all the truths of the universe in hand. Morality has not been handed to us in some convenient book delivered by God, nor is morality the natural state of man. Nor is morality something that can be taught, like the best way to win a chess game, without ever being felt as well. A new morality must take into account all these dead-ends, navigate its way carefully, and emerge with a new answer for our age.

Morality is an interaction between our hearts, our inmost souls, culture, and civilization. A culture must be true and positive to be of any use. It must also answer all our human yearnings satisfactorily, or it is pointless and people will abandon it for other things. A civilization must believe in itself and have the willpower to enforce itself on its citizens, but one cannot be civilized unless you are enforcing a true, moral culture. Plenty of barbarians have followed their cultures, the Aztecs acted barbarously throughout their lives, nevertheless having a highly developed culture, morality, and belief system of their own. However, none would call human sacrifice and cannibalism civilization. It is still simple barbarism. Their morality was not true, and thus it was ultimately self-destructive and brought about their doom. It made too many enemies, too few friends, did not develop their arts or sciences, did not develop their economy or education, and exposed them to the disgust of a far more advanced people with far more positive standards than their own. The same fate awaits anyone who chooses their morality unwisely, or cleaves to a morality long since disproven.

Culture must be pervasive for it to infuse the soul. Culture cannot be an act of fiction you read a couple days out of the year, then return to your day to day life which is run by an entirely different belief system, which promotes entirely different ideals, and so on. You cannot go 'get culture' by visiting the local library today, opening up Clarrissa, and reading about her unfortunate life, between school which teaches one thing, chatting with your friends who say another, your church which says a third, tv which says a 4th, the law code which says a 5th, and so on. Culture, to truly be a culture, must be a unified vision, a unified story, a unified reality that encompasses your entire way of life. It cannot leave out 99% of your life and still 'count.' It doesn't, of course, only encompass your life, but the lives of everyone you know and see and talk to. Everyone you know believes it, in their hearts, and when they offer criticisms it is always of the margins, it never attacks the beating heart. Lively debates will be formed over what best represents your culture, this book or that, this monument or that, lively debates will be formed over which are the most important values, which the least, which should hold sway in a dispute between the two, and so on. But the fundamental belief would be there, that your way of life is good, is natural, is dutiful, is expected, is praised, is beloved, is successful, is enviable. That you, and your people, are blessed and fortunate to have been born under such an enlightened star. Imagine a starting point like that, and see how easy it is to reach 'morality' from here. Imagine how much simpler it is for someone to do and be good, when its strictures are reinforced by everything he sees, reads, and hears, and by everyone he speaks to, whether parent, church, cop, or peer. Imagine how easy it is for him to restrain his bad impulses, when he can expect the universal revulsion of his peers, instead of an apathetic shrug, or people cheering him on with Milton's Devilish wish that 'misery loves company.' Once everyone and everything has been recruited into the service of the culture war, for the monoculture that rules every aspect of life, from birth to education to marriage to work regulations to recreatinonal activities to holidays to funerals, people will find it much easier to belong, to conform, to meet expectations, to not want to be outcasts, to not want to lose their self-respect and the respect of their peers. In a moral vacuum all is permitted, and people quickly rationalize any enormity as somehow moral. Just like in a physical absence of cops, looting quickly emerges and everyone turns out to truly be monsters. This is just human nature, it has good instincts and socially harmful instincts, and a society that does not encourage some while discouraging others, has simply given up on existence.

For those who upon hearing the word 'conform' have already balked and decided we're better off without a culture after all, since it impinges on our freedom, diversity, 'vibrancy' and so on--that's right. It's a trade off. Everyone can't just do whatever they want, whenever they want, according to their every whim. Your pleasures and pursuits must accord with a greater societal portrait, a landscape, upon which you are just an ornament. You will not be allowed to spoil the view, corrupt the youth, poison the well, or rot our apples. No matter how discreetly you do your own thing, in the end you are sabotaging the effectiveness of the whole, by encouraging others to do the same, and sanctioning their bad activity, making it less censurous and more socailly acceptable for them to do it. Every opinion counts. Honest dissent that somehow shows a better path would of course be welcome, but simple rebellion and perverseness is not 'vibrancy' or 'individualism.' Or if it is, no one cares. It is a threat aimed at the heart of our people.

Open up any book of fiction written in the 1700's or 1800's. What will you find as the ever-present backdrop, the ever-present assumption, that the writer and the reader share, that never even needs to be spelled out, it's so well understood? You will find western culture and civilization. When you look at what reasons impel the choices of our characters, you will find them exemplars of western culture and civilization. When the characters are filled with shame, guilt, or remorse, it is because they know they are going against their culture, and know they are wrong, evil, despicable, for doing so. Even the most hardened rogues, at least in these stories, occasionally fear the coming punishment of God, occasionally pity their victims and question why they do such things, and try to keep scrupulously good reputations of themselves as dilligently as the honest men. But these hardened rogues are not like the demented serial killers of our current TV series. No, often enough, their only crime is speaking flatteringly to women, without any intention of marrying them. This was the suspenseful drama, this was the crisis, of these novels. No girl was assumed to simply wantonly want sex and thus have some, no girl was THAT foolish. In Dickens novels, even the prostitutes believe in God, feel they are sinful and dirty, and stick to their trade only out of poverty and despair. There simply was not a character who would screw for screwing's sake. Not a one. The moral failings of those fooled into sex before marriage was plenty enough, the censure already strong enough, the penalty already so severe that no man would likely take you again, your whole family would be dishonored and imperilled in the community, and for generations you children and grandchildren would be discriminated against as bastards. No girl was stupid enough to risk such harm for a good screw, the culture didn't allow such a personality to be born. Or if there were any, it was never allowed to reach the eyes and ears of others, with only moral tales of good people doing well, and bad people suffering profusely, allowed to reach their ears.

Many times, the story consisted of lovers, who through the opposition of parents, the differences in fortunes or titles, or some other injustice kept them apart. Far from making love anyway and flipping society the bird, these people found honest and just ways to bring their obstacles to heel, and married and lived happily ever after. Take a modern soap opera, and it's never because of some external beyond their control. The reason a couple does not get along well, is invariably one is mistreating the other, is thinking of cheating or wanting to switch with some new guy they 'love' more, has 'rediscovered' themselves and now wishes to pursue new interests and new circles of friends, and so on. All banal, all selfish, all evil reasons to break up, or not get together--never any relationship where the characters are not to blame for their own problems, where the wholly good can ever be rooted for.

How we court, what limits we assign to modesty and decorum, the degree of moral censure we pass on those who abuse others and are slaves to their passions, is stamped into every novel of the previous centuries, and wholly absent from today. Nothing is upheld as a model of good behavior, rampant sexuality is always rewarded in the shows and movies with 'more fulfilling' lives, and so on. Culture has failed to instil morality in our most basic relationships. This is just an example. I could show a hundred other ways how, for instance, evil doers these days don't even feel they are doing wrong, when in the past they all felt distinctly how wrong what they did was. How the limits of evil have been expanded far beyond anything the previous evil-doers ever imagined, like the mass school shootings or the knoxville horror. All of this is a failure of culture. With culture, people would know right from wrong, would feel a powerful pull towards doing the good and not violating the norms they grew up with all their life, a religious sense of how nothing good can come from this and their doom will catch up to them. We cannot blame the hearts and minds of our youth, they came out just as innocent and pure as every previous generation. They were never given a culture. The only things we modern westerners were taught to do as kids was 'get good grades,' 'get a high paying job,' 'be popular,' 'get laid,' and 'don't hate.' The entire system of moral censure is directed at not morally censuring others, the height of moral goodness is to tolerate the height of moral depravity, invent excuses for it, justify it as somehow someone else's fault, and so on. Children have been taught thoroughly this haphazard, phony set of ethics, and perform it with all their might to gain the social approval that comes of it. They did their part, they acted out the path of human nature. Who taught them? Who gave them such horrible ideals? Give a poll and ask 1,000 kids whether they would rather be honorable, wealthy, popular, or tolerant. Try it! Most of the kids will ask you what the first word even means, having never heard it before. ::rolls eyes:: Other retarded things we teach our kids, "think for yourself," "disobey authority," "never let anyone think they're better than you," "don't fight back if you're bullied," "use dating and sex to gain 'experience' for your late 30's when you'll be ready for a serious relationship." Most people can't think for themselves, they're hopelessly stupid and biased, their passions get the better of them, their reason falls too short, their ignorance affords them no fuel. Everyone must obey authority or there will be chaos, a clear heirarchy quashes the schoolyard bullies, gangs, and posers who only create false authorities when a true one is lacking. Humility is recognizing we are mere dogs compared to some humans, just as some humans are dogs compared to us. That is how severe the IQ gaps are. Fighting back is the only way to break the chain of abuse. Win or lose it establishes your manhood and your honor. The 'experience' you gain is only negative, you become experienced in how to give up, how to find endless faults in someone else, how to never try hard, how to not commit, how to distrust, and how to be callous about kisses, words, and caresses. I do not see how any of these experiences helped our ancestors marry their arranged partner, virgins until that day, and stick together the rest of their lives. Somehow they managed without.

So, what culture should we adopt? What could give our people a healthy body, mind, and spirit? What could satisfy our craving for purpose, for goals, for the sacred, for belonging, for happiness, and so many other things? Sadly, until it is implemented on the grand scale, it cannot function well on the micro-scale. This is because adherence to it only causes censure, friction, and ostracism from all those who don't adhere to it and follow the current vacuum system or the obsolete religious one. Basically adopting this culture is self-destructive and only results in heartache and loss--even though it's true. Only a civilization can properly hold it, an individual is better off pretending not to believe it. But then, anyone who does believe in it devoutly, finds it too hard to pretend anything else or deny it in any way. So it goes. You see, people of the new morality would say, "death before dishonor," and not even torture could force them to renounce their public and defiant adherence to their views. It is too powerful to know, to believe, but not to wear or uphold. Like the christian martyrs, 'fishians' or whatever the title, are going to first live their culture surrounded by hostility and punishments, physical, financial, social, and all the rest. Only someday, over the rainbow, can any of them dream of even their grandchildren living in a land that rewards them and honors them for their beliefs and ideals. The christians went through 300 years of persecution before they gained power. Should we do any worse? Are we any less than they?

In short, the new morality would hold that love, beauty, and truth are moral absolutes. That due to how wonderful these three aspects of life, of spirituality, are, they are both our purpose, our reward, and the one inviolate sacredness we must worship and obey as something greater than ourselves--something worth dying for. That to serve these absolutes, a moral being must uphold his virtue, his honor, and his pride. That he must sharpen the sword of his soul until it can cut through his own temptations, his own backsliding, his own shortcomings, and mercilessly adhere to these strictures however far they go. That he must be merciless to himself, and merciless to others, that the swords of our souls must be razor sharp, that not a single allowance must be made--that morality is absolute. Weakness must be deplorable, a crime in and of itself. Giving in to weakness must itself be denounced, remorse and repentance must be serious and accompanied with stricter obedience than ever before.

A man's virtue is his love of higher things, his love of right, and his unwillingness to be defiled or polluted by base acts or base sensations. He is immune to baseness, to degradation, he venerates and admires the virtues of others, he praises the good, his heart shines with love for the good in others, he does not break even once, not once, to things far beneath him, things never worth his soul. He is not addicted to any chemicals, he does not chase after money but only goodness and holiness, he treats others with kindness and humility, not having to control or 'beat' anyone to be happy with himself. When he can uplift others through advice, encouragement, or help, he is generous with them. When he sees a noble sacrifice being made by his fellow man, he joins in with him, be it hopeless or not, to show his solidarity for the right. He does not hide, he is not ashamed, he has fully justified his own way of life, to himself, many a time, and sworn to live as he does with all his heart.

A man's honor is his unyielding adherence to the right, and to his word. It is his reputation in the eyes of others, nothing is thought well of save your honor. However rich you become, however comely your face, however accomplished your talents, if you lack honor, you are a worthless dog, a dirty dog, not fit for life, who, if you had any shame, would have killed yourself long ago. Nothing can restore your place in society save honor, honor means you will never betray your society, never betray your word, never break your promises, never dishonor yourself or those around you. Honor means dying in service to the truth. Honor means losing even when victory was in your grasp. Honor means nothing is more important than your honor, and nothing can make you break it, reward or punishment. Honor means continuing to do even your mistakes. Honor means following through even your folly. Honor does not compromise. Honor is never unilateral, you cannot remove your promise without the agreement of the person you promised something too. Honor is never conditional, whoever else violates their honor, that does not mean you can as well. Honor means recognizing your duties. Honor means obeying your duty, and those with the authority to enforce them. Honor means acting honestly toward your fellow man, neither injuring him or deceiving him, but stating clearly your motivations and intentions. Honor means admitting things even when they shine pooly against you. Honor does not keep secrets, but admits all its faults readily, and boasts of all its accomplishments proudly. Honor is sacred. Honor is true.

Pride means taking pride in one's virtue and honor, in one's true worth, in one's morality, not any external. Pride means building a shrine in your soul and worshipping the love, beauty, and truth inside you. Pride means loving your family, your children, your race, your ideals, and everything like you. Pride means not losing to one's emotions, to one's viciousness, to one's bestiality. Pride means upholding the best, being your best, loving your best so much that you cannot afford to sacrifice it for any other price. Pride means believing in yourself, your cause, and having the willingness to fight for it whatever the odds. Pride is to be serious. How I wish even a few people were serious about anything they knew, felt, or believed. How simple, and yet so rare, a gem is someone who believes, seriously, including all the implications and ramifications, his own beliefs! Only believing in yourself gives you the strength to be yourself, only believing in your beliefs gives them the strength to change the world. We are all, always, warriors of the spirit. Every day, every second, right and wrong is set before us, moral and immoral, we must make the right decision every time. If we don't, we must make amends. There are no excuses or explanations, right and wrong are clear, we must love the right and wish to be a part of it--if we are not in any way associated with anything good or holy, then we are trash, filth, so unhappy, so worthless, so useless, as to beggar description. If we defile the gods (Love, Beauty, Truth) or spit on their creations, we should be executed then and there. Those who take pride in their souls do not abide insults, slurs, and calumnies thrown against them.

No lies are ever justified in the service of some higher good. The highest good is abiding by the truth, living honorably, embracing existence. Simply knowing the truth is pleasurable, teaching the truth to others is a joy, discovering the truth through argument or analysis an endless journey, suffering for the truth an unescapable task. Love is enough, other factors are meaningless, love must always be the strongest emotion, the largest driving factor, between friends, family, lovers, parents and children, and between individual and country. From birth to death, everyone must feel loved, everyone must be loved by someone, and everyone must learn to love another, and love so deeply, it never fades. Love means we never have to be alone. Beauty must adorn everything, beauty is why we are human and not animals. Beauty is our reason for being. We are the eyes through which the universe beholds itself and knows itself divine. Beauty exists to be admired, not degraded. Beauty should be surrounded with love and truth, not hate and lies. This is why such beautiful things as sex, nudity, and so on should never be vandalized with prostitutes, seducers, or sluts. The same for dance, it should not be turned into grinding. The same for music, it should not be forced into rap. As much as possible, stories should be about heroes, given harsh problems, given incredibly tough moral dilemmas, and rising above. The language should be beautiful and inspiring. This is the art of Art! Everything should be as deeply felt as a burning fire in one's bosom, and then, everything should be made to feel twice as sharply. Songs should stop us from breathing, mountainscapes should paralyze our eyes, paintings should have endless details and a moral theme so lovely one can't look away. Beauty is so, so, so very good. Female beauty, clad in innocence, good will, and modesty, clad in virtue, whether clothed or nude, is the most beautiful work of art in existence. Alive and before your eyes, the most breath-taking sight in existence. I grant this is a wholly human viewpoint, but I insist it is a divine, sacred human viewpoint. And that is all the difference.

With this culture, admiration, veneration, and inspiration, would connect our hearts and souls to our laws, our stories, our cities, our history, our destiny. The plug would reach the socket. A new morality would be born. And the circuity of civilization would have the strength to start plugging. The true life, the life of the entire living organism, the life of all the human constituent parts who provide some little fire to the flame, would begin. This is the atheist spirit that can fill the moral vacuum. This is the way humanity could be retitled people of the stars.

As for me, I've done my best to contribute to the culture our people so need. Six fiction books published online (one chapter even published as a short story in print. ;) )with morality deeply imbedded in all of them, read by dozens of people around the world! If you want any copies, just ask. A contribution to culture is as precious as any to science, infinitely more precious than any accumulation of property (which will all be taken from us and given to africans anyway so who cares?), and we of high IQ have a duty to our people to lead, to enlighten, to inspire. Those of us who know the truth have a duty to impart it--somehow, some way, serve some cause be it love beauty or truth. The corpus is all too thin, we must have bach's, beethoven's, shakespeare's, rembrandt's, Dostoeveskey's and Homer's, just as many, just as varied, just as grand and beautiful and true as they were. And though we can use all of them, none of them specifically address the challenges and experiences of today, none of them are exactly what we want them to be---the creation of culture must continue. However supported we are by giants, we must still stand on their shoulders.


Anonymous said...

These books being?

Diamed said...

Obviously I can't say while maintaining my anonymity. Sorry if you were interested in reading them, but you can always try out 'Changeling' which is available on this blog as a link on the front page instead, that's the book I wrote for 'dangerous minds,' the books I wrote under my own name are meant for the general public and obviously can't be associated with this blog.