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#34254 - 01/20/10 05:26 AM Satanic Ethics
Baron dHolbach Offline
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Registered: 12/29/09
Posts: 162
Seemed like a thread worth having. I'm interested in your thoughts on this topic.

My own starting point is to sharply distinguish between morality and ethics. As I've stated previously, I'm amoral. I reject all morality without exception, qualification, or equivocation. The Superego is internalized social pressure and my response to that social pressure is Fuck You. But that doesn't mean I have no ethics.

Ethics as I define it is any set of broad strategic principles for maximizing one's happiness in this life. Whatever those are for you, they constitute your ethics.

My own strategic principles are aretaic, as I have embraced the recent aretaic turn in the philosophy of Ethics, that being an exploration of what it means to base ethics on the development and refinement of virtues, rather than basing it on any kind of legalistic code. Thus for me Satanic ethics is the development and refinement of what I identify as Satanic virtues, and I contend that doing this maximizes my happiness in this life.

My list of Satanic virtues includes the seven deadly sins, plus prudence, bravery, discipline, physical fitness, fighting skill, skepticism, pragmatism, realism, cynicism, and self-awareness, all of which I've mentioned before in my various posts. I have demonstrated to my own satisfaction, by doing the experiments implied, that developing and refining these virtues maximizes my happiness in this life.
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#34272 - 01/20/10 11:31 AM Ethics Defined [Re: Baron dHolbach]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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To help focus the concept of ethics, here is the introduction to that part of my Black Magic in the Crystal Tablet of Set:

ETHICS IN THE USE OF BLACK MAGIC

As you become adept in LBM, you will be tempted to use it for all manner of personal gratification. The more skilled you are, the more you will be inclined to think that you can get away with almost anything. The governing factor is not whether you can or can’t, but rather whether your consciously-determined ethics allow you to.

As you begin to direct your life independently of morals, codes, and customs imposed upon you by the politics and propaganda of society, you will have to assume the responsibility for your own ethics. Only if you are known to be a strictly ethical individual will your rejection of social norms be tolerated. Otherwise you will be ostracized and probably persecuted by society. If it cannot be sure of controlling you, it will tend not to trust you to control yourself intelligently unless you make it very clear that you can do precisely that. In that case society will tend not only to tolerate you, but even to respect and admire you for the unique, creative being that you are. The following section discusses ethics in greater detail.

Before one can consider the proper place of ethics in Setian behavior, “ethics” as a term must be raised from a vague sentiment to something more concrete. It is, unfortunately, one of those terms whose elusiveness has made it all too susceptible to casual and cursory use. “He’s an ethical person,” we say - and leave it at that. What are ethics? How can we identify them, and how should we judge them?

Ethics, alternatively called moral philosophy, seeks to distinguish what is good from what is bad and to formulate justifiable reasons for making such distinctions.

As a branch of philosophy, ethics is a normative science; that is, it seeks to identify principles of good and evil that transcend social, cultural, or political convention (social contract theory).

Beyond a merely normative approach to ethics is metaethics, which seeks to investigate normative currency-terms such as “good”, “evil”, “justice”, “ought”, “right”, and “wrong”. The neutrality and objectivity of metaethics depend on the assumption that such terms are not dependent upon moral beliefs (such as religion). The metaethical concept of naturalism, advanced by theorists such as John Dewey and Herbert Spencer, posits that moral terms have a basis in scientific fact. Intuitionists agree that moral terms have an external, reliable basis, but attribute it to self-evident (“I know it when I see it”) qualities.

Challenging intuitionists and naturalists are moral skepticists who insist that moral terms are completely arbitrary. Emotivists claim that such terms have no capacity for being true or false in themselves, and that the people who use them are simply stating their emotions about an issue. Subjectivists maintain that moral judgments state subjective facts only about attitudes, not the objects of those attitudes. And Imperativists insist that moral judgments are actually “commands” in another guise, hence do not focus at all on criteria of truth or objectivity.

When even its basic language terms are so fraught with controversy, normative ethics is off to a rough start. Beyond this are arguments over the criteria for making any kind of moral judgment. Teleologists maintain that the morality of an action is determined solely by its consequences. Some teleologists, such as Plato, insist that the perfection of the self is the correct consequence; hedonists say that it is mere pleasure; utilitarians counter that it must be the greatest benefit to society. Theologians, such as Aquinas, Luther, et al., dispense with teleology altogether in favor of obedience to proclaimed or perceived morality from a God or gods.

The sharpest attack on ethics generally comes from egoists such as Thomas Hobbes and Friedrich Nietzsche (cf. his Genealogy of Morals) [and Ragnar Redbeard!], who consider all ethics as verbal camouflage to conceal the reality that all actions are merely in the interest of the stronger (who by that same strength dictates all definitions of “justice”, “right”, etc.). The egoist position was represented in the Platonic Dialogue The Republic by Glaucon, and went on to form the basis for Enlightenment “social contract” theories (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau), wherein “justice” and related terms became simply (!) matters of agreement and contract between the people of a society.

Accordingly it is not surprising that practical problem-solvers shy away from metaethical issues and try rather to address questions in terms of what are generally called descriptive ethics - the customs and standards of a given culture which serve as measurements of rightness and wrongness within that culture. An acceptance of descriptive ethics as ethics leads to an attitude of ethical relativism, according to which there is no standard for judging right and wrong apart from the cultural environment of specific situations. Hence the killing of humans by humans may be “ethical” if sanctioned by a judge or national sovereign, but the identical act may be “unethical” if undertaken by an individual, regardless of reasons.

Until the Enlightenment of the late-17th and 18th centuries, ethical philosophy was completely metaethical; standards of good and evil were accepted as being prescribed by one or more divinities or divine principles (neteru, Forms). It was humanity’s task not to determine ethics, but rather to understand and obey divinely-ordained ethics.

The ancient Egyptians perceived the Universe as actively controlled by conscious, natural principles or “gods” (neteru in hieroglyphic). To the Egyptians, all of “nature” (derived from neteru) was alive and the direct consequence of the wills of the neteru. Nature was intelligible not just through inanimate, automatic, general regularities which could be discovered via observation, but also through connections and associations between things and events perceived in the human mind. There was no distinction between “reality” and “appearance”; anything capable of exerting an effect upon the mind thereby existed. Justice and virtue were sought in manifestations of beauty, symmetry, and harmony, and were personified by the goddess Ma’at ...
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#34276 - 01/20/10 02:25 PM Re: Satanic Ethics [Re: Baron dHolbach]
Dan_Dread Offline
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 Quote:

My own starting point is to sharply distinguish between morality and ethics.

Yet this is something you did not do in your opening post. You offered up no definition for morality whatsoever. Defining terms is pretty important for this type of discussion unless you want it to descend into ethereal ambiguity.

Your definition of ethics is also quite confusing. How are you supposed to know when your 'happiness' is maximized? Since you can't possibly know the future, this seems to be reducible to 'ethics=do whatever feels good at the time or seems like it may feel good in the future' Is this really what you are shooting for here?

So in the name of moving the conversation in a useful direction I will offer up vanilla definitions for both of these words, ethics and morals.

Morality - concern with the distinction between good and evil or right and wrong; right or good conduct

Ethics - The branch of philosophy that defines what is good for the individual and for society and establishes the nature of obligations, or duties, that people owe themselves and one another. In modern society, ethics define how individuals, professionals, and corporations choose to interact with one another.


So in a nutshell, ones morals are conclusions about what is good and what is not, while ethics are the means to arrive at those conclusions.

With that said the idea of being ethical without being moral seems a little wishy washy, if it is even possible. Morality and ethics are two sides of the same coin.

Do you really withhold all judgment as to what is good?
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#34283 - 01/20/10 06:18 PM Re: Satanic Ethics [Re: Dan_Dread]
Baron dHolbach Offline
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Registered: 12/29/09
Posts: 162
 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Yet this is something you did not do in your opening post. You offered up no definition for morality whatsoever. Defining terms is pretty important for this type of discussion unless you want it to descend into ethereal ambiguity.


Good point. The definition of morality was so obvious to me that I didn't bother to define it, but I agree with you that I should have. Your definition below looks good to me, so I'll adopt yours. Morality as we now agree to define it is the very thing I was saying I had rejected, so your definition serves my purpose.

 Quote:
Your definition of ethics is also quite confusing. How are you supposed to know when your 'happiness' is maximized? Since you can't possibly know the future, this seems to be reducible to 'ethics=do whatever feels good at the time or seems like it may feel good in the future' Is this really what you are shooting for here?


"Do what makes me happy" is in fact the basis of my ethics. That may seem strange, but taking such a stance has a long and venerable history as far back as the ancient Greeks and then carried forward through various thinkers down the centuries all the way to the present day. Frankly, any philosopher who takes Aristotle as a starting point, takes happiness as the aim of ethics.

From my perspective, with no deity to punish me and no afterlife in which to be punished, what else would I concern myself with, but happiness?

 Quote:
Ethics - The branch of philosophy that defines what is good for the individual and for society and establishes the nature of obligations, or duties, that people owe themselves and one another.


Unsurprisingly, I don't agree with your definition of ethics. First, why should I take the good of society as a primary driver of my own behavior? Secondly, why should I take obligations and duties as primary drivers of my behavior? I can agree that I might take society's good as the means to an end, and I might also take the fulfillment of obligations and duties as the means to an end, but that end, in both cases, would be my own happiness. Having said that, I'm not sure that society's good or the fulfillment of obligations and duties would in fact make me happy all the time. But I'm sure that sometimes they would.

 Quote:
In modern society, ethics define how individuals, professionals, and corporations choose to interact with one another.


Classical business ethics and professional ethics are tied to two things: staying out of jail and maintaining a favorable reputation, both of which would make me happy, so I can embrace such things as supportive of my broader life strategies for being happy. From my list of virtues, vanity, prudence, and discipline lead me in the direction of classical business ethics and professional ethics.

I would apply a similar thought process to the question of being honest with people. Vanity, prudence, and discipline lead me in the direction of truthfulness. Getting caught in a lie sucks. Plus prudence, with its emphasis on the long term, drives me to prioritize long term relationships higher than any short term benefit I might gain from lying.

 Quote:
With that said the idea of being ethical without being moral seems a little wishy washy, if it is even possible. Morality and ethics are two sides of the same coin.

Do you really withhold all judgment as to what is good?


Yes. Because good and evil are figments of the imagination. They don't exist on the Objective at all, and they only exist on the Subjective if people insist. Stop insisting and they quickly evaporate. Society insists, but I don't have to accomodate society in this regard. Obeying the law is a good idea, generally, and refraining from offending people is a good idea, generally, but in neither case is it necessary that I internalize any of that.
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#34286 - 01/20/10 07:30 PM Re: Satanic Ethics [Re: Baron dHolbach]
Dan_Dread Offline
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When one is an autotheist and understands what that means, one is free to determine for onesself what is good and what is right. Much of this is always going to be context specific, because such is the nature of life.

You deny the existence of good and evil, right and wrong, yet you have defined good and right already as 'whatever makes you feel good'. Which of course leaves evils domain as 'whatever makes you feel shitty'.


Interesting...
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#34297 - 01/20/10 09:34 PM Re: Satanic Ethics [Re: Dan_Dread]
Baron dHolbach Offline
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Registered: 12/29/09
Posts: 162
 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
When one is an autotheist and understands what that means, one is free to determine for onesself what is good and what is right. Much of this is always going to be context specific, because such is the nature of life.


We certainly are free to invent systems of thought that rationalize good/right/evil/wrong. We're also free not to. I choose not to.

 Quote:

You deny the existence of good and evil, right and wrong...


The Objective existence, yes. Those concepts exist in the Subjective if people want them to. With everything I write or say, it is necessary to carefully distinguish between Objective and Subjective, as you yourself did (and quite well) on another thread, when you spoke of Satan existing as a memeplex. That amounts to saying that Satan exists on the Subjective, a statement I concur with. On the Objective he doesn't exist. Good and evil are a memeplex also, existing on the Subjective, but not existing on the Objective.

 Quote:
...yet you have defined good and right already as 'whatever makes you feel good'.


No. I said in various ways that the aim of ethic is happiness, that ethics is your set of strategic principles for becoming and remaining happy. I carefully distinguished between morality and ethics. Morality is about good and evil. Ethics is about happiness, as taught by Aristotle and by all who take their cue from Aristotle. Virtue was esteemed by Aristotle because it led to happiness.

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#34298 - 01/20/10 09:51 PM Re: Satanic Ethics [Re: Baron dHolbach]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Well, if your semantic web of redefinitions works for you, have at it. I see no distinction between what you are describing as 'strategic principles' and a sense of what is right and what is wrong. I think you are hung up on semantics.
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#34307 - 01/21/10 04:08 AM Re: Semantics and Satanic Ethics [Re: Dan_Dread]
Baron dHolbach Offline
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Registered: 12/29/09
Posts: 162
 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Well, if your semantic web of redefinitions works for you, have at it. I see no distinction between what you are describing as 'strategic principles' and a sense of what is right and what is wrong. I think you are hung up on semantics.


You're right, Dan. I went to my two dictionaries and looked up words, and after a little while of that, I decided the English language just doesn't support my preferred manner of speaking. I can't oppose ethics to morality without doing violence to the meanings of words. Sucks for me, but I can adapt.

So OK. I will make my essential point with proper English diction, much as it pains me. I will define good as the happiness of the self and whatever produces it, with evil being the unhappiness of the self and whatever produces it. The irritation for me is that I have to drop my Nietschean conceit of looking beyond good and evil, but damn it all, Nietzsche was writing in German, and I am writing in English. Fooey. But! Consolation prize! I learned a new word and it is cool as hell.

Random House Webster's College Dictionary:
Eudemonism: the doctrine in ethics that the basis of moral obligations is to be found in the tendency of right actions to produce happiness.

American Heritage College Dictionary:
Eudemonism: a system of ethics that evaluates the morality of actions in terms of their capacity to produce happiness.

The adjective form is, of course, eudemonic.

Cool! I submit eudemonism as the logical candidate for a Satanic ethics. And now at last I can go back to my fundamental question: With no deity to punish me and no afterlife to be punished in, why should I concern myself with anything other than the things that make me happy?

Oh, and I can apply that other word I was using in the post that started this thread: aretaic. Unfortunately, neither of my two dictionaries has it. But Wiktionary has this entry:
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/aretaic

"Of or pertaining to virtue or excellence."

My ethics, then, would be characterized as aretaic eudemonism.

Ooh! More words. Wiktionary on deontology:
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/deontology

"(ethics) The ethical study of duties, obligations, and rights, with an approach focusing on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves and not on the goodness or badness of the consequences of those actions."


That's what I reject, utterly.


Wiktionary on consequentialism:
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/consequentialism

"1. (ethics) The ethical study of morals, duties and rights with an approach that focuses on consequences of a particular action."

"2. (ethics) The belief that consequences form the basis for any valid moral judgment about an action. Thus, from a consequentialist standpoint, a morally right action is one that produces a good outcome, or consequence."


That's what I embrace.


Eudemonic aretaic consequentialism. There we have it. My ethical position, taking English as an ally instead of an opponent.

Cultivate the virtues that produce happiness for you in this life.
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#34313 - 01/21/10 06:40 AM Re: Semantics and Satanic Ethics [Re: Baron dHolbach]
Baron dHolbach Offline
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Registered: 12/29/09
Posts: 162
 Originally Posted By: Baron dHolbach
Cultivate the virtues that produce happiness for you in this life.


Ugh. I looked up the word virtue in both of my dictionaries and all the relevant definitions include the words moral or morality or the words righteous or righteousness. Yeesh! English is annoying.

So OK. I'll coin a term.

Satanic virtue: Any attribute of yours that produces happiness for you in this life.

So now my ethical principle is just three words: Cultivate Satanic virtue.

Physical fitness and fighting skill are sources of happiness for me in this life, so they would be Satanic virtues for me, and cultivating them would be an example of my ethics.
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#34314 - 01/21/10 07:56 AM Re: (Ethics) Eudemonic Aretaic Consequentialism [Re: Baron dHolbach]
Baron dHolbach Offline
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Registered: 12/29/09
Posts: 162
 Originally Posted By: Baron dHolbach
 Originally Posted By: Baron dHolbach
Satanic virtue: Any attribute of yours that produces happiness for you in this life.


While doing my calisthenics this morning, I realized I had been remiss, in that I had talked of virtue (see my quote above) but not of vice. Without further ado:

Satanic vice: Any attribute of yours that produces unhappiness for you in this life.

So now let this stand as my Satanic Ethics:

Eudemonic Aretaic Consequentialism: (1) Cultivate your Satanic virtues; (2) Exterminate your Satanic vices; (3) Look for signs of both in your life; (4) Experiment with whatever you think could become a Satanic virtue for you.

Note the empirical approach.

Incidentally, I don't recommend composing a post and doing calisthenics simultaneously. Sucks for the concentration. \:\)
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#34325 - 01/21/10 09:53 AM Re: (Ethics) Eudemonic Aretaic Consequentialism [Re: Baron dHolbach]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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I have a little bit to add to this discussion:

The concept of moving "beyond good and evil" is not the wholesale rejection of of morality. Rather, it is the rejection of the concept of a universal morality; one that applies to all human beings. Especially morals based on the blind acceptance of life-denying Christian dogma.

You claim that the concepts of good and evil, right and wrong "exist in the Subjective if people want them to". I would remove the last five words from that sentence. Everyone has an idea of what is "good" and what is "bad" even if only as it pertains to the individual. To claim that you reject notions of good and evil, right and wrong is to claim that you are indifferent to EVERYTHING. If that were true I could kick you in balls without fear retaliation. After all, you would be indifferent to my action I.E. see nothing "good" or "bad" about them.
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#34344 - 01/21/10 02:53 PM Virtu [Re: Baron dHolbach]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Baron dHolbach
Ugh. I looked up the word virtue in both of my dictionaries and all the relevant definitions include the words moral or morality or the words righteous or righteousness. Yeesh!

Try Machiavelli's virtu. From my notes for the university class I taught on him:

I. Machiavelli's Principles

- A. What is the world like?

-- 1. M believed that humans were caught in a world of unreasonable change … People live in a world ruled by time.

- B. What can people do?

-- 1. A joker in the deck of life - fortuna: the worldly factor of fortune, luck, chance, fate, providence."

-- 2. To overcome fortuna at least partially, one cultivates virtu: the ability to think and act resolutely and intelligently in order to get what we want.

- C. What must people do?

-- 1. Necessita: Doing things necessary for human purposes … The use of intelligent [Ivirtu[/I] in the face of fortuna.

-- 2. M did not recommend evil per se, but rather practical action.

- D. When should people act?

-- 1. Occasione: "historical opportunity", "occasion", "the right time".

- E. To what end?

-- 1. Ordini: the "good order", a general state of well-being that is the aim of politics.

- F. The economy of violence.

-- 1. The M ethic : "economy of violence".

-- 2. M's interest in the ancient Roman tradition of civic virtue: civitas.

-- 3. M advocated civic humanism: "Politics is a noble art, can be studied as an applied science, and can be practiced so skillfully that it sometimes can bring about humane results, the best political results that can be expected under the circumstances."

-- 4. M did not mean that "might is right", but rather that "might has the power to institute and enforce right" ...
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#34346 - 01/21/10 05:18 PM Re: Virtu [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
GillesdeRais Offline
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Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 141
 Quote:
M did not mean that "might is right", but rather that "might has the power to institute and enforce right" ...


That sounds like M was ripping off Plato's Republic:

Plato introduces Thrasymachus the sophist, another fictionalized portrait of an historical personality. After impatiently dismissing what has gone before, Thrasymachus recommends that we regard justice as the advantage of the stronger; those in positions of power simply use their might to decree what shall be right.Socrates has other ideas. For one thing, if the ruling party mistakenly legislates to its own disadvantage, justice will require the rest of us to perform the (apparently) contradictory feat of both doing what they decree and also doing what is best for them. More significantly, Socrates argues that the best ruler must always be someone who knows how to rule, someone who understands ruling as a craft. But since crafts of any sort invariably aim to produce some external goal (Gk. teloV [télos]), good practitioners of each craft always act for the sake of that goal, never in their own interest alone. Thus, good rulers, like good shepherds, must try to do what is best for those who have been entrusted to them, rather than seeking their own welfare. (Republic 342e)

Beaten down by the force of Socratic questioning, Thrasymachus lashes out bitterly and then shifts the focus of the debate completely. If Socrates does happen to be right about the nature of justice, he declares, then it follows that a life devoted to injustice is be more to one's advantage than a life devoted to justice. Surely anyone would prefer to profit by committing an act of injustice against another than to suffer as the victim of an act of injustice committed by someone else. ("Do unto others before they do unto you.") Thus, according to Thrasymachus, injustice is better than justice.

Socrates pretty much violates Thrasymachus's views on morality, and, by rote, also M's final point in your post Dr.A. Baron, for traditional definitions of morality I suggest you look here., or here, if you just want the meat.
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#34347 - 01/21/10 07:01 PM Re: (Ethics) Eudemonic Aretaic Consequentialism [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Baron dHolbach Offline
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Registered: 12/29/09
Posts: 162
 Originally Posted By: 6Satan6Archist6
The concept of moving "beyond good and evil" is not the wholesale rejection of of morality. Rather, it is the rejection of the concept of a universal morality; one that applies to all human beings. Especially morals based on the blind acceptance of life-denying Christian dogma.


Well, this is what I recall of Nietzsche on the topic, freely admitting that I may be forgetting something important. Nietzsche divided humans into two groups, slaves and masters, or peasants and aristocrats, and spoke of Christian morality as being appropriate to slaves/peasants but never to aristocrats/masters. Yet I don't recall him ever providing a morality for the latter. All he did, to my recollection, was encourage the latter to reject the restraints of Christianity, and allow the will to power free reign.

Nevertheless, I wonder if a morality of the will to power might be worth formulating. It would be a variation on the famous Spider-Man dictum, "With great power there must also come great responsibility." Spider-Man interprets that from an altruistic perspective, but Nietzsche surely wouldn't. Nietzsche might say something like, "Power unused is power betrayed." This would imply an obligation to power itself, as if one's power had a moral claim on one's actions. It may seem odd to talk of an obligation to something that isn't in any way a person, yet it seems like something Nietzsche might have said, had it occurred to him to do so.

 Quote:

You claim that the concepts of good and evil, right and wrong "exist in the Subjective if people want them to". I would remove the last five words from that sentence.


That would imply that things can exist in the Subjective even if no living creature thinks about those things. I would say that if no living creature thinks about, say, utilitarianism, then utilitarianism no longer exists on the Subjective.

 Quote:

Everyone has an idea of what is "good" and what is "bad" even if only as it pertains to the individual. To claim that you reject notions of good and evil, right and wrong is to claim that you are indifferent to EVERYTHING. If that were true I could kick you in balls without fear retaliation. After all, you would be indifferent to my action I.E. see nothing "good" or "bad" about them.


This is one reason why the English language annoys me. The ambiguities! I would say that there is the good and then there is the morally good, the latter a subset of the former. Likewise, there is the bad and then there is the morally bad, the latter a subset of the former. If you won the lottery today, you would probably view that as good, but I doubt you would view it as morally good. Likewise, if a flock of birds shit all over your car, you would probably view that as bad, but I doubt you would view it as morally bad.

If you kicked me in the balls, I would view that as bad, it would piss me off, and I would do my best to give you some instant karma. But I wouldn't focus for even a nanosecond on the moral badness of what you did, because I wouldn't care. Your action doesn't have to be morally bad to piss me off. All it has to do is go contrary to what I want.
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#34348 - 01/21/10 07:31 PM Re: Virtu [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Baron dHolbach Offline
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Registered: 12/29/09
Posts: 162
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino

-- 2. To overcome fortuna at least partially, one cultivates virtu: the ability to think and act resolutely and intelligently in order to get what we want.


That is close to what I wanted the English word to signify, and is close to what the Greek word arete signified.

The English word has several definitions, most of which drag in the baggage of morality, but two of which don't:

1. effective force or power
2. manly courage; valor (virility)

According to this web page - http://www.answers.com/topic/virtue -
"In its earliest Greek expressions, "virtue" denoted the superlative prowess of the heroic warrior..."

This all ties into how I wanted to use the English word. I had in mind sentences like this: "The virtue of steel is hardness; the virtue of cotton is softness; the virtues of fire are light and heat." Thus a virtue would be an attribute that serves a purpose; for example, Satanic virtue as I defined it was an attribute that serves the purpose of producing happiness.

That said, I find myself drawn more and more to that earliest Greek expression, which signified the superlative prowess of the heroic warrior. That resonates with the notion I started toying with in my post just prior to this one, namely, a morality of the will to power. Superlative prowess would be an aretaic concept, whereas the notion I put forward in that prior post, "Power unused is power betrayed," would be a deontological one.
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