Currently interested in hyperspectral imaging & NeRFs.

A Response to a Reader

To aim at having an appropriate response, I will assume that by individualism you are referring to the meaning of individualism as “the pursuit of individual rather than common or collective interests; egoism.”

What strikes me most in your writing is your unquestionable universalities of assumptions that an individual ‘doe’s not want to feel alone’ and that ‘one must care about another’s life’. How do you know? And to what end? Being alone is relative and is merely an undesirability; an end of itself. Not being alone is based on contingent facts about your surrounding and the world, such as what would make us happy and it has no other motive than the “worthiness of being happy”; logically true as well for sadness. A definition of which that is well in line with the individualistic approach described above. Notwithstanding that it is also an individualistic act to smoke, to go to school, to marry – any act that enables you to pursuit your interests is individualistic. To share one’s thoughts and emotions is not a contradictive act of an individualistic individual. In fact, it is egoistical.

Let us switch now to morality since your composition’s apparent aim is to dwell on the hypothesis that an individualistic life ‘isn’t that bad’. Morality to me is subjective. In the modern world, we think of ‘good’ as meaning an act that is altruistic or just, or in Nietzsche’s language ‘unegoistic’, and ‘bad’ as describing that which is cruel or unjust.

This, however, was not the original meaning of good and bad. For the early Greeks, the ones of whom Homer spoke, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ referred to different types of humanity. The nobility was ‘good’, as were the dispositions of character necessary to be noble and aristocratic, dispositions such as courage, strength and pride. ‘Bad’ referred to the ‘herd’, and to the characteristics of the masses, such as vulgarity, untruthfulness and cowardice.

But it is with Christianity, the distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ became transmuted into that between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, a distinction primarily not between different kinds of characters or different forms of flourishing, but between divinely sanctioned and divinely forbidden behaviors. Let’s take, for example, for some, the epitome of the modern world for altruistic deeds: Mother Teresa. She is an archetypical of an individualistic human. She believed that her divinely sanctioned acts would bring her closer to God and she thus canonized.

Christianity is driven not by a love of the poor and the dispossessed but by a rancorous hatred of nobility and strength. It has transformed us into morality slaves and has given us an external scapegoat of the pain that accompanies one’s sense of personal inferiority. In the end, one needs to define what moral laws ought to be. However, no one has come up with an answer. Kant’s categorical imperatives come close.

P.S.: To have control is an illusion.