The conditions under which I am understood, and then of necessity—I know them only too well. One must be honest in matters of the spirit to the point of hardness before one can even endure my seriousness and my passion. One must be skilled in living on mountains—seeing the wretched ephemeral babble of politics and national self-seeking beneath oneself. One must have become indifferent; one must never ask if the truth is useful or if it may prove our undoing. The predilection of strength for questions for which no one today has the courage; the courage for the forbidden…a new conscience for truths that have so far remained mute…Reverence for oneself; love of oneself; unconditional freedom before oneself…
Nietzsche, The Antichrist
I know my fate. One day my name will be associated with the memory of something tremendous—a crisis without equal on earth, the most profound collision of conscience, a decision that was conjured up against everything that had been believed, demanded, hallowed so far. I am no man, I am dynamite.—
Nietzsche, Ecce Homo
“To live alone one must be a beast or a god, says Aristotle. Leaving out the third case: one must be both—a philosopher.”
Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
I don’t know if I’m allowed to do this, but I’m going to post the entire chapter by Bertrand Russell on intelligent design. It is, in my opinion, an excellent piece of writing and I feel it should be shared and exposed to the world. I love the humor and the no nonsense argumentation, and I hope you appreciate it as well. And I hope his family will forgive me if I’m breaking copyright laws…
The argument from design
The next step in this process brings us to the argument from design. You all know the argument from design: everything in the world is made just so that we can manage to live in the world, and if the world were ever so little different we could not manage to live in it. That is the argument from design. It sometimes takes a rather curious form; for instance, it is argued that rabbits have white tails in order to be easy to shoot. I do not know how rabbits would view that application. It is an easy argument to parody. You all know Voltaire’s remark, that obviously the nose was designed to be such as to fit spectacles. That sort of parody has turned out to be not nearly so wide of the mark as it might have seemed in the eighteenth century, because since the time of Darwin we understand much better why living creatures are adapted to their environment. It is not that their environment was made to be suitable to them, but that they grew to be suitable to it, and that is the basis of adaptation. There is no evidence of design about it.
When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience has been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku-Klux-Klan or the Fascists? Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions of temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system. You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending – something dead, cold, and lifeless.
I am told that that sort of view is depressing, and people will sometimes tell you that if they believed that they would not be able to go on living. Do not believe it, it is all nonsense. Nobody really worries much about what is going to happen millions of years hence. Even if they think they are worrying much about that, they are really deceiving themselves. They are worried about something much more mundane, or it may merely be a bad digestion; but nobody is really seriously rendered unhappy by the thought of something that is going to happen to this world millions of years hence. Therefore, although it is of course a gloomy view to suppose that life will die out – atleast I suppose we may say so, although sometimes when I contemplate the things that people do with their lives I think it is almost a consolation – it is not such as to render life miserable. It merely makes you turn your attention to other things.
– Bertrand Russell, Why I am not a Christian. A lecture originally delivered on March 6, 1927. Extract from my Routledge edition, 2010.
“Perhaps the best way to describe the diminishing interest in philosophy among the intellectuals is to say that the infinite is losing its charm.
We are becoming commonsensical finitists – people who believe that when we die we rot, that each generation will solve old problems only by creating new ones, that our descendants will look back on much that we have done with incredulous contempt, and that progress toward greater justice and freedom is neither inevitable nor impossible.
We are becoming content to see ourselves as a species of animal that makes itself up as it goes along.
Richard Rorty, Philosophy as Cultural Politics
“The creator lives for his work. He needs no other men. His primary goal is within himself. The parasite lives second-hand. He needs others. Others become his prime motive. The basic need of the creator is independence. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot be curbed, sacrificed or subordinated to any consideration whatsoever. It demands total independence in function and in motive. To a creator, all relations with men are secondary.”
– Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
I’ve been getting to know some fellow creators recently and I am immensely excited about the epic things to come!
“The work to come, for we philosophers-to-come, lies in describing what will transpire globally in terms of individuation, whether this will be the individuation of geometry, the individuation of art, the individuation of physics, the individuation of the living, the individuation of nations, technological individuation, or psychical individuation in the Freudian sense.”
– Stiegler, The Magic Skin
“This task of philosophy, brought now into today’s world, is, however to rethink capitalism, that is rearticulate Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud.”
– Stiegler, Magic Skin
“Every man creates his meaning and form and goal.”
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
“The future of philosophy is in struggle.”
“It is a matter of struggling against what, in capitalism, constitutes a deathly, regressive tendency to negate its limit.”
– Stiegler, Magic Skin