Thursday, January 08, 2009

Four Spiritual Laws? No, 48 Laws of Power

This strikes me as a profoundly immoral and anti-moral philosophy. But if there is no transcendent (I'm not necessarily going to insist on theistic, just transcendent), what can be said against such a philosophy?

4 comments:

Clayton said...

I don't know what counts as transcendent. Reason? Morality?

Myself, having looked through those rules, I'd say that anyone who sought to implement those rules would end up being deeply dissatisfied with life and very unhappy. I can't imagine what self-interested goal would be well served by trying to conform to those rules. So, I don't know, does that count as saying something against such a "philosophy"?

Victor Reppert said...

I suppose you would have to have a set of desires that would make those "laws" seem appealing to you. Let's say you want to be rich, famous, and like exercising power over others.

Apparently the book has had great popularity since it came out 10 years ago. See the Wikipedia entry on it. Some people out there are biting on this hook.

Platonic Forms would be transcendent in the appropriate sense. Aristotelian teleology would be, also. Ethics with a metaphysical underpinning that would make Dennett nervous.

IlĂ­on said...

VR: "But if there is no transcendent (I'm not necessarily going to insist on theistic, just transcendent), what can be said against such a philosophy?"

Clayton: "I don't know what counts as transcendent. Reason? Morality?"

VR: "Platonic Forms would be transcendent in the appropriate sense. Aristotelian teleology would be, also."

Plato's Forms are unthought thoughts, concepts asserted to exist independently of any mind entertaining them. That certainly seems to transcend *something* Is not Aristotle's teleology in much the same boat: unintended intentions?

Joe said...

"I'd say that anyone who sought to implement those rules would end up being deeply dissatisfied with life and very unhappy."

I wonder about two things you said:

1st "Anyone"? I think this gets tricky. Different people get happiness satisfaction from different things. Sociopaths are different than those who aren't sociopaths in what they derive satisfaction and happiness from. Pedophiles are different than those who aren't pedophiles.

Ok you can acknowledge what I said above is true but still maintain that despite the differences following these particular rules will bring only unhappiness and dissatisfaction. But then you say people will "end up" unhappy or dissatisfied by following these rules. Why “end up”? This suggests to me that you are at least open to the possibility that they can practice this behavior and at least for a time be happy and satisfied. Is that right? If it is right then how do you know these people won’t practice this behavior for a short time get happiness and satisfaction and then die in their sleep before they "end up" unhappy and dissatisfied?