Category Archives: Metaphysics

The Point of Law is to Eradicate Moral Consequence, Not Enforce it (PART THREE)

In the world today, collectivist metaphysics are a philosophical juggernaut, with virtually every school of thought, field of study, and religion in the world, including and perhaps especially the “hard sciences”, conceding these metaphysics as a priori, whether they are consciously aware of it or not.  Which, they usually are not because…well, who needs philosophy when you’ve got math, right?  Numbers beat reason every time.

Hmmm.  To that I’d say: numbers are units of infinity, nothing more.  So be careful.  It’s easy to replace truth with abstraction when the abstraction you’re working with is designed to be rendered an infinite number of ways.  Give me infinity to work with, and I can come up with anything…by definition.  And thus, for mathematics to be in any way reasonable and relevant on the level of arrant and object reality, we must hem them in by rational consistency.  That is, by truth. That is, by understanding what is rationally possible and what is not, and from this, what is actually good and what is actually not.  And truth is a function of philosophy.  Period.

Anyway…

By the collectivist metaphysical premises which underly practically all subjects it seems, and along with these subjects society at large, the denizens of society seek to eradicate the “illegitimate” and “invalid” moral consequences of an “illegitimate” ethic.  Which is to say, of morality, as opposed to legality.  And thus the metaphysic in which this ethic is rooted, the Individual (I, the Self) is marked for death, figuratively unto literally, by “the people” demanding that the government nullify moral consequence through the power of Law, which government wields alone, as the One, True Authority.

To put it much more bluntly, people who have conceded the collectivist ideals of all the “truths” upon which a collectivist society is based will appeal to the State to use its giant hammer of coercive monopolistic brut force to pound into a bloody mash the individual freedoms of everyone in response to the unwanted moral consequences brought about by the choices of the evil or irresponsible.  In a society ruled by Law, and not morality, everyone is a sinner.  Everyone is guilty for the sins of everyone else.  And this is because under Law, there are no individuals, and this due to the collectivist metaphysics which imply legal ethics.  Man as an individual is insufficient—morally, intellectually, existentially—and thus the failure of some men (criminals) is merely the reflection of the failure of all men; so how can the Law treat those who commit no crime as innocent?  All individuals are merely latent criminals, which is why the Law is declared necessary in the first place.  The innocents therefore are punished for the crimes of the guilty, and this is how we think justice is done and how humanity is protected.  By using the State to destroy the distinction between the good and the evil, the innocent and the guilty, the responsible and the deadbeat, the giver and the taker, the host and the parasite, we wreck the individual at the point of his very metaphyscial reality, and by this we think we can eliminate his curse—his natural ethical failure, due to the choices he makes as an individual.  We take guns away from the non-violent; fossil fuels away from good stewards; money away from the generous; tobacco and other “vices” away from the moderate; and force licenses to ply trades upon the honest and compassionate; and so on.  We do this thinking we are protecting the innocent public, while all we are really doing is punishing the innocent for being individuals.

It need not be said that this never, ever works in the long run.  Appeals to the Law as a panacea for social ills merely enlarges the State, which like a gravity well draws to it every sadist, narcissist, and greed-monger who has the means and intelligence to get there, and heaps exponential misery upon the nation, compounding the very moral atrocities it claims to alleviate.  Without a shred of irony this farce continues, day in and day out, election cycle after election cycle, and no one seems to notice.  It’s shocking.

To remediate unwanted moral consequences, we, the lemmings of collectivist ideology, appeal to government violence—the use of state force to compel obedience through death and threats of death—to fix and prevent the fallout of poor moral choices…to clean up the messes left by individuals who have committed specific immoral acts.  Instead of encouraging better choices through a saturation of society with rational philosophy, we, without a hint of irony, appeal to the monumentally immoral act of using violence to force the innocent to comply with legal regulations which are deemed a collective necessity due to the immoral actions of some. In short, we use the law to burden the innocent for the crimes of the guilty.  This is not only irrational, it is an object evil.

As I have said, this will never work because to apply legal solutions to moral problems denies the real and root truth of the individual.  The individual is truth, the collective is a lie, metaphysically speaking.  Which means, when we are talking about the fundamentals of human existence, the individual is that from which reality flows.

The Law seeks to regulate choice out of reality by using regulation to compel obedience, which is the antipode of choice with respect to root ethics.  But choice is actual reality, because the individual, not the collective, is what is real.  The individual is concrete; the collective, abstract.  To attempt to subordinate the concrete to the abstract is at best hope over reason.  To attempt to solve ethical problems by destroying that by which ethics has any meaning in the first place—namely, the individual—is the mere substitution of soundness for madness.  And this only ever multiplies and compounds unwanted ethical consequences.  It sews misery among the populace, it doesn’t resolve it.  Further, the implimention of an irrational ethic like legality is, itself, patently unethical, because it is immoral.  And it shouldn’t have to be said that you cannot solve or prevent immorality by appealing to immorality.  Yet, this is precisely what the Law is.

Replacing morality with legality destroys and brings abject misery to humanity for the simple reason that collectivism is a lie by virtue of it being a metaphysical contradiction. That is, it defies reality.  And there is no power in the universe which can change reality.  This is because power is, itself, real, and therefore can only ever confirm reality.  Even if that confirmation comes in the form of a crucifix, a guillotine, a killing field, a concentration camp, a gulag, mass starvation, or a mushroom cloud.

END PART THREE

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The People, the Vote, Representation, and Why All Governments are Tyrannies

By virtue of their underlying metaphysical premises, all collectives, no matter what parameter is selected as the focal point of group identity, necessarily sacrifice individuals.  And they will do this categorically, I should add, with varying degrees of conspicuity.  In a collective, then, we should really spend our energies examining who is not represented rather than what is. Because the necessary lack of real representation for the individual reveals the inherent hypocrisy and contradiction of government, even one which claims that it is established “for the People”.

“The People”, you see, is merely a  projection of the State.  It—not “they”—is a single political unit, based on the metaphysics which give the  group an existential Oneness…that is, all individuals are nothing…they are an epiphenomenon, at best, of the collective metaphysical context. In a collective, even one like the “People”, the individual, if acknowledged at all by the State, is an abstract conceptual figment of the group, not the other way around.  “The People”, is a device, practically speaking, then…an artifice, wherein the government’s natural objective, itself, is projected upon the masses of individuals.  Authoritative Power—the State—must and will only ever serve itself, because Authority is always its own end; and thus Authority is always absolutely singular. The object of its rule, then, the “People”, will become and must be a mirror image of itself.  Individuals by nature stand in opposition to the singularity of Authoritative Power, and the first step in eliminating this opposition is to name individuals after itself.  And from this we wind up with the “People”.  Not “the Persons”, you see, because that would suggest an individual metaphysic, not a collective one. But the People…well, that implies no individual distinctions whatsoever, I submit.  What I mean is that individuals are metaphysically redefined as merely a euphemism for the State, and then are “served” and “represented”.  What this means, practically speaking, is that representation is nothing more than the difference between those who at any given moment are a nominal expression of the State’s ruling power—those who’s votes result in their candidate winning—and those who are not—those who’s candidates lose.  And this is why, inevitably, in all governments, without exception, in all places and at all times, the evolution of the State reveals the exponential rise of government power and the exponential decline of the power of the individual.

A common counterargument to this is to claim that since the vote is driving the polices of the State (at least in theory), then power must thus truly be a derivative of the will of the People.  But, remember that “People” is a collective ideal, and has nothing to do with any individual whatsoever; it is utterly opposed to the individual at the very root level of metaphysical definition. It is, as I have said, nothing more than an expression of the State, itself.  So, the “will of the People” can extend no further than how the “People” is defined, according only to the State, because the State is by its nature, purpose, and definition an authoritative enterprise, period. Full stop. Further, thePeople”, as opposed to the “Persons”, implies collective unity, where the sum of all individuals becomes a thing itself…and even more, becomes that metaphysical singularity which the State exists to “serve”.  The State cannot serve the individual qua the individual.  For the individual is, alone, a natural epistemological, ethical, and political singularity, opposed to the singularity of the Collective (e.g. the “People”), and thus cannot be controlled by the force of Authoritative power, because the individual, himself, is the root of his own existence by his primary and absolute ability to exist in the first place; and being the root, must manifest his existence by his OWN power—his will—and not the power of that which is outside of him.  So the State does not collectivize the individual out of mere convenience’s sake, but because the coercive nature of Authority is entirely incompatible with the individual in every way possible, all the way down to the root of existence itself.  And so by defining man as “People”, the individual is supplanted by the group, the group not only thus to merely possess additional existential properties from that of the “simple” individual, but possessing an entirely new and utterly distinct metaphysical definition altogether, which inexorably eradicates the individual by that metaphysical distinction.  The individual is no longer existentially valid when compared to the collective.  “The People” then becomes the real political unit which the State “represents” and “serves”.

Of course, before the “People” can be “served”, they must be practically defined.  This definition must be bereft of any individualist contribution.  Individuals are not recognized as legitimately existant by the Authority because they possess their own will, which Power cannot recognize, being incompatible with will, as will is rooted in choice and thus reasoning, whilst power is rooted in violence and thus madness.  So the “People” are a metaphysical collective created by the State, which is by nature and necessity devoid of individuality.  Then, for the purposes of political expediency on the part of the ruling classes, the “People” is capriciously (and hypocritically) segmented into abstract categories like “race”, or “economic class”, or “social class”, or “religion”, or “culture”, or “native status”, or “patriotism”, or  “disadvantage”, or some combination thereof, etc. etc. from which “issues” to be voted upon can be harvested and which thus are duly and dutifully accepted and employed by the various political constituencies as an expression of “self government”. As if.

This is all fallacy, of course, because when we are operating within the context of power at the hands of a ruling political elite which manifests its will via the absolute legal (not moral) right to compel behavior by force (the Law), then any and all political issues and any and all acts of political participation by the “People” must necessarily serve the State, period. The political interplay between the Governement and the Governed is nothing more than an ouroboros of State Power, wherein the State devours itself in the form of the “People” (the collective Ideal which is fundamentally incarnate in the State) in order to feed and grow itself.  And this contradiction inevitably leads to its calamitous downfall—it is the proverbial snake swallowing its own tail, and thus it simultaneously starves and gorges itself to death until it finally collapses, taking whole bloody swaths of humanity with it back to the fiery pit of human avarice, hubris, madness, and self-loathing from which it springs.

Now, a little more about voting.

The option of A or B (or C or D or E, etc.) as seen in the political act of voting, is an invalid choice.  True choice is never really between A or B, but in actuality is this:  between A or NOT A, and B or NOT B.  I can have one or the other, or neither.  Having neither must be an option for a truly free person.  But notice how “neither” is conspicuously absent from the voting process when the State is officiating.  This is because “neither” is in fact a rejection of the State. But the State, being Authority, which is Force, which is violence, cannot recognize such an option as “NOT itself”, and thus cannot recognize the individual’s true choice and thus never, ever allows “neither” to be an option.  For even those who do not vote at all vote, and by that I mean that they will be subject to its results, whether they like it or not.  The choice not to vote leaves those who do not vote under the thumb of the elected rulers every bit as much as those who do.  And thus their choice not to vote, like voting itself, is not really a choice at all.  You see, once the individual has been metaphysically redefined by the State according to the ephemeral and furiously destructive principles of collectivism, voting becomes an entirely State-run, State-serving, State-centerened, State-expanding exercise, period.

 

The Absolute Ethics of Violence

The nature of groups organized according to collectivist metaphysical principles (the individual as a function of group identity, not the other way around) is to conquer. When one collective conquers another, we are simply witnessing a natural process. For example, when Europeans conquered the tribal peoples of America, they were simply pursuing the logical course of their metaphysics. And today, when “ethnic minorities” of the Americas are quickly reconquering the land using collectivist metaphysics expressed specifically through Marxist politics to wrestle control of the state away from the “whites”, they are simply pursuing the logical course of their metaphysics. Which are, except for mere labels, completely identical. So what we have is a lateral move. We have the evolution of collectivist metaphysical principles, destructive and irrational as they are, as they express themselves via the ebb and flow of violent oppression over the whole of the earth while it ceaselessly runs red with blood

To cry injustice at any of this by anyone except the individualist is dishonest equivocation. That is, it is merely to assert that one collective somehow holds the moral high ground over another in a given circumstance. This is of course entirely irrational because once the individual, by way of collectivist metaphysics, has been subordinated—to be eventually sacrificed one way or another—to the collectivist Ideal (the Tribe, the Nation, the Church, the People, the Common Good, the Race, the Worker’s Utopia, etc. etc.) at the hands of the ruling class (the King, the Leader, the State, the Government, the Priest), etc.) then the only ethical plumbline is violence. Since collectivist Ideals are naturally and necessarily absolute, ethereal, and transcendent, and individuals are naturally and necessarily outside of the Ideal and therefore cannot from this existential frame of reference reason themselves into choosing their own obedience and sacrifice (choice and reason being fundamentally incompatible with obedience and sacrifice, by definition and principle), then it becomes necessary to use violence and violence alone to subordinate all things (and propaganda and lies, deception and artifice qualify as violence, since they are intended to subvert the individual qua the individual and lead him to accept his own denial). The utter ruin of everything becomes the practical manifestation of the Ideal, and thus we shouldn’t be surprised when collectivist metaphysics bring abject and object destruction to those “outsiders” (other collectives) who are not able to exert ethical superiority over the conquering collective. That is, are not capable of weilding superior violence. What is surprising is when those collectives who are conquered cry foul, scream racism, and shout injustice as if equivocation and throwing temper tantrums is anything but meaningless noise. They should know that according to their own accepted and asserted metaphysics “might makes right”.

Further, if they do know this and cry foul anyway, they are liars. And if they don’t know this and cry foul anyway, they are fools.

Opposites are Not Corollaries!

The problem with metaphysics is that no one seems to be able to get away from duality.  No one can figure out how to get a multiplicity of reality from a singularity, even though they may assume and/or assert that their dualism is in fact a singular metaphysical primary.  Which is understandable.  It’s certainly a complicated paradox to unravel.  And on the face of it appears to be wholly contradictory, and this is why I think philosphers and psuedophilosopers didn’t and don’t seem to possess an indefatigable resolve to reconcile it.  Because they don’t recognize it as a paradox, but as a contradiction.  Of course the irony here is that once you reject a singular metaphysical fundamental as a contradiction, and thus necessarily adopt a dualistic metaphysic (e.g. existence/existing (is and action), darkness/lightness (good/evil), the ying yang of far east philosophies, total existential insufficiency/moral responsibility a la Christianity, the interplay of the infinite and the finite a la Jordan Peterson) contradiction, itself, becomes the fundamental.  By conceding that contradiction is not possible, and thus rejecting either implicitly or explicitly a single metaphysical fundamental, contradiction, by virtue of a dualistic premise where contrary notions are fused, becomes everything. Somehow, by some contortion and distortion of logic, mutually exclusive propositions relate to each other and compliment each other.  And somehow this passes for the singularity metaphysics demands.

To be blunt, this is absurd.  You don’t get to select opposites like infinity and finity, or lightness and darkness and then magically make them a corollary and then claim to have solved the metaphysical problem.  This must be understood:  Opposites are not corollaries.  They cannot, and never were, and never will be corollaries.  They are opposite.  Which means that by definition they are not functionally the same thing.  Once opposites become “two sides of the same coin”…that is, once opposites become One, then truth is impossible.  Because by this logic truth and lie become One; good and evil are One; is and is not are One.  And from this there is no limit to the madness and the destruction madness will spawn.

Here’s a relatively simple way to look at corollaries:

A corollary is when the perceivable can only abstractly—cognitively or conceptually you might say—be separated, for the purposes of arguing or achieving a certain rational objective.  Practically manifest these “separations” are one and the same.  Love and relationship, or labor and property, or action and ability…these are examples of true corollaries.  To perceive one is to necessarily perceive the other.  This is not the case with opposites.  Left and right are not simultaneously perceived.  The observer, from his given position, can only perceive one at a time.  If you see someone turning right, you cannot and are not also seeing him turn left unless and until you change your position.  It is the same with up and down, towards and away from…even good and evil require a shift in one’s ethical position…that is, one’s ethical premise.

Now, while it is true that left may imply right—that a positive implies a negative, in general terms—the antipode does not make a corollary.  In fact it is quite the contrary.  With opposites like left and right we have an implied antithesis.  That is, distinction, not oneness, is implied…and indeed, distinction is precisely what is observed from any given location.  A corollary is completely different.  What is implied is non-distinction.  A as One is broken up into conceptual notions that all imply the efficacious, observable, practical singular existence of A as A.  Implication then itself is nothing. What is implied is the difference between opposites and corollaries.

A corollary is implied oneness, not implied distinction.  So a corollary can serve, and indeed will serve, as the metaphysical fundamental.  ABILITY—-action-relativity-conceptualization-language-communication-Self/Other…this is a proper metaphysical corollary.  All components imply Ability and Ability implies all components.  This is a proper start to metaphysics because it is an actual corollary.  Opposites like good and evil or infinity and finity are not proper metaphysical notions.

 

Why Death is Irrational

I shall define death this way:  The end of consciousness; the cessation of self-awareness; the nullification of the distinction of “I”.  This is a fitting description of death qua death, or “proper death”, as it is more aptly described.  What I mean is death unqualified by either science or religion…qualifications like “spiritual death”, or “death” as merely a biological pattern…of “life” scientifically reconfigured.  In both cases, consciousness—the awareness of the Self—has nothing to do with death…death is merely one aspect of a perfunctory reality.  Death is existant; and it is not an end of anything.  And in this case, death is not existentially relevant to man, and so it is not relevant to philosophical truth, and thus is not relevant to ROOT truth.  For philosophy deals with the observer—you and I as our singular Selves—where science deals with the observed, and religion deals with the observer as a mere function of divine will.  Spiritual death refers to the irreversible debauchery of one’s character and the experience of divine punishment, and consiounsess in this case never ceases, and so there is no death as an ending, which means death is purely abstract, merely describing a different version of life.  Biological death, being rooted in the mathematics of science, doesn’t concede the fundamental legitimacy or efficacy of consciousness, and this is because science posing as philosophy is inexorably determinist.  And therefore death has nothing to do with the individual, who has no frame of reference for anything at all absent his consciousness.  Scientific determinism precludes consciousness entirely.

My argument for the irrationality of death is fairly simply, and it is this:  It is a self-nullifying and contradictory act to incorporate into reality, be it via divine power or purpose, or scientific processes, the destruction/subtraction/expiration of that by which creation and the powers and processes which cause it have any frame of reference whatsoever.  The eradication of the reference by which God or nature (physics) and creation can be known as such, and thus given any value, is impossible because it necessarily amounts to a plenary invalidation of both.  And once the Cause and the Caused are invalidated they cannot be, because they can have no meaning.  Their being is entirely dependent upon their meaning, purpose, relevancy, and efficacy, all of which can only be functions of that which is the practical reference for all of these things.  The Truth of all which is said to exist is the sum of meaning, purpose, relevancy, and efficacy.  But without that TO which the Truth of the Cause and the Caused can, in fact, be True, then they cannot be Cause or Caused in the first place.  In which case they could not have caused or be caused at all.  Without the conscious reference, who is there to say what is, and what is is is to be called, and what is actually does, and where it is, and where it’s been and where it’s going?  There is no one.

For a simple example, take “chocolate”.  “Chocolate” which is not referenced to he who can apply it to his single, constant, unchanging and thus objective reference of himSELF, which thus necessarily implies consciousness, or awareness of Self, is not and cannot in fact be chocolate.  Without this reference, chocolate is not “chocolate”—the thing has no meaning.  It has no purpose, no relevancy,  no efficacy…it has no Truth, and therefore is not a thing at all.  It is neither chocolate nor “chocolate”.  And therefore if the reference dies…if “I” qua “I” dies then so must everything else.  If “I” goes blank, then all of reality, all of existence, likewise goes blank.  And if it goes blank then it never existed at all, because blankness, nothingness, is infinite.  And this is why death is impossible.  If we concede the absolute end of the Self then there is no reason why anything referenced to the Self should ever have begun in the first place.  None at all.  Unreferenced reality cannot be real, and could never have been real because a relevant past suggests a relevant present, which is not there.  What is not real now, never was.

It may seem the height of arrogance to suggest that without “I”—without the Self, the individual conscious frame of reference for all of reality—that existence itself is null.  We are bred, I submit, by the implicit humility of western thought and culture to accept that “I” is purely an extension of “other”, and that what is good for the Self is only that which is good for the collective…for the “greater good”.  From this, at least in part, we implicitly concede that “I” is at root transient, and alone is insignificant to the overall ontological and spiritual landscape.  We, individually, are small…mere blips in the vast expanse of time and space and the universe…that reality is reality and existence is existence whether the individual is conscious of it or not.  To suggest otherwise, as I myself have personally experienced more than once, is to be branded a solipsist, a subjectivist, a mystic, and/or a peddler of Kantian collectivist metaphysics.  But whether or not these labels are fitting or rational (they aren’t) is nothing but a distraction.  Conjecture about my motives or my ideas in this context is besides the point.  All I am doing is asking an obvious question with an obvious answer.

How would I know?

I am told that reality objectively exists and is true and will continue to be true despite my consciousness of it, but how would I know?  Absent my Self…that is, my awareness of my Self, I have no frame of reference for such an assertion.  So, when I am told that reality is objective and existant outside of me what I’m being asked to do, ironically, is to accept the claim by blind faith.  I am being asked to believe in a thing absent any objective evidence that I can be aware of, because, as I am told, reality is entirely outside of my awareness.  My awareness is irrelevant to reality, because when it’s gone, reality is still entirely real.

This is a problem.

If my consciousness is integrated into reality then reality cannot be utterly real without it; and if it’s not integrated, and reality is outside of it, then my consciousness is entirely irrelevant to it, distinct from it, and therefore is a complete lie.  I cannot be conscious of reality because my consciousness is irrelevant to reality qua reality.  It’s a figment…an illusion.  Thus, I am being asked to accept an objective reality without any objective evidence.  And this, dear readers, by some means of rational extortion and contortion passes for objective truth in many philosophical circles.

And it may further be argued that there is evidence for an objective reality outside of my consciousness that I can be shown now, and that is why I should accept the notion, as if what I accept by consciousness now has any bearing upon a state of absolute unconsciousness.  Whatever I know as a Self ceases to be known when I am no longer that Self.  The Self ceases, and thus any evidence I gather from the frame of reference of Self also ceases.  Such evidence is not really evidence in that case.  And further, to make this argument, that evidence now from consciousness is meaningful, is really just a concession that consciousness is utterly necessary to truth, which nullifies the entire argument that truth is still true and reality still real absent consciousness.

I must say that I find it specious at best to assert that one who accepts the obvious fact that without one’s conscious frame of reference there can be no such thing as reality means that he is a sollipsist, or that morality becomes merely a function of one’s subjective whim.  That is, to be blunt, bad logic.  Given that before any concepts can mean anything they must be consistently applied to the reality which the conscious observer perceives and defines necessarily to himself, the subjectivity of truth and morality is, from this premise, quite impossible.  Because individual consciousness is the frame of reference, morality and truth can be objective.  Individual consciousness allows ideas to have a reference point…a constant for what would otherwise be purely relative.  It allows “me” to ACTUALLY be me and “you” to ACTUALLY be you, and from this we can derive a consistent epistemology and ethics.  It allows reason to be reasonable, and thus ethics to be ethical.  Reason, being anchored in a constant reference, has a consistent meaning, no matter who is using it…me or you or he or she.  Because reason is shared, it is NOT subjective.  There is no subjectivity implicit to the singular Self who communicates…that is, who shares concepts and conceptual consistency.  The same reason that defines MY Self as the reference for all of reality TO ME also applies to YOUR Self as an equal reference TO YOU, because we share the concepts and thus share reason.  The fact that reason must be referenced to the Self doesn’t make it unreasonable, but reasonable, because now it has a reference.  The only time morality and truth become subjective is when one no longer SHARES in the rational truth of the Self as the singular objective reference.  The only time truth becomes a lie and good becomes evil is when people reject the idea that their consciousness—their singular awareness of Self— is the only absolute reference for reality.  And thus, the only time there is “death” is when the Self rejects its own infinite existence.  The only time death is “real” so to speak is when one assumes that their consciousness is transient, or tertiary, or fundamentally irrelevant to reality.

So take heart, and know that because You must always be You, you cannot die and you will not die. You may travel, but you will not end.  You may be out of sight, but you cannot be out of existence.

Why Athiesm is Exclusive of Morality

Morality and ethics are not equivalent.  Morality is, in fact, simply a TYPE of ethics. Therefore it can be logically asserted that not all ethics are moral.

The other day I was watching a debate between Walter Block and Stefan Molyneux, both atheists and libertarians, on the Non-Aggression Principle, a specious code of libertarian ethics that includes both morality and legality.  Which…should tell you right there that libertarians either A. Haven’t thought their premises through, or B. They HAVE thought them through and simply don’t see the contradictions.  I’m not sure which is worse.

You can’t do that.  You either have moral ethics or you have legal eithics.  You can’t have both.  You cannot ethically obligate man to BOTH obedience AND choice.  Man cannot be free to choose how he shall act AND be forced to obey a legal code under pain of punishment.  And this is just one of several disturbing rational contradictions evident in libertarianism.  It may not be the most egregious, but it’s certainly rank.

During the course of the debate, the topic of morality came up, naturally, and Walter said something that was quite startling to me, and quite interesting as well.  He said he “didn’t understand this morality thing”…or something to that effect…if not those words exactly then it was pretty darn close. And it got me asking myself.  Does Walter not “get morality” because he’s a libertarian, or because he’s an atheist? Or both?

Well, I figured it couldn’t be libertarianism because libertarianism asserts the existence of moral behavior. So that left me with atheism…as a hypothesis, I mean. I understand there could be other reasons, like ignorance or personal experience or a different definition of what constitutes libertarianism, but going on what I can truly know for a fact about the man—that he’s an admitted atheist, and having some understanding of what that means in the formal sense—I decided to examine atheism.  I had some free time on my hands…my daughter was in a two hour dance class, so I slouched down on the stiff leather couch in the waiting room and had a think.

And it hit me.  The Christians are right.  Atheists cannot define morality.  Atheism, in fact, utterly precludes morality. Now don’t get me wrong, Christianity (as practiced by Christians in the Augustinian sense, which is pretty much all of it) precludes morality, too, and for the same fundamental reasons, just with different semantics.  But of course in this article we are discussing atheism.

Without going into the minutia of metaphysical premises (reality from fantasy) leading to epistemological conclusions (truth from lie) leading to ethical principles (right from wrong), I will, to keep things relatively short and accessible here, simply define the terms this way:  Morality is an Ethic which is referenced to the individual; Legality is an ethic which is referenced to the Law. At the root level of Ethical principles these two are completely incompatible, for the reasons I gave above. Man cannot be ethically obligated to both choice and obedience.  Moral action demands man choose his behavior for himself.  Legal action demands he obey an authority which dictates behavior.  In other words, morality is chosen good and legality is dictated good.

Morality demands thus that man must own himself, based on the premise that the individual—the Self qua Self (the singularity of “I”)—is the epistemological reference.  Reality is true because the individual is the Constant—that is, the reference for truth—which in turn makes the individual also the reference for ethics, as epistemology and ethics are corollary (truth has meaning and meaning has value; meaning is epistemology and value—the extent to which a thing is considered good—is ethics).

Legality on the other hand demands that an authority—the most obvious example being the state—must own the individual, based on the premise that there is no such thing as the Self qua Self, but that the individual is a function or product of some external-to-the-Self process or power, which makes epistemology and ethics entirely beyond the individual’s INDIVIDUAL (singular and conscious) frame of reference.  These processes or powers can be anything from the Laws of Nature or Physics to God’s Divine Will ex nihilo to some form of collectivist Ideal—the Nation, the Race, the People, the Workers, the Church, the Chosen, the Enlightened, etc.. Man thus, as an individual and the singular consciousness which he possesses (manifest through the natural use of the pronoun “I”), is an illusion, and all his thoughts and his will are therefore irrelevant and, more importantly, inadequate to EXISTENCE. This being the case, he must be compelled into ethical behavior by force.  And so with legal ethics, man’s obligation is obedience to the law, the law being whatever principle(s) the authority has decided to codify so that the metaphysical premise (natural law, collectivist Ideal, etc.) can be practically (socially) implemented. The law then is dictated in order that man can know those behaviors which he must perform, upon threat of punishment, in order to properly exist.  As a side note, notice the inherent irony here.  Man is given a law so that he can know how to behave. But if he needs a law to know how to behave then obviously “knowing” is an activity for which he is entirely insufficient.  The whole point of the law is to circumvent what I call the collectivist or determinist “Lie of Man”…that is, his irrational and illusory consciousness.  Thus, appeals to his “knowing how to act” are entirely hypocritical.  And you get this from Christians all the time, too, it’s not just a statist thing.  Man needs God to tell him what to do. But if God needs to tell man what to do then it’s implied that man cannot fundamentally know what to do on his own, which really means that he cannot know truth for himself.  In which case, he cannot really know ANYTHING, so God telling him what to do is hypocritical, irrational, and pointless.  Not exactly the characteristics of God I would pick, but that’s just me.

With moral ethics, man’s ethical obligation is to the individual. Thus, he himself, being an individual, is the ethical reference, and so he cannot obey a law OUTSIDE of himself, but instead CHOOSES to act in ethical ways within the context of his individual, not collective, existence.  That is, ways which do not violate the individual (and we will save the specific explication of what those ways are for another article). In short, moral ethics demand choice and preclude obedience; legal ethics demand obedience and preclude choice.

And, by the by, obedience is NOT a choice, or a form thereof.  You cannot choose to obey; because if you are choosing, then obedience is a moot concept; and vice verse.

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I submit that atheism cannot be moral because it cannot recognize the existence of the individual qua the individual. Atheism MUST appeal to empiricism as a means of defining reality. For an atheist to assert that reality is rooted in anything other than the tangible, the observable, and the material is to assert that reality must be INTERPRETED, which means to appeal to a power or truth—that which provides and defines the interpretive lens—beyond what can be known by human observation. And as soon as we concede that reality is interpreted, not de facto as it presents itself ostensibly, then we must concede the reality of such an underlying power or truth. We could even claim it “transcendent”. Such a power/truth can indeed RATIONALLY be called “God”, whether it be God in the Christian sense—that is, in the sense of a deterministic, omnipotent, creative and causal agent—or simply as a general reference to that which utterly informs reality beyond mere perception.  In either case, “God” is a perfectly acceptable nomenclature for such a thing, despite the fact that most atheists, being on the whole average thinkers like most people, usually only think of  “God” in the narrow religious orthodox sense.

Now, here is where I will need to get a bit technical, because Athiests are very specific—pedantic even—about their definitions, so bear with me.

It is impossible that one concede the existence of an aforementioned power or truth whilst simultaneously claiming a lack of a belief in God.  Now, the reason I put it this way—a LACK of belief—and not merely a disbelief, has to do with how atheists, themselves, specify their position. Atheists do not disbelieve, as they explain it, but they LACK belief.  It may seem a merely semantic difference, but it’s actually quite profound. To disbelieve is to say that God does not exist. To lack belief is to say that God CANNOT exist.

“Does not” implies that whatever you’re referring to possesses some kind of underlying ability to act, making “ability” a possible root metaphyscial premise. But “cannot” takes ability out of the metaphysical equation. You see, if a thing doesn’t do existence, the subtle implication is that it DOES do other things. This naturally legitimizes the thing by tacitly conceding its inherent it power to act. Which in turn tacitly subordinates existence to the power to act, rendering the claim that it does not exist of no fundamental significance. But if a thing CANNOT exist, then there is no tacit concession that it does something else because “doing”, or “ability to do” never factors into the claim.  In other words, “does not” metaphysically subordinates existence to ability, whereas “cannot” makes ability existentially moot, and thus ipso facto makes existence the metaphysical premise, which is important since the whole point of atheism is to propagate the idea that God’s existence is a lie. If “existence” isn’t the plumbline for reality and truth, then atheism itself is basically irrelevant. Again, it’s technical, but VERY, VERY important, and allows us to make some extremely important assumptions about atheism, particularly with respect to morality.

When atheists claim that God CANNOT exist they are tacitly admitting that they define reality as entirely empirical. How on earth can they KNOW that God cannot exist? How on earth can they demand that only the theist is on the hook for giving proof for his assertions?  Simple. Because the atheist accepts only an empirical framework for reality. They make a metaphysical assertion and then demand that everyone accept it or they reject your ideas out of hand. This is an example of incredible intellectual dishonesty and hubris, not to mention hypocrisy, but it explains why their platform is first and foremost established upon a negative—what they DON’T believe, or beliefs they lack, instead of what they do or have. And why they focus on being disproved instead of proving themselves. It’s easy to claim a metaphysical primary and demand everyone agree to it. It’s much more difficult to prove your metaphysic and make THAT, not merely what doesn’t fit into it, the root of your movement.

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Atheism by its very nature must assume that reality is empirical.

Now, merely proclaiming empirical reality doesn’t ACTUALLY EXPLAIN anything with respect to reality. Saying reality is empirical is a metaphyscial premise; the reasoning behind it is what matters, though. And this is why I have told atheists a thousand times that I don’t care about what the don’t believe, or what beliefs they lack, but what they DO…and by that I mean I want to know specifically WHY they believe that I should accept THEIR metaphysic. “Observation is truth” is not, itself, an argument. At all.

“Seeing is believing” begs the question: Seeing what? Of course, atheists cannot ultimately rely on concepts generated by mere human consciousness to define things, as consciousness not only says a tree is a tree but also spawns fantastical and irrational notions like “God”.  Consciousness is much too subjective, in other words, to provide an objective definition of what IS. Thus, atheists instead appeal what they accept as empirical systems of measurement, such as the scientific method, which allows the observable to be organized mathematically in order to give specific things common values…values which then can be transferred from one object to another, and from one place and time to another, with predictable results.

But find it a remarkable oversight of reason and common sense to presume, as atheists do, that A. Mathematics, though an utterly cognitive process, is somehow outside of human consciousness, and B. That mathematics is somehow a part of observable reality, when it exists precisely to translate the observable into ABSTRACT terms. And that’s translate, not transliterate. But I’m not sure they understand the difference.

It is so strange to me that atheists do not understand the scientific method and mathematics are a product of human consciousness. And to compound the flaw, this allows scientists to commit blatant fallacy by making the observer a product of what he observes. Somehow mathematics gets exempt from human consciousness and exists “outside” of man, even though it, like “God”, is, in such a context, infinite, omnipotent, and thus, utterly beyond the scope of human perception.

But what’s a little hypocrisy going to hurt, right? After all, 99% objective truth to a paltry 1% contradiction is a ratio that any reasonable person can live with. We can’t be expected to know everything? I mean, in our own narrow dimension and with a whole multiverse thing going on out there the complete truth is bound to be to some degree a perpetual mystery, right?

Hmmm. Now where have I heard that before?

Oh yeah. In church.

Anyway, the point I’m making is that empiricism naturally leads to science and mathematics as atheism’s de facto apologetics given that these are understood to be the plumbline for what constitutes objective reality.  And thus the assumption is that at root reality can ONLY be valued by mathematical measurement.  Math, the “language of the universe”, becomes for the atheist, the ghost in the machine…what gives all things their true essence. And yet somehow, in this case, it’s perfectly rational and empirical to believe in spirits. Through the  “Holy Ghost” of mathematics man can somehow know and define himself OUTSIDE of himself, which proves that there is no actual “outside” of himself at all, because “himself” is just a fluke. An illusion.  All things that ARE exist empirically and objectively. And “empirical” and “objective” do NOT include you qua you.

It’s an amazing display of rational gymnastics. Believe me, it’s not a trite, cute little argument to say that it takes as much faith to be an atheist as it does to believe in God.  It’s an axiom.

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Because atheism = science = mathematics = scientific determinism, there can be no morality compatible with atheism because atheism precludes choice. It makes consciousness a product of natural law, which renders the individual’s will moot.  Thus, ethics cannot imply moral responsibility because determinism is about what you MUST do, not what you SHOULD do. And what you MUST do is an obligation, and obligation is not choice, but OBEDIENCE. He who is obligated to act in a certain way—because he is not a willful but a DETERMINED creature—cannot then be called “good” for acting that way. From the atheist’s point of view, you don’t choose to act, you simply act.  And the way in which you act you MUST act. You are FORCED to act by powers beyond the illusion of your Self. And this being the case, whatever you do, then, is ethical by definition. It’s not moral…that is, it cannot be given a value of good or bad, or right or wrong. But it is behavior that affirms the metaphyscial premise, and thus it IS ethical.  It is what is necessary; what is SUPPOSED to be.

The “natural law” of atheism thus necessarily strips morality from ethics.  And in the absence of morality, the only practical application of ethics is legality.  And this is why ethics debates amongst atheists like Stefan Molyneux and Walter Block are always centered either explicitly or implicitly around CODES of conduct…that is, ethical principles that are COLLECTIVE, applying to all men, because all men are, by virtue of natural law, ONE…that is, individuality becomes collective “oneness”. Ironic.

Some call these codes “laws”, and others, like Molyneux, call them “Universal Principles”. But they all mean one thing: obedience to authority. Atheists debate distinctions between “criminal behavior” and “moral behavior”, as if somehow these behaviors can co-exist at all, let alone in a single socio-political context. As I have already said, you can define behavior as legal or moral, ethically speaking, but you CANNOT define it as both. It is a rational impossibility.

Finally, I submit that since the notion of “law” implied by the empiricism of atheism is implicitly collectivist, any eithical system derived from atheism must also be collectivist. And collectivist ethics always manifest as an authority-submission dynamic, which demands that man COLLECTIVELY obey the law, not choose for himself to act morally.

Thus, atheism is tyranny.

Stefan Molyneux’s Noble Failure Definitively Explained: Why Universally Preferable Behavior is not a System of Ethics

Scattered within Stefan Molyneux’s voluminous monologues and conversations are references to his “defense of secular ethics” which he has organized into a formal work he calls “Universally Preferable Behavior” (UPB). I have taken issue with UPB before on this blog, but my arguments have never fully satisfied me.  But neither has UPB ever fully satisfied me either.

The more I thought about it, something continued to feel off…specious, about his arguments, yet for all my articles, I still struggled to put my finger definitely on the problem. For a while I was content to let the issue go, satisfied that I had rebuffed enough of Stefan’s ethical system to at least cast a reasonable doubt as to its rational consistency.  Still, the more I listened to Stefan and the more he promoted UPB to the various viewers and listeners of his podcast and YouTube channel, I felt compelled to put the issue to rest once and for all.  Stefan seemed (and seems) so confident that UPB is the answer to the problem of secular ethics, and yet the more he talked, the more confident I became that there was something seriously wrong with it. His arguments sounded reasonable, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was missing something crucial…that he was, as Sallah said to Indiana Jones, “digging in the wrong place”. So I put my nose to the grindstone, determined to root out the issue once and for all.

Here I go.

Stefan, a self-admitted atheist, argues, rightly, that atheistic philosophies inevitably boil down to hypocritical scientific determinism. He then also rightly points out that before atheistic philosophies can be considered fully legitimate, let alone provide any real value to humankind, they must address the problem of scientific determinism nullifying morality by removing will.  Because without will there is no moral choice.

Stefan attempts to correct this discrepancy by providing a “defense of secular ethics” through his own system, Universally Preferable Behavior (UPB).  He gives us, as he says, an ethical system “without God”.  Which is weird because what he really means is “without Authority”, because “God’s ethics” are the ethics of a supreme Authority which possesses the infinitely superior power to compel human behavior by force.  Interestingly, though, this ethic is adopted by ANYONE who concedes that the State is a legitimate means of organizing human behavior, as the State is such an authority.  Which naturally includes both those who hold secular beliefs and those who are religious, as anyone can see by merely perusing a cross section of the population of almost any nation on earth.

Stefan’s fundamental defense of his secular ethics is rooted in the following example: Stealing isn’t stealing if you WANT to be stolen from.  Stealing, he says, is not a mutual agreement.  Therefore, it cannot be preferred by all parties.  But, conversely, the voluntary exchange of property IS, and thus voluntary exchange of property IS a universally preferred ethic.  Of course, this argument also works if we substitute “theft” with fraud, murder, rape, etc., because “property” rationally includes one’s truth and one’s body, and this is how the example of theft can be extrapolated to apply to volition vs non-volition as the essence of ethics, which is implied by UPB. Stefan asserts that he’s successfully argued an ethic without God, because we can use pure human reason to prove that theft cannot be ethical because it cannot apply to all individuals at all times.  Corollary to this, voluntary exchange of property has simultaneously been proven to be ethical because it DOES apply to all individuals at all times.

But has Stefan really argued successfully for a UNIVERSAL ethic here?

No, he hasn’t. And here’s why:

Now, it is true that I cannot WANT you to take my property without permission because giving permission—which is implied by “wanting”—and not giving permission is a contradiction in terms.  The operative concept in Stef’s example is not really “theft”, then, but “permission”.

You see, the concept of theft inherently assumes the existence (reality) and legitimacy (morality) of private property.  The fact that I cannot WANT you to steal from me doesn’t have anything to do with theft, in particular, at all.  “Theft” is merely one of virtually any activity you could use in Stef’s example, because when I say that I cannot want you to steal from me I’m merely saying that I cannot give permission for a thing and NOT give permission for a thing at the same time.  I cannot both give you permisssion and not give you permission to mow my lawn, or to sell me a teapot, or to offer me a cookie, or to tell me your favorite color.  In other words, Stefan makes “theft” the primary issue and sews a whole Ethic out of it, when the primary issue is really the implied contradiction in “desired theft”—the inability to want and not want/to give permission and not give permission at the same time.  “I want you to take without permission that which can only be given with permission” is not a root of Ethics but merely a contradiction in terms. Period.

The very claim that “I want you to steal from me” implies that the speaker assumes that private property exists, and thus he must ALREADY accept it as legitimate.  You see, if I say that I think theft should be ethical I’ve already implicitly contradicted myself by legitimizing  private property through my very use—and thus corollary acceptance of its meaning—of the concept of “theft”.  Through the concept of theft I concede the existence and legitimacy of private property, thus OBVIOUSLY I cannot also claim that theft should be ethical.  That is, I’ve already conceded, by calling theft by its name, that it is UNETHICAL by tacitly admitting the existence of private property.  The contradiction of desired theft, is, as I stated above, the contradiction of “giving permission” whilst simultaneously “not giving permission”.  Desired theft is nothing more than the contradiction that says private property isn’t private.

There is nowhere else to take the idea of “desired theft” beyond the contradiction. The contradiction is its own end.  By definition contradictions are circular and thus nothing can be inferred.  You cannot formulate an entire ethical system from that which is meaningless. All you can do is simply point out its meaninglessness. The fact that theft cannot be universally preferred is not an ethical claim but merely the stating of the obvious fact that it is a contradiction in terms to say that both private property AND theft are moral.

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Not stealing can only be a universal ethic if we accept the existence and legitimacy of private property. But if we don’t, then the “universally preferable behavior” of not stealing is meaningless.  If I reject the existence and legitimacy of private property then there is no such thing as an ethic of “not stealing” because according to my philosophy there can be no such thing as stealing in the first place.

What Stefan is arguing is simply that private property exists and thus has legitimacy, and thus is ethical, and in HIS SPECIFIC philosophical context theft MUST be unethical and illegitimate in order to be rationally consistent TO the philosophy as a whole. Which is fine, but again, this point holds no relevance for those who reject private property. UPB is not a rebuttal of divine ethics, it is really an obvious and unremarkable commentary on his own personal ethical beliefs and implicitly appealing to a metaphysical premise he never explains.  Those who believe that God fundamentally owns everything and IS everything don’t believe in private property.  They don’t have any real frame of reference for theft, so they don’t care that it’s an ethical contradiction in Stef’s personal belief system. In other words, Stefan’s “universally preferred willful value exchange” cannot possibly be preferred by those who do not concede the existence of private property. And this is why universally preferable behavior is not in fact universally preferable. It’s only CONDITIONALLY preferable. It depends on your metaphysics.

Now, the problem isn’t that Stefan’s implicit claim that private property exists is necessarily false, the problem is that he extracts an ethic from a metaphysical assumption that must be accepted BEFORE the ethics can then be said to be universal.  That is, the problem is with the use of the term “universal” to describe an ethic that is only universal to people who concede the same metaphysical premises Stefan does. To call your ethics UNIVERSALLY preferable without first proving your metaphysics is to implicitly demand that people accept your metaphysics before you’ve actually proved them. This smacks of arrogance.

Further, it’s uneccesary and presumptuous AND contradictory to refer to your ethics, or anything about your philosophy at all for that matter, as universal. If your metaphysics are truly consistent then your ethics are true. Nothing else should be said. Period. I mean, Universally Preferable Ethics implies a Universally Preferable Reality,  because you don’t get ethics without metaphysics first. But Universally Preferable Reality is simply another contradiction in terms…on top of the arrogance. “Reality is Universal” is redundant, and thus the universal ethics stemming from this universal reality then are also redundant. So, if reality is universal (redundancy) and thus the ethics are universal (redundancy) then preference is impossible (contradiction). Any way you slice it, it doesn’t work.

To conclude: Stefan’s argument isn’t really that theft is unethical, but that private property EXISTS.  But “private property exists” is not an ethical claim, it’s a metaphysical one.  And believe me, “Universally Preferable Reality” is an entirely different ball of wax…not to mention an inherent contradiction. In summary, Stefan is digging in the wrong place. He’s thinks he’s rooting around in ethics when he is really in the land of metaphysics.

Metaphysically, though, I can tell you that Stefan is no closer to any sort of universal truth than he is to a universal ethic with UPB.  Because if he was, he would not be appealing to a contextual assertion about the nature of reality stated as a contradiction in terms in defense of an ethical system with a redundant title.

Why Metaphysics Cannot Get Away From Ability as Metaphysical Primary

Let’s use “chair” as an example for this explication of the metaphysics of Ability vs. Existence.

We don’t say that the chair IS existence, we say that the chair HAS existence.

But “having” implies action, which implies the ABILITY to act. In this case, the chair’s ability to have existence is the root WHY of itself. That is, existence is not why the chair HAS (action) existence, the chair’s ABILITY (to exist you could even say) is why the chair HAS (action) existence .

Now, I understand that the chair cannot have ability unless it IS, in fact, the chair. I get it, chair implies ability and ability implies chair…you don’t get ability without someTHING having it; and you don’t get an it without the ABILITY to BE . But that’s precisely my point. When dealing in metaphysics it is all about corollaries.  The trick is finding the REAL and rationally perfect corollary, not a contradiction masquerading as one.

What this shows us is that not only is the chair, itself (or specifically its ability), why it “has existence”, or why it is (being) the chair, but that the chair is entirely DISTINCT from existence. Meaning that “existence” is NOT a natural corollary to “chair” at all. The chair and existence, though they may have some conceptual relationship, are not in essence one and the same. Chair and the existence of the chair are not essential corollaries. The chair must be able to be the chair BEFORE it can possess existence…its singular (to itself qua itself) ABILITY TO BE the chair is why it is also ABLE TO HAVE existence. The CHAIR is; and the CHAIR has. Existence here really has nothing to do with it. Existence only enters the picture (at the epistemological level) AFTER the chair has already been made manifest by its ABILITY to be (its ability to be and its being are of course corollary, as I explained above). This seems quite a contradiction to the commonly understood notion of “existence”…that is, existence at the metaphysical level.

It is the chair and its ABILITY which are metaphysical corollaries, not the chair and its existence. Existence, however, we are told is supposed to be the metaphysical synonym for “chair”…the general primary of “existence” supposedly implying the specific ( in this case chair). But as I have explained it actually does not because we don’t say the chair IS existence, we say the chair HAS existence. Which again, contrary to existence, implies ABILITY at root…of the chair to act…to be…to have. Ability is the root essence which implies chair, not existence. Ability = action = a specific thing which acts.

The metaphysical corollary is like this: Ability implies chair (in this case), and chair implies Ability. “Chair has Ability and Ability has chair” is also a logical way to render it; chair does Ability and Ability does chair. Ability manifests chair, manifests ability. It’s a perfect corollary.

In summary:

We cannot say that the chair has existence WITHOUT IMPLYING ABILITY, thus undercutting existence as the metaphysical primary. However we CAN say that the chair has ability—is able to act as (be)—without implying existence. For “being” is an act, not an is. DOING/ACTION cannot be divorced from chair. AT ALL. Metaphysics is active, not passive. Ability, not existence, implies a PLURALITY of objects which all share the same exact, absolute root. Ability ALONE reconciles the paradox of a metaphysical singularity which not only allows for but NECESSITATES a rational, efficacious plurality.

A Concise Explication of the Insufficiency of Existence as the Metaphysical Primary

Existence absent existing—absent the DOING of itself—does not actually exist.  So the idea of passive Existence is irrational.

So Existence is active. Existence exists. Existence is EXISTING. Which must mean that it is rooted in ABILITY.  Existence must be empowered by its ability to actually DO itself; for nothing can act that is unable to act.

But if Existence is a function the ability to act, then does Existence itself have any real metaphysical value?

Here is a metaphysical corollary I have devised:

Ability = being (the active manifestation of ability) = an IS (the specific thing epistemologically defined as being—that which is being what it IS).

E.g. Ability = Being = Apple IS (being an apple)

(Note: We could even substitute “Being” with “Existing”; but we must understand that in this case, Existence itself is NOT implied by “Existing”. “Existing” in this case is simply a synonym for “Being”.)

Or, even more concisely: Ability implies action, implies a thing which acts.

This is in contrast to the brand of metaphysics which puts existence in the place of Ability, where the corollary would look something like this:

Existence = an IS (a specific thing defined) = Being (the manifestation of existence)

E.g. Existence = Apple IS (being an apple) = Being

The first problem here is that the apple is BEING the apple BEFORE “Being” as a root and general metaphysical parameter is implied.

But notice the second problem. Since existence doesn’t imply Ability (to act) there can be no such thing as the action of existence—there can be no such thing as existING; there can be no BEING…or the DOING of Existence. And in that case, there can be no manifestation of existence, and thus, there can be no IS…no specific thing defined (as existing). Nothing EXISTS because Existence is entirely passive.

Perhaps to correct this problem we could reverse “IS” and “Being” and render the corollary as:

Existence = Being = an IS

E.g. Existence = Being = Apple IS (being an apple)

This technically corrects the first problem, but the problem of Existence not inherently implying action remains. There is no BEING (again the DOING of Existence) without action and there is no action without ability. And there is no ability anywhere in the metaphysics of Existence. Because if there was then ABILITY would be the metaphysical primary, and thus there would BE no metaphysics of Existence.

Okay. Perhaps then we might render the corollary this way to correct the problem:

Ability = Existence = Being = an IS

But notice here how Existence becomes both irrelevant and irrational. Ability ALONE implies Being, because Being is a manifestation of Ability, while Existence is not. There is nothing needed or even rational mediating the relationship Ability and Being. Existence, properly stated, is an IS—a distinct thing itself..albeit an abstract one (we are speaking philosophically here, not really grammatically; I understand that Ability is an abstract THING in the grammatical sense, but metaphysically it rationally serves as a universal root essence, thereby making it NON-specific, which is not the case with Existence, as I’ve demonstrated). And therefore Existence qua Existence belongs to the epistemological category of philosophy, not to the category dealing with metaphysics.

 

What Exists? What is Able?: Why the first question is meaningless and the second is not

1. There is no such thing as a “not”, or “nothing”. “Not” or “nothing” cannot exist. Because if it IS, then it is SOMETHING. And if nothing is something then…well, you get the idea. The absence of things cannot itself be a thing

2. Existence, if not a function of the ability to act–to do–means that Existence can do nothing (is at root UNABLE), which means that Existence cannot actually exist. Logically and practically speaking, however, existing IS the SAME thing as Existence…hence the common metaphysical claim “Existence exists”. The two are functionally identical; they are corollary. Existence, then, implying EXISTING, must possess an underlying ability to act–an ability to exist. Therefore, the metaphysical claim, “Existence exists” is in fact proof that Existence is not the metaphycial primary. The primary is Ability.

I could end this article here, for the point has been made and proven. But I wish to belabor it a bit; and I still am obliged to explain why Ability does not fall into the same trap of rational fallacy as Existence.

3. Existence cannot precede the action of existence–existing–because that would imply that Existence at its root does NOT exist. This would be in effect the synthesis of Existence with its own contradiction: Existence which does not exist. But the fact is, as I said, they are corollary. There cannot be one without the other.

4. To say “Existence exists” objectively and clearly implies that Existence ACTS, which necessarily means that it possesses the Ability to act. To say otherwise is to claim that it is either UNable to exist at root, or that it simply doesn’t DO, at root; that action is itself incompatible with Existence. But if this is the case then you cannot define anything according to Existence. You cannot claim that the chair exists (as the chair) vs the ball which exists (as the ball). You could say that the ball is Existence, and the chair is Existence, but that wrecks any distinction. If everything is Existence as opposed to EXISTING, then there is no such thing as a ball or a chair. Again, Existence and Existing are arrant corollaries. If the chair and ball are EXISTING then Existence itself is active, not passive. Which means that it is empowered by Ability. And if they are not existing then they obviously cannot be what they are claimed to be (ball and chair)…because how exactly do you define (or even conceptualize) that which doesn’t exist? Nothing cannot be called something. See point number one.

5. Absent the underlying Ability to act, and absent then the corollary between Existence and Existing, “Existence exists” is a rationally impossible claim. It would need to be rendered instead “Existence”, period. Which neither implies nor allows anything beyond the meaningless tautology, “Existence is”…which rendered another way becomes “Existence is Existence”…an idea which serves no rational or practical purpose whatsoever.

6. “Ability is able” is not a contradiction as a primary metaphysical premise, like “Existence exists”, because Ability, by definition, and obviously endemic to its root self, is not UNABLE to act. Unlike Existence, which alone, absent Ability, cannot be said to be compatible with doing. “Existence exists” clearly means that Existence is DOING ITSELF; but doing, without the underlying Ability to do, is impossible. “Ability is able” likewise means that Ability is doing itself. But this of course is entirely rational because the ability to do is EXPLICIT in Ability. Again, this is simply not the case with Existence.

7. Since “Existence exists” as a root metaphysical claim is a contradiction, the question “What exists?” becomes meaningless. It’s not a question which has an answer at the ROOT metaphysical level because it’s NOT a question which has anything to do with root metaphysics. Existence is an epistemological sub-category, not a metaphysical primary. On the other hand “Ability is able” is not a metaphysical contradiction, and therefore the question “What is able?” is perfectly legitimate. The answer, of course, is elementary:

“What is able?”

Answer:

“What is able.”

Meaning that whatever man declares to BE via the perception/conceptualization corollary, including himself, is at root ABLE to be whatever what he declares it to be. It is ABLE to BE, relative to himself. And that–meaning Ability–is why it can be said to exist AS it is defined and given meaning by man, who is the Observer.