I was discussing current political issues with the illustrious philosoraptor and as I am wont to do, it prompted me to think about the role of the religious therein, and I thought I would post this excerpt from our discussion:
The right’s problem is that they seem to unavoidably tend towards ethical egoism. Ayn Rand, approximately one of the worst philosophers ever, is their goddess, and Thrasymachus their hero. So insofar as appearance goes, they get the benefit of ethical egoism’s pursuit of many characteristics which are, when possessed by noble souls, virtues. Prima facie, they look like valiant, self-reliant individuals seeking law and order. But, as soon as you’re subjected to their behavior, you see that they abandon nobility as weakness and proclaim that might makes right. It’s nowhere more apparent than in their relentless carnal affection for the free market; they want to set up a game in which the sole end is personal enrichment, and then they want to make sure that no one intervenes to prevent them from exercising their gluttony ad nauseum. They revel in the poverty of others as the rightful desert for their slovenly laziness. Schadenfreude is their forte, and they think any social support for the poor is merely prolonging the lives of the weak and undeserving.
The left, on the other hand, is probably best characterized as you [philosoraptor] have done; I often think about the link you made between the left and Nietzsche’s slave mentality. It’s dead on. Like the right, the left ends up with some benefits in appearance from their irrationality; they value justice and mercy, but only because they’re in a race to see who can make oneself most in need of it.
The left and the right fight, but it’s a stupid, senseless fight between ethical egoists and self-flagellators obsessed with their own abuse. It’s basically a match made in heaven, really.
Then there’s the truth. Separate from them both, there is righteousness. It’s Theodore Roosevelt’s practical idealism. One must have the power sought by the ethical egoists and use it for the ends sought by the impotent ascetics on the left. The challenge for the righteous is to be better, faster, stronger, and smarter than the ethical egoists so as to wrest from their control the power they seek and prevent its abuse at their hands, turning it instead to the aid of the pitiful and needy. The only hope for the self-enslaved is that they find in that feat of glory an inspiration that gets them to rid themselves of their obsession.
That is, in a nutshell, my life’s goal; to be a tower among men, a beacon of light! Defeating those who can be deterred by no other means and inspiring those who can be saved by no other means.
The apex of my gaming career was reaching a point at which I was so good, I would defeat cheaters with software that aimed for them. Few sounds are as sweet as the pitiful cry of a cheater driven to admitting that he is cheating so as to provide evidence for his case that I, too, am cheating. There is little more honest praise of one’s abilities than the insistence of a defeated cheater who cannot believe that you, a mere mortal, could have outperformed his software designed to kill you. And there is little better use of such abilities than in bringing justice upon the bastards who abuse their abilities so.
A hero’s life I seek. So far, somewhat actualized in virtual land. My IRL character needs some serious grinding, though.