Googling myself – Feb 11 1997, 4:00 am

It should be no surprise that someone who has a blog in his own name googles that same name with some regularity. This morning I found the following newsgroup post archived from 12 years ago. I’d probably say very close to the same thing today.

Many of my views have changed, grown, become more nuanced – but I’m still an atheist and a Satanist. I think theism is inherently anti-rational. I still use “lime green jello” as an example.

One of the strengths of my worldview is I don’t feel that other people reflect on me in any legitimate way… i.e. there may be other Satanists or Atheists who I think are wrong or hold abhorrent views or do things that I don’t approve of – but I’m an egoist and I won’t allow anyone to hold the actions of others over me. They can try, maybe they’ll succeed in the eyes of other people, but I accept no responsibility for the words or deeds of anyone I do not claim responsibility for.

If it isn’t obvious – the lines with the “>>>” are from someone else I’m responding to.

Feb 11 1997, 4:00 am

>> >   There are two types of Satanists; those who are Church Of Satan
>> > and those who wish they were.

>> And there are obviously two further separated types of Satanists
within
>> the CoS; those who understand and act according to Satanic
philosophy and
>> ignorant, weak-minded kiddies like you are.

No, in all reality. There are two types of Satanists. Atheistic, and
Theistic. My PERSONAL opinion (if one cares) is that any thiest is
anti-rational. But that is my opinion.
Theist Satanists are devil worshippers, whereas Atheist Satanists
(such as with the Church of Satan, whom I’m sure has theists in it
because it represents the ouside world, most of the people in it aren’t
sincere, or know whats going on) are just that. Using Satan as a
Jungian archetype.
Now I condemn flame wars continually, and name calling is childish.
You break it down logically. If a theist who worships a being called
the devil calls himslef a Satanist, then they are that. Just as if I
wanted to call myself a bowl of Lime Green Jello, you couldn’t say I
wasn’t because I am using MY definition of what “bowl of lime green
jello” means. And NOBODY else can say I was wrong.
I call myself a Satanist, and am Atheistic. I am both because I can
logically explain why I am both, and why I am other things as well
(social-darwinist, meat eater, heterosexual, and just plain silly
sometimes).
What is boils down to is sincerety. If you are sincere, and logical,
you are better off than 80% or more of the population.
Kevin I. Slaughter

Law of the Roman Republic…

(originally a MySpace blog, but during the transfer over to this blog, I slipped up and forgot to enter the date… I’m not going  back through 20 pages of blogs on myspace to figure it out, and it’s not time-sensitive anyway)

Roman law has its beginnings in the code known as the Twelve Tables (449 BC). From there Roman law became highly advanced for its time, developing over the centuries many of the legal institutions that are taken for granted today.
Here are some excerpts from those tables:

  • “A father shall immediately put to death a son recently born, who is a monster, or has a form different from that of members of the human race.”
  • “If one has maimed another and does not buy his peace, let there be retaliation in kind.”
  • “Where anyone commits a theft by night, and having been caught in the act is killed, he is legally killed.”
  • “When a judge, or an arbiter appointed to hear a case, accepts money, or other gifts, for the purpose of influencing his decision, he shall suffer the penalty of death.”
  • “If anyone should stir up war against his country, or delivers a Roman citizen into the hands of the enemy, he shall be punished with death.”

On the use of metaphors, myths and etc. …

“A mother had, for their education and betterment, given her children Aesop’s fables to read. Very soon, however, they brought the book back to her, and the eldest, who was very knowing and precocious, said: ‘This is not a book for us! It’s much too childish and silly. We’ve got past believing that foxes, wolves and ravens can talk: we’re far too grown-up for such nonsense!’ – Who cannot see in this hopeful lad the future enlightened Rationalist?”

– Schopenhauer

Life At The Bottom – Theodore Dalrymple – Excerpt

This is an excerpt from “Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass” by Theodore Dalrymple. I OCRed the text without really proofreading, so there may be quirks in the conversion, and it’s not the entire chapter…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Dalrymple
Anthony (A.M.) Daniels (born 1949) is a British writer and retired physician (prison doctor and psychiatrist), who generally uses the pen name Theodore Dalrymple. He has also used the pen name Edward Theberton[1] and two other pen names.[2][3] He is a critic of liberal thinking and utopian thinking in general. Before his retirement in 2005 he worked as a doctor and psychiatrist in a hospital and nearby prison in a slum area in Birmingham. His philosophical position is “compassionate conservative”.

Tough Love

LAST WEEK, a seventeen-year-old girl was admitted to
my ward with such acute alcohol poisoning that she could
scarcely breathe by her own unaided efforts, alcohol being a
respiratory depressant. When finally she woke, twelve hours
later, she told me that she had been a heavy drinker since the
age of twelve.
She had abjured alcohol for four months before her admis‑
sion, she told me, but had just returned to the bottle because of
a crisis. Her boyfriend, aged sixteen, had just been sentenced to
three years’ detention for a series of burglaries and assaults. He
was what she called her “third long-term relationship”—the
first two having lasted your and six weeks, respectively. But
after four months of life with the young burglar, the prospect of
separation from him was painful enough to drive her back to
drink.
It happened that I also knew her mother, a chronic alcoholic
with a taste for violent boyfriends, the latest of whom had been
stabbed in the heart a few weeks before in a pub brawl. The
surgeons in my hospital saved his life; and to celebrate his re‑
covery and discharge, he had gone straight to the pub. From
there he went home, drunk, and beat up my patient’s mother.
My patient was intelligent but badly educated, as only prod‑
ucts of the British educational system can be after eleven years
of compulsory school attendance. She thought the Second
World War took place in the 197os and could give me not a sin‑
gle correct historical date.
I asked her whether she thought a young and violent burglar
would have proved much of a companion. She admitted that he
wouldn’t, but said that he was the type she liked; besides
which—in slight contradiction—all boys were the same.
I warned her as graphically as I could that she was already
well down the slippery slope leading to poverty and misery—
that, as I knew from the experience of untold patients, she
would soon have a succession of possessive, exploitative, and
violent boyfriends unless she changed her life. I told her that in
the past few days I had seen two women patients who had had
their heads rammed down the lavatory, one who had had her
head smashed through a window and her throat cut on the
shards of glass, one who had had her arm, jaw, and skull bro‑
ken, and one who had been suspended by her ankles from a
tenth-floor window to the tune of, “Die, you bitch!”
“I can look after myself,” said my seventeen-year-old.
“But men are stronger than women,” said. “When it
comes to violence, they are at an advantage.”
“That’s a sexist thing to say,” she replied.
A girl who had absorbed nothing at school had nevertheless
absorbed the shibboleths of political correctness in general and
of feminism in particular.
“But it’s a plain, straightforward, and inescapable fact,” I
said.
“It’s sexist,” she reiterated firmly.
A stubborn refusal to face inconvenient facts, no matter
how obvious, now pervades our attitude towards relations be‑
tween the sexes. An ideological filter of wishful thinking strains
out anything we’d prefer not to acknowledge about these eter‑
nally difficult and contested relations, with predictably disas‑
trous results.
I meet with this refusal everywhere, even among the nursing
staff of my ward. intelligent and capable, as decent and dedi‑
sated a group of people as I know, they seem, in the matter of
judging the character of men, utterly, almost willfully, incompe‑
tent.
In my toxicology ward, for example, 98 percent of the thir‑
teen hundred patients we see each year have attempted suicide
by overdose. Just over half of them are men, at least 7o percent
of whom have recently perpetrated domestic violence. After
stabbing, strangling, or merely striking those who now appear
in medical records as their partners, they take an overdose for
at least one of three reasons, and sometimes for all three: to
avoid a court appearance; to apply emotional blackmail to their
victims; and to present their own violence as a medical condi‑
tion that it is the doctor’s duty to cure. As for our women pa‑
tients who’ve attempted suicide, some 70 percent have suffered
domestic violence
In the circumstances, it isn’t altogether surprising that I can
now tell at a glance—with a fair degree of accuracy—that a
man is violent towards his significant other. (it doesn’t follow,
of course, that I can tell when a man isn’t violent towards her
In truth, the clues are not particularly subtle. A closely shaven
head with many scars on the scalp from collisions with broken
bottles or glasses; a broken nose; blue tattoos on the hands,
arms, and neck, relaying messages of love, hate, and challenge;
but above all, a facial expression of concentrated malignity,
outraged egotism, and feral suspiciousness—all these give the
game away. Indeed, I no longer analyze the clues and deduce a
conclusion: a man’s propensity to violence is as immediately
legible in his face and bearing as any other strongly marked
character trait.
All the more surprising is it to me, therefore, that the nurses
perceive things differently. They do not see a man’s violence in
his face, his gestures, his deportment, and his bodily adorn‑
ments, even though they have the same experience of the pa‑
tients as I. They hear the same stories, they see the same signs,
hut they do not make the same judgments. What’s more, they
seem never to learn; for experience—like chance, in the famous
dictum of Louis Pasteur—favors only the mind prepared. And
when I guess at a glance that a man is an inveterate wife beater
(I use the term “wife” loosely), they are appalled at the harsh‑
ness of my judgment, even when it proves right once more.
This is not a matter of merely theoretical interest to the
nurses, for many of them in their private lives have themselves
been the compliant victims of violent men. For example, the
lover of one of the senior nurses, an attractive and lively young
woman, recently held her at gunpoint and threatened her with
death, after having repeatedly blacked her eye during the previ‑
ous months. I met him once when he came looking for her in
the hospital: he was just the kind of ferocious young egotist to
whom I would give a wide berth in the broadest daylight.
Why are the nurses so reluctant to come to the most in‑
escapable of conclusions? Their training tells them, quite
rightly, that it is their duty to care for everyone without regard
for personal merit or deserts; but for them, there is no differ‑
ence between suspending judgment for certain restricted pur‑
poses and making no judgment at ail in any circumstances
whatsoever. It is as if they were more afraid of passing an ad‑
verse verdict on someone than of getting a punch in the face—a
likely enough consequence, incidentally, of their failure of dis‑
cernment. Since it is scarcely possible to recognize a wife beater
without inwardly condemning him, it is safer not to recognize
him as one in the first place.
This failure of recognition is almost universal among my vi‑
olently abused’, women patients, but its function for them is
somewhat different from what it is for the nurses. The nurses
need to retain a certain positive regard for their patients in
order to do their job. But for the abused women, the failure to
perceive in advance the violence of their chosen men serves to
absolve them of all responsibility for whatever happens there‑
after, allowing them to think of themselves as victims alone
rather than the victims and accomplices they are. Moreover, it
licenses them to obey their impulses and whims, allowing them to suppose that sexual attractiveness is the measure of all things and that prudence in the selection of a male companion is nei­ther possible nor desirable.
Often their imprudence would be laughable were it not tragic: many times in my ward I’ve watched liaisons form be­tween an abused female patient and an abusing male patient within half an hour of their striking up an acquaintance. By now I can often predict the formation of such a Øliaison-and predict that it will as certainly end in violence as that the sun will rise tomorrow.
At first, of course, my female patients deny that the violence of their men was foreseeable. But when I ask them whether they think I would have recognized it in advance, the great major­ity—nine out of ten—reply, yes, of course. And when asked how they think I would have done so, they enumerate precisely the factors that would have led me to that conclusion. So their blindness is willful.
Today’s disastrous insouciance about so serious a matter as the relationship between the sexes is surely something new in history: even thirty years ago, people showed vastly more cir­cumspection in the formation of liaisons than they do now. The change represents, of course, the fulfillment of the sexual revo­lution. The prophets of that revolution wished to empty the re­lationship between the sexes of all moral significance and to destroy the customs and institutions that governed it. The ento­mologist Alfred Kinsey reacted against his own repressed and puritanical upbringing by concluding that all. forms of sexual restraint were unjustified and psychologically harmful; the novelist Norman Mailer, having taken racial stereotypes as seri­ously as any Ku Klux Klansman, saw in the supposedly unin­hibited sexuality of the Negro the hope 01 the World for a more abundant and richer life; the Cambridge social anthropologist Edmund Leach informed the thinking British public over the radio that the nuclear family was responsible for
contents (this, in the century of Hitler and Stalin!); and the psychiatrist R. D. Laing blamed the family structure for serious
mental illness. In their different ways, Norman 0. Brown, Paul
Goodman, Herbert Marcuse, and Wilhelm Reich joined in the
campaign to convince the Western world that untrammeled sex‑
uality was the secret of happiness and that sexual repression,
along with the bourgeois family life that had once contained
and channeled sexuality, were nothing more than engines of
pathology.
All these enthusiasts believed that if sexual relations could
be liberated from artificial social inhibitions and legal restric‑
tions, something beautiful would emerge: a life in which no de‑
sire need be frustrated, a life in which human pettiness would
melt away like snow in spring. Conflict and inequality between
the sexes would likewise disappear, because everyone would get
what he or she wanted, when and where he or she wanted it.
The grounds for such petty bourgeois emotions as jealousy and
envy would vanish: in a world of perfect fulfillment, each per‑
son would be as happy as the next.
The program of the sexual revolutionaries has more or less
been carried out, especially in the lower reaches of society, but
the results have been vastly different from those so foolishly an‑
ticipated. The revolution foundered on the rock of unacknowl‑
edged reality: that women are more vulnerable to abuse than
men by virtue of their biology alone, and that the desire for the
exclusive sexual possession of another has remained just as
strong as ever. This desire is incompatible, of course, with the
equally powerful desire—eternal in the human breast hut hith‑
erto controlled by social and legal inhibitions—for complete
sexual freedom. Because of these biological and psychological
realities, the harvest of the sexual revolution has not been a
brave new world of human happiness hut rather an enormous
increase in violence between the sexes, for readily understand‑
able reasons.

Decree Against Christianity

Decree Against Christianity
Declared on the day of salvation,
on the first day of the Year One
(—on September 30, 1888 of the false time-chronology)

War to the death against depravity: depravity is Christianity

First proposition.— Every type of anti-nature is depraved. The most depraved type of man is the priest: He teaches anti-nature. Against the priest one doesn’t use arguments, one uses the penitentiary.

Second proposition.— Every participation in divine service is an assassination attempt on public morality. One should be more severe toward Protestants than toward Catholics, more severe toward liberal Protestants than toward the orthodox. The criminal character of a Christian increases when he approaches knowledge . The criminal of criminals is consequently the philosopher.

Third proposition.— The accursed places, in which Christianity has hatched its basilisk eggs, should be razed to the ground and be, as vile places of the earth, the terror of all posterity. One should breed poisonous snakes there.

Fourth proposition.— The sermon on chastity is a public instigation to anti-nature. Every display of contempt for sexual love, and every defilement of it through the concept “dirty” is original sin against the holy spirit of life.

Fifth proposition.— With a priest at one’s table food is pushed aside: one excommunicates oneself therewith from honest society. The priest is our chandala—he should be ostracized, starved, and driven into every kind of desert.

Sixth proposition.— One should call the “holy” story by the name that it deserves, as the accursed story; one should use the words “God,” “Saviour,” “redeemer,” “saint” as invectives, as criminal badges.

Seventh proposition.— The rest follows therefrom.

F.N.

From Chapter 1 of A Jew In Love by Ben Hecht

JO BOSHERE (born Abe Nussbaum) was a man of thirty—a dark-skinned little Jew with a vulturous and moody face, a reedy body and a sense of posture.

The Jews now and then hatch a face which for Jewishness surpasses the caricatures of the entire anti-Semitic press. These Jew faces in which race leers and burns like some biologic disease are rather shocking to a mongrelized world.

People dislike being reminded of their origins. They shudder a bit mystically at the sight of anyone who looks too much like a fish, a lizard, a chimpanzee or a Jew. This is probably nonsense. The Jew face is an enemy totem, an ancient target for spittle and, like a thing long hated, a sort of magic propagandist of hate. Its persistence in the world is that of some repulsive and hostile fauna, half crippled, yet containing in its in­effaceable Yiddish outline the taunt and challenge of the unfinished victim. This, of course, is true only of the worst looking Jew faces and the worst Jew haters.

Boshere was not quite so bad as this. The racial de­cadence which had popped so Hebraic a nosegay out of his mother’s womb was of finer stuff than that glandu­lar degeneration which produces the Jew with the sau­sage face; the bulbous, diabetic half-monsters who look as if they had been fished out of the water a month too late.

These bloaters are truly a vicious drag on the vanity of the race, and nobody winces at the sight of them so much as the Jew.

Boshere was no matter for wincing, yet he had an un­comfortably Semitic face, a face stamped with the hieroglyphic curl of the Hebrew alphabet. For this face, however, he had invented such unJewish expressions, surrounded it with such delicate mannerisms (although he never quite outgrew the semi onanistic activities of his hands) that his personality had almost lost its Semitic flavor.

He had a way of standing, one hand spread genteely over his epigastrium, his skimpy shoulders hunched for­ward, his slightly enlarged eyelids drooped in an artificial and brooding smile, his red-lipped mouth widened in an actorish grimace of meditation; a way of posturing, purring and smiling in the teeth, as it were, of his Jewishness, that gave him the look of a Prince Charming in the midst of a pogrom.

Boshere was wealthy. He had won a million in the stock market, a fact which he disdained. He also dis­dained his calling, which was that of book publisher. He considered his wealth and his vocation as accidents which in no way reflected his true soul and genius.

It was because of this true soul and genius that Boshere caused his face to wear, whenever he thought of it, a brooding, ironic smile. Originally this expression had been invented by Boshere to reveal his superiority to his Jewishness. During his pathologic Jew-conscious adolescence this smile had done varied service. It had hinted at De Medici ancestors, philosophic preoccupa­tions, eerie and delicate dreams; it had played its mysterious and transforming lights over the synagogic façade; it had battled so tirelessly with the racial en­zymes that even in his sleep Boshere looked as much the poseur as the Jew.

Now at thirty, this smile revealed to people his amuse­ment with their estimates of him. He was much superior to the Boshere they knew. It was his obsession that people either admired him or envied him—but not enough.

There was a Boshere, said this brooding, ironic smile, who was beyond the reach of people to understand or appreciate. Inasmuch as he had not yet taken the time to develop some form of self-expression which might advertise this true soul and genius to a dull world, his critics appealed to him as superficial. He snorted at all their fumbling estimates. His knowledge of literature? His ability to publish successful books? His luck in the stock market? His brilliant and alluring personality? These were small matters to the Boshere ego. One had to be Boshere to taste the inner flavor of his greatness.

This biologic handicap he sought to overcome, in those he wished to know him, by making them fall in love with him. He regarded an overwhelming love in either man or woman as the only critical approach to an understanding of him. Or perhaps he looked on love as the only attitude which those who really knew him must feel. In either case, he devoted most of his time, ener­gies and even money (despite his fantastic miserliness) to inspiring this emotion in the hearts of his chosen audience. He carried on a sort of Messianic campaign for disciples of Boshere.

For this business of breathing his soul into another and converting him or her into a Siamese twin, Boshere had a disastrous aptitude. But in the process of attaching a fellow human to himself, he invariably ended by coil­ing his own spirit, temperament, mannerisms and ex­citements so avidly around his conquest as to smother it—were it man or woman—and leave an aftermath of anger and revulsion. He was hated most by those on whom, from time to time, he had pounced in this quest for love and Siamese kinship.

His face, ugly, vulturous, malformed though it was, figured importantly in these conquests. It provoked analyses, stuck in the memory and personalized rela­tionships to a point of abnormality.

For his intimates, there was something peculiar in the look of this face, as if it were unduly naked, as if it had been plucked and deprived of some essential cover­ing. Freshly shaved, he reminded one of an evil birdling, all bill and no feathers, or of the breast of a thin chicken ready for the roasting pan.

His centered eyes, flat, negroid, slightly upturned—their stare indefinably tipped with mania—seemed un­duly exposed. In their look, there was something too close, too intimate. Too much of himself filled these eyes—a love-haunted self smiling in an obscene Narcist embrace.

Sensitivity was Boshere’s most treasured character­istic. He was almost professionally sensitive. His sensi­tivity found its most perfect reflection in the contours of the lower part of his face, the protruding, Spanish looking jaws, the orthopteran, girlish neck. Elsewhere, in his studied gestures, his fish wife angers, his Prince Charming purrings and sadist explosions, he was a pe­culiar enough but still worldly creature. He was domi­nant and full of that fearlessness to be found in puny men who bombinate behind the feminine certainty that  a strong, valorous antagonist will never stoop to attack them physically.

But in this lower half of his face was stamped another story. Here a timid and veritably cringing soul obtruded. Boshere was as conscious of his cheeks, jaws and neck as if they were a peculiarly crippled part of his body, crippled not with the stamp of Jewishness but with the deeper disfiguration of inferiority. He felt most at ease unshaven.

The sensitivity that was the vital basis of Boshere’s nature was not a matter which refined his tastes and his intellectual powers. His mental life was in the main a process of kleptomania. He was clever enough to absorb and appropriate informations and attitudes which at times gave him the air of a considerable fellow. His nimbleness and his unscrupulous parrotings enabled him to shine, even among his betters, as an anarch and an original. But through all such essays in objective thinking, through even his most successfully worded paradoxes and stolen unconventionalities, there remained obvious the uncreative fibre of his mind.

In matters, however, which related to himself, which had to do with the tormented turnings and hungers of his egomania, he was an inspired and shockingly pene­trant observer.

Boshere’s gift, in fact, lay in a realm beyond thought. He owned an organism whose sensitiveness bordered on mania. A stranger’s hand resting in his during a greeting could become an appalling phenomenon. His conscious­ness could enlarge such a contact to nightmarish un­reality. The pressure of palm and fingers, the texture of the stranger’s skin, the pulse beating in the stranger’s flesh—these took on such disproportionate significance that the stranger himself appeared to Boshere for the moment as unreal, fabulous—a veritable monster. In the same manner, a strange voice speaking, strange people laughing, a strange woman smiling or any human antic performed in his presence assumed for him, if he made no effort to control himself, an overwhelming existence —a gigantism beyond life.

Against this hysterical concept of reality, Boshere had engaged for years in a violent inner struggle. He had spent his youth steadying himself before the onrush of gigantism, combating within him this maniacal cringing which translated the simple surfaces of life into hor­rendous and menacing Goliaths.

This psychic battle with life had fitted him in an amusing way for success. As the mania ebbed, as the disordered senses of his adolescence subsided into mere worldly eccentricities, he looked about him with de­tached, ironic eyes. He who had fought and vanquished giants found reality pleasurably small. The violence with which in his youth he had ridden into the teeth of hallucinations and scattered them, left a habit of assault in his nature. Only now it was not against giants he charged, but against an absurdly shrunken, unintimi­dating reality of people. And it was he who felt a giant among pygmies.

French Vogue – “Devil Worship Is The New Black!”

Stolen from Jezebel: http://jezebel.com/gossip/maghag/french-vogue-devil-worship-is-the-new-black-302809.php

French ‘Vogue’: Devil Worship Is The New Black!

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When we saw the September issue of French Vogue on stands, we knew it was going to be good. Good as in completely and ridiculously over the top. Seriously. Check out the ensemble on the cover. Even the logo is animal print. Anna Wintour has never known that kind of wild (heh) abandon. And then, inside, we found the “Sacrément Inspirée” fashion shoot photographed by Terry Richardson and “realized” by editor in chief Carine Roitfeld. The theme? Voodoo/wicca/satanism! After the jump, a few of the images. Find out what to wear… if you’re the guest of honor at a Salem witch trial.

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Chain mail dress? Check. Tarot cards? Check. Powerful coma-inducing herbs (not seen)? Check.

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Buddhism is sooooo 2005. This season, it’s all about trances.

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Us: “In Greek mythology, Medusa was a monstrous female character; gazing upon her could turn onlookers to stone. In 1940, Sigmund Freud’s Das Medusenhaupt (Medusa’s Head) was published posthumously. Medusa is presented as ‘the supreme talisman who provides the image of castration — associated in the child’s mind with the discovery of maternal sexuality — and its denial. The snakes are multiple phalluses and petrifaction represents the comforting erection.'”
Model: “My extensions are stuck in the barbed wire, can someone help me?”

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It’s not creepy that she is standing in a pentagram in the woods. It’s creepy that her extremely long-rise pants have hands.

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“Fashion is about sacrifice, bitches!”

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“Alas, poor Yorick, I knew her well.”
“Who’s Yorick?”
“The other model assigned to this shoot. She was trying to lose that last 5 lbs… She succeeded, in a way.”

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Finally! A subtle, daytime look you can wear to the supermarket, to the gynecologist’s office, or to pick up the kids from school. Pentagram not included.

Principal Doctrines of Epicurus

The “Principal Doctrines” (also sometimes translated under the title “Sovran Maxims”) are a collection of forty quotes from the writings of Epicurus that serve as a handy summary of his ethical theory:

1. A blessed and indestructible being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; so he is free from anger and partiality, for all such things imply weakness.

2. Death is nothing to us; for that which has been dissolved into its elements experiences no sensations, and that which has no sensation is nothing to us.

3. The magnitude of pleasure reaches its limit in the removal of all pain. When such pleasure is present, so long as it is uninterrupted, there is no pain either of body or of mind or of both together.

4. Continuous bodily pain does not last long; instead, pain, if extreme, is present a very short time, and even that degree of pain which slightly exceeds bodily pleasure does not last for many days at once. Diseases of long duration allow an excess of bodily pleasure over pain.

5. It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and honorably and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and honorably and justly without living pleasantly. Whenever any one of these is lacking, when, for instance, the man is not able to live wisely, though he lives honorably and justly, it is impossible for him to live a pleasant life.

6. In order to obtain protection from other men, any means for attaining this end is a natural good.

7. Some men want fame and status, thinking that they would thus make themselves secure against other men. If the life of such men really were secure, they have attained a natural good; if, however, it is insecure, they have not attained the end which by nature’s own prompting they originally sought.

8. No pleasure is a bad thing in itself, but the things which produce certain pleasures entail disturbances many times greater than the pleasures themselves.

9. If every pleasure had been capable of accumulation, not only over time but also over the entire body or at least over the principal parts of our nature, then pleasures would never differ from one another.

10. If the things that produce the pleasures of profligate men really freed them from fears of the mind concerning celestial and atmospheric phenomena, the fear of death, and the fear of pain; if, further, they taught them to limit their desires, we should never have any fault to find with such persons, for they would then be filled with pleasures from every source and would never have pain of body or mind, which is what is bad.

11. If we had never been troubled by celestial and atmospheric phenomena, nor by fears about death, nor by our ignorance of the limits of pains and desires, we should have had no need of natural science.

12. It is impossible for someone to dispel his fears about the most important matters if he doesn’t know the nature of the universe but still gives some credence to myths. So without the study of nature there is no enjoyment of pure pleasure.

13. There is no advantage to obtaining protection from other men so long as we are alarmed by events above or below the earth or in general by whatever happens in the boundless universe.

14. Protection from other men, secured to some extent by the power to expel and by material prosperity, in its purest form comes from a quiet life withdrawn from the multitude.

15. The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity.

16. Chance seldom interferes with the wise man; his greatest and highest interests have been, are, and will be, directed by reason throughout his whole life.

17. The just man is most free from disturbance, while the unjust is full of the utmost disturbance.

18. Bodily pleasure does not increase when the pain of want has been removed; after that it only admits of variation. The limit of mental pleasure, however, is reached when we reflect on these bodily pleasures and their related emotions, which used to cause the mind the greatest alarms.

19. Unlimited time and limited time afford an equal amount of pleasure, if we measure the limits of that pleasure by reason.

20. The flesh receives as unlimited the limits of pleasure; and to provide it requires unlimited time. But the mind, intellectually grasping what the end and limit of the flesh is, and banishing the terrors of the future, procures a complete and perfect life, and we have no longer any need of unlimited time. Nevertheless the mind does not shun pleasure, and even when circumstances make death imminent, the mind does not lack enjoyment of the best life.

21. He who understands the limits of life knows that it is easy to obtain that which removes the pain of want and makes the whole of life complete and perfect. Thus he has no longer any need of things which involve struggle.

22. We must consider both the ultimate end and all clear sensory evidence, to which we refer our opinions; for otherwise everything will be full of uncertainty and confusion.

23. If you fight against all your sensations, you will have no standard to which to refer, and thus no means of judging even those sensations which you claim are false.

24. If you reject absolutely any single sensation without stopping to distinguish between opinion about things awaiting confirmation and that which is already confirmed to be present, whether in sensation or in feelings or in any application of intellect to the presentations, you will confuse the rest of your sensations by your groundless opinion and so you will reject every standard of truth. If in your ideas based upon opinion you hastily affirm as true all that awaits confirmation as well as that which does not, you will not avoid error, as you will be maintaining the entire basis for doubt in every judgment between correct and incorrect opinion.

25. If you do not on every occasion refer each of your actions to the ultimate end prescribed by nature, but instead of this in the act of choice or avoidance turn to some other end, your actions will not be consistent with your theories.

26. All desires that do not lead to pain when they remain unsatisfied are unnecessary, but the desire is easily got rid of, when the thing desired is difficult to obtain or the desires seem likely to produce harm.

27. Of all the means which wisdom acquires to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life, by far the most important is friendship.

28. The same conviction which inspires confidence that nothing we have to fear is eternal or even of long duration, also enables us to see that in the limited evils of this life nothing enhances our security so much as friendship.

29. Of our desires some are natural and necessary, others are natural but not necessary; and others are neither natural nor necessary, but are due to groundless opinion.

30. Those natural desires which entail no pain when unsatisfied, though pursued with an intense effort, are also due to groundless opinion; and it is not because of their own nature they are not got rid of but because of man’s groundless opinions.

31. Natural justice is a pledge of reciprocal benefit, to prevent one man from harming or being harmed by another.

32. Those animals which are incapable of making binding agreements with one another not to inflict nor suffer harm are without either justice or injustice; and likewise for those peoples who either could not or would not form binding agreements not to inflict nor suffer harm.

33. There never was such a thing as absolute justice, but only agreements made in mutual dealings among men in whatever places at various times providing against the infliction or suffering of harm.

34. Injustice is not an evil in itself, but only in consequence of the fear which is associated with the apprehension of being discovered by those appointed to punish such actions.

35. It is impossible for a man who secretly violates the terms of the agreement not to harm or be harmed to feel confident that he will remain undiscovered, even if he has already escaped ten thousand times; for until his death he is never sure that he will not be detected.

36. In general justice is the same for all, for it is something found mutually beneficial in men’s dealings, but in its application to particular places or other circumstances the same thing is not necessarily just for everyone.

37. Among the things held to be just by law, whatever is proved to be of advantage in men’s dealings has the stamp of justice, whether or not it be the same for all; but if a man makes a law and it does not prove to be mutually advantageous, then this is no longer just. And if what is mutually advantageous varies and only for a time corresponds to our concept of justice, nevertheless for that time it is just for those who do not trouble themselves about empty words, but look simply at the facts.

38. Where without any change in circumstances the things held to be just by law are seen not to correspond with the concept of justice in actual practice, such laws are not really just; but wherever the laws have ceased to be advantageous because of a change in circumstances, in that case the laws were for that time just when they were advantageous for the mutual dealings of the citizens, and subsequently ceased to be just when they were no longer advantageous.

39. The man who best knows how to meet external threats makes into one family all the creatures he can; and those he can not, he at any rate does not treat as aliens; and where he finds even this impossible, he avoids all dealings, and, so far as is advantageous, excludes them from his life.

40. Those who possess the power to defend themselves against threats by their neighbors, being thus in possession of the surest guarantee of security, live the most pleasant life with one another; and their enjoyment of the fullest intimacy is such that if one of them dies prematurely, the others do not lament his death as though it called for pity.

Eternal Life After Death

My great uncle wrote this recently:

ETERNAL LIFE AFTER DEATH

Eternal Life After Death is the stock in trade of most religions. It is considered a Good Thing, without much further thought or analysis. Islam throws in 70 virgins if the (male) warrior dies in a jihad. This might explain some suicide bombers.

Eternal Life presumes a sentient entity (either virtual or as real as the Risen Christ) which continues after a physical death. I will not go into whether it applies only to humans or only to devout Christians or what happens to the 4 billion souls on Earth who are not Christians.

What sort of experiences would this sentient entity have? Would the Heavenly Ensemble be charged with entertaining all of them, forever? Would entities be able to interact with other entities? Let us make some parallels with our present life and suppose that they are able to interact with other entities. Then, after all entities have had extensive interactions with all the billions of other entities billions of times, then one moment of eternity will have passed. What then?

I understand that God is the God of infinite time and space, although humans are incapable of comprehending these infinities. The most devout Christian will understand that, in many millions of years, our Sun will eventually decay into a red ember, with all its planets frozen and incapable of supporting any kind of life. When this happens, then a second moment of eternity will have passed. What then?

The prospect of Eternal Life After Death (self awareness) scares me silly. If it be true, then I will opt, if possible, for a final and merciful physical death, thank you very much. If Eternal Life After Death be true, then surely bringing a new life into the world to face an eternity of self awareness is an act of unimaginable  cruelty.

Xxxxxx X. Slaughter

(yeah, edited by me to protect the innocent)

A Practical Joke

Those who subscibe to read my own writing I’ll have to ask you to be patient. It’s not that I’ve been terribly satiated with humanity lately, it’s that occasionally I get so bogged down in my ability to write and fully comprehend an idea that I end up doing hours and hours of research and reading to only learn that I’ve got only the slightest notion of what I’m talking about.. it’s not that my conclusions are incorrect, but learning the details and causes that lead to those conclusions send me into territory I’m sometimes not prepared to tread.
I’m hardly educated (little more than some community college classes and then self taught on all the subjects that really interest me), so when I bump into something like hard science I tend to struggle.
A friend in town pleaded with me to read “Meno” by Plato. I hadn’t. She said that it was very, very important and that it talked about virtue. I said that I currently had a few dozen books “in line” to read and that because people know I read they’re ALWAYS recommending books that I “must” read. I didn’t want to be rude, just honest that it probably wasn’t going to happen soon.
I said “The problem with Plato is that he had absolutely no understanding of evolutionary biology and the severe impact of genes on the bahavoir of man. Since he didn’t have this knowledge, what he wrote is probably just wishful thinking for the most part.
But she’s a gal that believes that environment causes almost all behavoiral patterns, and she’s unfortunatly wrong.
A few months ago another gal here on myspace said “read Master and Margarita”.. similar scenario, but I said “I’ll get it as soon as I can. That turned out to be two days ago. I’ve read the introduction but I still have 200 pages left to read in “The Other Hollywood” and I really should get back to “The Candy Men” and “The Natural History of Rape” (can you believe that it got a little boring?!) and dot dot dot
That’s my story.

I scanned this in a few months ago, it hasn’t been thouroughly edited so there may be a quirk or two during the OCR that I missed.
————–

A Practical Joke
by Guy de Maupassant

THE jokes that are played nowadays are somewhat dismal. They are not like the inoffensive, laughable jokes of our forefathers; still, there is nothing more amusing than to play a good joke on some one; to force them to laugh at their own foolishness and if they get angry, to punish them by playing a new joke on them.
I have played many a joke in my lifetime and I have had some played on me; some very good ones, too. I have played some very laughable ones and some terrible ones. One of my victims died of the consequences; but it was no loss to anyone. I will tell about it some day, but it will not be an easy task, as the joke was not at all a nice one. It happened in the suburbs of Paris and those who witnessed it are laughing yet at the recollection of it; though the victim died of it. May he rest in peace!
I will narrate two to-day. One in which I was the victim and another in which I was the instigator. I will begin with the former, as I do not find it so amusing, being the victim myself.
I had been invited by some friends in Picardie to come and spend a few weeks. They were fond of a joke like myself (I would not have known them had they been otherwise).
They gave me a rousing reception on my arrival. They fired guns, they kissed me, and made such a fuss over me that I became suspicious.
“Be careful, old fox,” I said to myself, “there is something up.”
During dinner they all laughed immoderately. I thought to myself, they are certainly projecting some good joke
and intend to play it on me, for they laugh at nothing apparently. I was on my guard all evening and looked at everybody suspiciously, even at the servants.
When bedtime came, everybody escorted me to my room and bid me good night. I wondered why, and after shutting my door, I stood in the middle of the room with the candle in my hand. I could hear them outside in the hall, whisper and laugh; they were watching me no doubt. I looked at the walls, inspected the furniture, the ceiling, the floor, but I found nothing suspicious. I heard footsteps close to my door; surely they were looking through the keyhole. Then it struck me that perhaps my light would go out suddenly and I would be left in the dark, s o I lighted all the candles and looked around once more; but I discovered nothing. After having inspected the windows and the shutters, I closed the latter with care, then I drew the curtains and placed a chair against them. If some one should try to come in that way, I would be sure to hear them, I thought. Then I sat down cautiously. I thought the chair would give way beneath me, but it was solid enough. I did not dare to go to bed, but as it was getting late I realized that I was ridiculous. If they were watching me, as I supposed they were, they certainly must laugh heartily at my uneasiness, so I resolved to go to bed. Having made up my mind, I approached the alcove. The bed looked particularly suspicious to me and I drew the heavy curtains back, pulled on them, but they held fast. Perhaps a bucket of water is hidden on
the top all ready to fall on me, or else the bed may fall apart as soon as I lie on it. I thought. I racked my brain to try and remember all the different jokes I bad played on others, so as to guess what might be in store for me; I was not going to be caught, not I!
Suddenly, an idea struck me which I thought capital. I gently pulled the mattress off the bed and it came toward me, along with the sheets and blankets. I dragged them in the middle of the room, near the door, and made my bed up again the best way I could, put out all the lights, and felt my way into bed. I laid awake at least another hour, starting at every little sound, but everything seemed quiet, so I at last went to sleep.
I must have slept profoundly for some time, when suddenly I woke up with a start. Something heavy had fallen on me and at the same time, a hot liquid streamed all over my neck and chest, which made me scream with pain. A terrible noise filled my ears; as if a whole sideboard full of dishes had fallen in them. I was suffocating under the weight, so I reached out my hand to feel the object and I felt a face, a nose, and whiskers. I gave that face a terrible blow with my fist; but instantaneously, I received a shower of blows which drove me out of bed in a hurry and out into the hall.
To my amazement, I found it was broad daylight and everybody coming up the stairs to find out the cause of the noise. What we found was the valet, sprawled out on the bed, struggling among the broken dishes and tray. He had brought me some breakfast and having encountered my improvised couch, had very unwillingly dropped the breakfast as well as himself on my face!
The precautions I had taken to close the shutters and curtains and to sleep in the middle of the room had been my undoing. The very thing I had so carefully avoided had happened.
They certainly had a good laugh on me that day!
The other joke I speak of dates back to my boyhood days. I was spending my vacation at home as usual, in the old castle in Picardie.
I had just finished my second term at college and had been particularly interested in chemistry and especially in a compound called phosphure de calcium which, when thrown in water, would catch fire, explode, followed by fumes of an offensive odor. I had brought a few handfuls of this compound with me, so as to have fun with it during my vacation.
An old lady named Mme. Dufour often visited us. She was a cranky, vindictive, horrid old thing. I do not know why, but somehow she hated me. She misconstrued everything I did or said and she never missed a chance to tattle about me, the old hag! She wore a wig of beautiful brown hair, although she was more than sixty, and the most ridiculous little caps adorned with pink ribbons. She was well thought of because she was rich, but I hated her to the bottom of my heart, and I resolved to revenge myself by playing a joke on her.
A cousin of mine, who was of the same age as I, was visiting us and I communicated my plan to him; but my audacity frightened him.
One night, when everybody was downstairs, I sneaked into Mme. Dufour’s room, secured a receptacle into which I deposited a handful of the calcium phosphate, having assured myself beforehand that it was perfectly dry, and ran to the garret to await developments.
Pretty soon I heard everybody coming upstairs to bed. I waited until everything was still, then I came downstairs barefooted, holding my breath, until I came to Mme. Dufour’s door and looked at my enemy through the keyhole.
She was putting her things away, and having taken her dress off, she donned a white wrapper. She then filled a glass with water and putting her whole hand in her mouth as if she were trying to tear her tongue out, she pulled out something pink and -white which she deposited in the glass. I was horribly frightened, but soon found it was only her false teeth she had taken out. She then took off her wig and I perceived a few straggling white hairs on the top of her head. They looked so comical that I almost burst out laughing. She kneeled down to say her prayers, got up and approached my instrument of vengeance. I waited awhile, my heart beating with expectation.
Suddenly, I heard a slight sound; then a series of explosions. I looked at Mme. Dufour; her face was a study.
She opened her eyes wide, then shut them, then opened them again a looked. The white substance w crackling, exploding at the same time, while a thick, white smoke curled up mysteriously toward the ceiling.
Perhaps the poor woman thought it was some satanic fireworks, or perhaps that she had been suddenly afflicted with some horrible disease; at all events, she stood there speechless with fright, her gaze riveted on the supernatural phenomenon. Suddenly, she screamed and fell swooning to the floor. I ran to my room, jumped into bed, and closed my eyes trying to convince myself that I had not left my room and had seen nothing.
“She is dead,” I said to myself ; “I have killed her,” and I listened anxiously to the sound of footsteps. I heard voices and laughter and the next thing I knew my father was soundly boxing my ears.
Mme. Dufour was very pale when she came down the next day and she drank glass after glass of water. Perhaps she was trying to extinguish the fire which she imagined was in her, although the doctor had assured her that there was no danger. Since then, when anyone speaks of disease in front of her, she sighs and says:
“Oh, if you only knew! There are such strange diseases.”