Armand Vespertine is an emerging Science Fiction and Fantasy author. You can find his ebooks at http://www.amazon.com/Armand-Vespertine/e/B008GMU810
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Peter Singer; High Priest of Cthulhu
As you may or may not know, Cthulhu is a Cosmic Entity created by HP Lovecraft. He is utterly post-human in nature. He is immortal and invulnerable, possesses immense cosmic powers, and is colossal in size. He is not made of conventional matter, and his true form is not limited to our space-time continuum. In the sunken city of R'yleh, Cthulhu lies dreaming, and when the stars are right he will arise from the sea and devour all Human souls. What does this have to do with Peter Singer? Well, I just read over at Secondhand Smoke that Peter Singer believes that a life with suffering, i.e everyone's life, is a life not worth living, and since causing suffering is amoral the only moral thing for us to do is go extinct. Whenever Peter Singer presents his philosophical views, I have only two words; the fuck? He quotes a South African philosopher named David Benatar. David makes the asinine claim that even a good life is not worth living, since it does not benefit the individual. Again; the fuck? How does it, I mean, I, ah,err, wha..? How is a good life not of benefit to the individual?
Of course, there is an inherent hypocrisy in this sort of philosophy. If you truly believe that life is not worth living, then why don't you just kill yourself? Then again, Peter Singer is a hypocrite. Though he advocates murdering the disabled so as not to be burdened by them, Peter Singer cares for his mother who suffers from Alzheimer's, and according to his own philosophy isn't even a person. The very philosophy of valuing someone's life based on their utility to society is also inherently hypocritical, since there is no one of less utility than a philosopher. Singer makes the claim that if we find life tolerable it is only because we are delusional, and if we could evaluate our lives objectively it's something we wouldn't want anyone to suffer through. This is where Cthulhu comes in.
To me, Cthulhu is a personification of the existential horror that comes from an atheistic and cosmic perspective. From this point of view, every single one of us came into existence completely by accident, our lives are pitifully precarious and infinitesimally short, filled mostly with suffering and are ultimately completely meaningless and insignificant. I pretty much said as much in my post about Joss Whedon. When confronted with Cthulhu, you can either succumb to despair or go mad from the revelation. I've chosen to go mad from the revelation, and I highly recommend it. If the choice is between despair and madness, chose madness. I've tried both, and being mad is a lot more fun than being depressed. To quote Adam Savage "I reject your reality, and substitute my own!" I don't even really believe in an objective reality, hence evaluating your life objectively makes no sense.
The whole train of thought Peter Singer is advocating would lead one to the ultimate conclusion the Global Genocide is the only ethical option. The obvious falsehood of this conclusion means the whole line of reasoning is bullshit. As one would expect from a hypocrite like Peter Singer, he actually acknowledges that most people do find life worth living and he prefers a Universe with Sapient life to one without it. If you find life worth living, that's all that matters.Chances are your kids will too, so don't feel guilty about perpetuating our magnificent species. I firmly believe that no one has any right to tell another person that their life is not worth living. You have every right to evaluate your life subjectively, and don't let the nihilists like Singer tell you any different. You may well be delusional, but they are too, so they have no right to criticize you. Remember, we are all mad, and that means this is Wonderland, and I'm quite happy living in Wonderland.