Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Free Ride for Meaninglessness

My notion of meaninglessness would not draw any conclusions
or have any implications for my life, since that too would fall
under the same category and be jettisoned with the same
eager relish. Any apparent deviation would be purely
arbitrary, so that I would not be accused of capitulating
to some kind of rationalistic objectivism.

So there's no way to tell the difference between "life is
meaningless" and "life is meaningful" since both positions
seem to enjoy all the same supposedly paradoxical
characteristics: self-exemption, self-referential
inconsistency, etc. Surreptious obligation to hold value X
in relation to philosophy Y.

What I would then do is exempt my own views from the premise
of universal absurdity, and then parade them around casually
as if they are necessary imperatives for intellectual salvation. A
"Come to Jesus" all over again, of sorts, but with social
approval retained.

I take my views on the grand tour: through all the motions
of their counterparts: being stated, being held as a
proposition that has some fixed relation to the person who
holds it, declaring it to be somehow appropriate,
acceptable, worth having as a view, asserted, etc., and of
course suspended when I get inconsistency allegations.

Postmodernism has had a really bad time of this, while the
views it has tried to counter have picked up the
methological ball and run with it. Reminds me of the time
I asked a prof at UT what he thought about arbitrary
relativism for the hell of it, using a roulette wheel to
choose which values (or disvalues) to champion. It would
have to be patterned after Wheel of Fortune or else I would
just plain lose interest.

My view would be that values are person-relative, including the
values of meaning, consistency, reason, and
self-referential implications. But to hold this, I would have
to get rid of that nagging backdrop of fixed definitions and
selective preferences, both for my own values and value per se.
Nevertheless, self-exemption and arbitrary deviation are
great fun and should be forced on all at-risk youth.

But the implicit rationalism of all the above still dogs me.

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