25 January 2007

How to Take a Philosophy Class: Ethics

Most people pretend to care, and often more than is really healthy, about what is right and wrong. At least as many people have a theory, a set of rules, or a hunch about which is which. No doubt you've all noticed the terrible problems so many disparate ideas has caused! There is, however, a unified theory of ethics which is not only observationally true, but highly practical as well. It is called Retroactively Justified Ethics. Here's how it works:
  1. Perform an action: The best are selfish, even if they appear noble and self-sacrificing. The more twistedly self-centered, the better.

  2. The past is immutable: Immutable means unchangeable, and it's the only thing that makes this little theory work.

  3. Therefore, the actions of the past are also immutable: Once you've performed your action and it's in the past, nobody can change it.

The quality of immutability is higher than mutability (or so the Greeks, who knew a little about philosophy, tell us), so an action in the past must be morally superior to any future action, which might possibly be changed. So do whatever the hell you want as soon as you can if you really want to live a moral and upstanding existence.

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