First I would have you read the article I am responding to, it is by the author J. and is called the Darkness. It was published on Fiction Press on the date of 6-22-06. The box below is everything that he wrote. ?storyid2198158
There is a darkness, my friends, that is eating me. I write this with the up most sense of urgency. We have all been deceived into our own oblivion. I once spoke of truth, before the betrayal, and to understand this great darkness one must first understand the nature of truth.
Truth is real.
Truth is unkind.
Truth is not bound by the laws of language, imagination, or God.
Truth is bound by the universe.
Truth is dead.
Truth died sometime around the dawn of intelligent men.
When man began to search for truth, it began to whither. The closer man came to truth, the more ill it became, and too when man wandered from truth. What hurt truth more; being found, or being lost? Either way, truth died. Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Pascal, Nietzsche, Brock, Thorough, Hawkins, Einstein, and countless others have been exhuming the remains of truth. To illustrate truth better, let us treat Truth as a physical object, as I have figuratively done by associating Truth with death. Truth then, like all things that are real, is composed of parts. Let us accept truth as a dichotomy in this case, it being composed of Physical Truth and Moral Truth. Math and science both exist in the physical part of truth and seem to flourish despite historical oppression and fear. The part of truth that so eluded mankind exists in the part of truth that has already rotted away into obscurity: Moral Truth. Many have attempted to understand moral truth, but everyone has failed to some extent. Religion failed on principal, Thorough failed with religion, Nietzsche failed through wild abandonment and destructive philosophy, Brock failed by nihilism, Plato failed by narrow-mindedness, and Socrates ran out of time (besides, he was too much of a manipulative egotist to touch truth). But of course they "failed". What is failing really when the answer doesn't exist anymore? There exists a misconception that moral decay is a modern phenomenon. That morality used to exist in some by gone, idealized, and wholly non-existent era. Morality has never known assurance and absolution in any era. Then in comes the argument for free will; "to each his own". This kind of pseudo-apathetic, blasé, bourgeois attitude has led the world to its current condition. This darkness is the anti-truth. The sole cause of all evil in the world and the catalyst for the destruction of our species. This darkness has even been exalted by many to be the soul purpose of life! This darkness began with civilization.
When early man took his place in the world, he did so as a hunter-gatherer. In small family groups he carved out a weak and frightening existence hunting nomadic beasts and scavenging whatever he could manage in order to survive. Through several centuries, man began to develop agriculture and as agriculture developed, communities developed. Certain communities developed far more complexly than others, and these communities would eventually swallow up most of there more primal neighbors. These complex communities began the rise of the darkness. It began to gain strength when people no longer managed every aspect of their lives, but instead operated certain "jobs" in there communities. Certain members gathered food, while others hunted game, while still others prepared the meat. Every creature in this world is concerned with two things: Security and Survival. Man separated itself from the rest of the animals by making these aspects of life guaranteed. Now that the original purpose of life was rendered obsolete, everyone in civilization concerned themselves with attaining the darkness, the one seemingly innocent aspect of life which would lead to all that is evil, the true Anti-Christ: The pursuit of happiness.
This darkness is choking the world, friends. The pursuit of happiness is the epicenter of everything wrong with the world today, and will be the sole reason for our destruction. How can one even pursue happiness? Happiness is a fleeting emotion not unlike anger or the blues. When mankind could no longer accept mere contentment, it wanted something greater. Every selfish vice and conquest has derived from the pursuit of happiness. Every war, rape, theft and angry word has come from the pursuit of happiness. When one cannot attain happiness, one substitutes it from something else. Like a country to conquer, or a neighbors wife to covet. The selfishness and consumer "me" based modern world is built from the pursuit of happiness. This great darkness must now more than ever be vanquished. But how?
Now my response
I read your first chapter and stopped there. What you preach is evil, but I do not believe you know it is evil. The evil comes from your misunderstanding of selfishness. In your essay, this is how you portray selfishness, "Every selfish vice and conquest has derived from the pursuit of happiness. Every war, rape, theft and angry word has come from the pursuit of happiness. When one cannot attain happiness, one substitutes it from something else." But those things are not selfishness, they do not belong in the realm of the true Egoist. A person who is truly selfish would require nobody's approval of his actions, no warrant to his being. He would be the warrant, and would exist on the sole level of his own mind, using only what he created. What you are abdicating is the abandonment of reason, for the argument that reason (and consciousness) cannot exist. But that contradicts the axiom of consciousness (that consciousness exists because any argument against it must assume its truth. For if you are not conscious, how can you make an argument against it. And if your argument is that you are not conscious, I will simply take your word for it and dismiss your argument), further more it goes against the axiom of existence (i.e. existence exists. If you argue that existence doesn't exist, then you are arguing that your argument does not exist, but it does, and, therefore, so does existence whatever the form of that existence) When you say that truth is dead because men are searching for it, you also go against the axiom of existence, because if truth exists, it is a concrete (cannot be changed) which you actually state in your essay "Truth is not bound by th elaws of language, imagination, or God." And when you discociate physical truth from moral truth; you give the assertion that one can be found, but the other cannot.
The fact is that both can be found; but in the philosophical decay of our age (as demonstrated by your essay) it is becoming increasingly difficult. The pursuit of happiness is not the attempt to conquer others. The idea that the pursuit of happiness is the most amoral thing is the idea that self sacrifice is the most moral thing, but sacrifice- to whom? Sacrifice- for what? If sacrifice is more moral than creation; if beating one's head against a brick wall is more moral than building a skyscraper, then for what reason do we live, and how are we supposed to live? You talk about a country that has produced more wealth than all countries in the history of the world; and has produced that wealth through -freedom-, not slavery, oppression, or any such evil form of government. -freedom- of the mind, -freedom- to pursue happiness, not at the sake of others, not in sacrifice of others, but in effort exerted by self. If the government were to only have two functions, to protect against the initiation of force, and to protect against fraud, you would not have porkbarrel legislation in action, you would not have big business subsidies, or people living off the meat of those whom the government has roasted over a fire of self-sacrifice. You talk about such a country that has basically eliminated starvation, as if it were the cause of hunger. You attack its greatest virtue, the ability to allow happiness (for you are right, a country can only allow happiness, it cannot give it to individual people. A person cannot obtain happiness form others i.e. through stealing, robbing, extorting, etc., but only through the self confidence that he must find in himself, and the material wealth that he has created) as the worst vice that could exist. You are jealous that others have found their joy, and are obtaining it without the sacrifice that you believe is necessary, and so you proclaim that joy cannot exist.
This is what your essay solely denies: reason. The reason that happiness can exist. It denies that reason can exist on the grounds that emotion and instinct are greater. It denies that a skyscraper is greater than a teepee on the grounds that a truth (which does not exist, in your opinion) dies when one finds truth in nature. The fact is that just as concrete truths never change; and reason through science and mathematics can discover them; neither do truths in morality. As long as man can only exist through the power of his mind (i.e. intelligence and creativity), there is no greater law than the pursuit of happiness.