As always, since I am a master of tangent (sounds like a title that can become a reality TV show, doesn’t it?) I didn’t get to talk about the 16 things that I cannot live without which was what I originally set out to do in my last post. So, let me do it here. But since the list itself also appears in my last post, I’ll reorganize it based on the three ethical categories that I believe to serve well for this particular purpose. Note that the first thing on the list has an entire post dedicated to it — on Day 47! (yesterday!)
PERSONAL: Personal to me, these are what I cannot live without.
- My Montblanc fountain pen;
- My family, especially my mother and brother;
- My anthropological relationship with every single object (by objects I mean things that exist external to me) that I owe;
- My obsession with Japan.
VIRTUE ETHICS: Defined by my trusted source for philosophical ideas and knowledge Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as the normative codes of conduct that emphasize the self-development of a person’s own moral character (which is different from those of the deontological that emphasizes the duties of a person to the society based on good moral intention, and consequentialism which only emphasizes only the consequences of actions).
As a Rousseaurian stoic existentialist, I cannot take deontological ethics seriously. I do believe that there are things that we should do, but to believe that we have to treat those “as duties” are nothing less than making a conscious attempt in taking away your own freedom from life as such. I would rather believe, instead, that things that I must do are things that I can’t live without — because of my personal sense of morality.
Deontological ethics, by the way, could inspire my personal sense of morality, as well as any other forms of ethics for that matter. The difference here between following the deontological ethics and only using it to inspire my personal sense of morality is that in the latter I still get to exercise my sense of criticality, and get the freedom to say what I want to believe in, and what I would like to follow. Consequentialism is, on the other hand, should not even be considered ethics at all. None of my actions has been inspired by consequentialism. I believe that anything we do, we must begin with a good intention. Without good intention, whatever is the result cannot be thought of as a product of malignant desire which I do not want to have it as a part of my moral system. Cheating in an exam, for instance, might be considered moral in a particular circumstance, but I still would never do it and would rather fail because I do not believe that such action, despite its appealing short-term consequence, could yield any long-and-eternal-term consequences. So, to see the result as the mere justification for what we should do is, simply, ridiculous. So, virtue ethics it is. These are things virtue ethics that I cannot live without:
- My unquenchable thirst for knowledge and something new;
- My appreciation for art (including films and photography), language, music, and philosophy (mainly moral philosophy and epistemology);
- My eternal abhorrence for superficiality;
- My self-imposed doctrine in doing things because they’re the right things to do, and not because they may yield material and other forms of profits (therefore, my absolute disbelief in consequentialism);
- My self-critic buddy who will always be with me when I think;
- My absolute hatred for conservatism;
- My belief in open-mindedness plus skepticism, AKA falliblism;
- My love for architecture and built environment;
- My writing (“I write, therefore I am,” said Non).
SELF-DESTRUCTION: These are things that I know I can’t live without but I am trying to live without because living with them is absolutely self-destructive! Around four years ago, cigarettes would probably be the first on the list (so thank god I am no longer a chain smoker). About a decade ago or so, graphic novels (AKA Japanese manga) would probably be also up there on this list as well. But now, only these three.
- My unconditional biological and mental appreciation for women and their womanhood: their bodies, psychologies, and maternal instinct
- My insatiable desire for hot spring (especially Japanese onzen), alcohol, and technological gadgets.