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Monday, May 11th, 2009

Time Event
10:13a
On Copulation Cadaver Art
In yesterday's episode, John C. Wright, windbag, made the following statement: "In Germany, meanwhile, an enemy of humanity artist poses human corpses in postures of copulation, called "Copulation Art." I notice that this offends no principle of the hedonist or utilitarian philosophy, nor can Objectivists mount a coherent argument against the practice. The article is here. (h/t theofloinn)"

A real Objectivist was kind enough to prove me wrong. </b></a>robertjwizard writes:

Do you think there actually are principles to a hedonistic or utilitarian philosophy? I mean outside of "do what you feel like" for the first and "do what you feel like and do a little calculus to make it pleasurable for as many others as well" for the second. My own view is that it is a barren, dangerous, non-philosophy that offers man no guidance at all. It does not tell man what to value, nor how to value. A philosophy that offers no values to pursue, nor any virtues to perform is without principle and is not rightly a philosophy.

That said this copulation art is nothing short of pure, unadulterated nihilism. It is destruction of the most offensive kind. I don't care what the "artist's" motivation is, even one of simple greed. Every part of it is what sex is not. Sex is an act that consists of a union of mind and body, spirit and the flesh, between a man and woman who share kindred souls - love for each other.

Now the spectacle of two people writhing together on the floor with no values involved like two pigs (apologies to pigs, I mean no disrespect) in slop is bad enough. But it is almost to witness a sacrament next to this in its damnation of man.

This shows sex as not only without values but without the possibility of values. And not only as without body, but without life meaning sex as decay as a perverted thing of an automaton pumping away with rotting flesh into rotting flesh. It is sex as death, and death as sex. It takes both mind and body out of the equation of sex and turns it into a celebration of decay, death, rot, of nothing. It is art for Gary Ridgeway or Jeffrey Dalhmer.

This is as much argument against this as I can muster in one sitting. Sorry, I thought I could do better, but something like this evokes more of a primal scream of rage in me than a dispassionate response. I would say lastly though that any Objectivist that was ok with this is not an Objectivist. Put me on record, no Objectivist could possibly find anything at all of value in this. Not if Objectivism has the slightest bit of meaning. Now, a libertarian.... well that can be a different animal altogether...

My comment:

I concede the point: Your argument is against the copulation art, and is coherent, and is based on Objectivist principles, which take an heroic (non-nihilistic) view of man as central. I was wrong.

"Do you think there actually are principles to a hedonistic or utilitarian philosophy?"

There are two definitions of the word "principle" which are brothers, but do not look alike.

The first is to define principle as the axioms or first assumptions of a system of reasoning. Hedonistic or utilitarian reason does indeed have axioms: equating the good of an act with the pleasure it produces is an axiom, not a conclusion, of their reasoning.

The second is to define principle as an elevated, noble, or supreme standard of behavior, a standard that does not change even in adversity, the glittering banner of battle never to be deserted even if it costs you your life. By this definition, a hedonist or a utilitarian cannot have a principle: one cannot have as a "principle" for which one is willing to suffer and die the smug feeling that nothing is worth suffering nor dying for.

"This is as much argument against this as I can muster in one sitting. Sorry, I thought I could do better, but something like this evokes more of a primal scream of rage in me than a dispassionate response."

Your argument is a good one so far as it goes, but the reason why I am no longer an Objectivist is that I found such arguments did not go far enough. You are correct to scream in primal rage, because you are correct to see the obscenity of cadaver copulation as a lie, and a vicious lie, aimed at robbing sex of the real and objective value, sacred and mysterious, that it really has. You know that what is being attacked is precious, and you correctly observe that the attacker is anti-man, anti-mind, anti-life.

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