Kantian nihilism

Late Friday trivial post. Good stuff on Chris Muir from the redoubtable Hilzoy of Obsidian Wings. You may not think much of cartoon pages of US newspapers, but however desperate they are for material, not one so far runs Day by Day (tagline: as funny as the title is original, a take-off of Doonesbury with far fewer characters, no intelligence to speak of, poor repetitive draughtsmanship, and homeless puppy’s eagerness to please aimed unashamedly at wingnut bloggers).

The saddest part (or the funniest) is the way Chris Muir enters the comments (which up that point have largely been discussing Kant, Schopenhauer, Spinoza, Heidegger, Hegel and those fellows. Chris Muir is the equal of such conversation.

Note to hilzoy: Don’t believe the philosopher in the mirror.
What a tool you are.
y’all need a life.

(I don’t know what “Don’t believe the philosopher in the mirror” means, but I’m prepared to bet that it’s a Rush lyric or something.) Even better, Anderson whom I’m already a fan of thanks to Kant has books readily available in the library, and the letters do form readable words. The same has been said of Hegel, but I’m not sure what happens to the words when they’re formed into sentences … says:

The point is that, for normal people, a guy who thinks a universal moral law is implanted within each of us by virtue of our being rational beings … is not a nihilist.

I read “a guy who thinks…” as an unambiguous reference to the sage of Königsberg. Chris Muir, political cartoonist for Captain’s Quarters, sees the ‘philosopher in the mirror’, perhaps.

I love the way morons like Anderson immediately assume I believe in a universal moral law.
Way to miss the entire point, cretin.
All you see is black & white. So much for ‘nuance’. Sheesh.

Muir’s philosophising is on a par with his ready wit. If America was founded on ‘Judeo-Christian moral values’ why did Groucho Marx have such a hard time joining clubs? I can’t claim that I’m sure what Judeo-Christian values might be. From what I can remember of the Bible, they seemed to consist of being persecuted by Pharisees, being persecuted by Philistines, being persecuted by Egyptians, being persecuted by Romans, murdering family members, stoning people, and breaking the monotony of all this by listing ancestors at length and having beard growing competitions (though I may be imagining this last one). I can’t relate this to present day America at all. Well, the murdering family members bit, perhaps.

To raise the tone a bit, I’d like to share an extract on Schopenhauer from I book I finished this week.

Who was that lad they used to try to make me read at Oxford? Ship — Shop — Schopenhauer. That’s the name. A grouch of the most pronounced description. Well, Uncle Thomas, when his gastric juices have been giving him the elbow, can make Schopenhauer look like Pollyanna.

It’s quite a feat, knowing even less about Schopenhauer than Bertie Wooster (and even his nearest — and if you have to call them that — dearest will admit that he’s something of a chump), but Chris Muir manages it.

  1. dsquared said:

    I believe that the quote is from Lichtenberg “This book is a mirror; when a monkey looks in, no philosopher looks out”. I’ve used it myself on occasion, though I find it is most effective when quoted directly rather than alluded to.

  2. dearieme said:

    Not met many philosophers then, dsquared?