|Would you take morality advice from this man?|
I hate Aristotle. I loathe him with every fiber of my being; my reaction to him is similar to my reaction with a serial puppy drowner. Not just because I dislike philosophy either. I got along great with Plato and Socrates, but they also played nice. Aristotle, on the other hand, is an asshole.
I don’t agree with some of the conclusions his comes to (such as mentally retarded people are deficient human beings and as such can never be truly happy) and I can’t stand the smugness with which he delivers these conclusions. Aristotle is an elitist that uses pseudonaturalism to support his idea that he is superior due to his love of learning. I’m sorry, but a blue collar worker who finds joy and pride in his physical task is just as happy and worthy of a human being as a socially awkward philosopher who spends all his time hunched over his tablets, instructing future “Greats” on how to slaughter thousands in order to satisfy territorial gluttony.
Now some may disagree with me. They may say that Aristotle was brilliant in furthering both science and philosophy. They may say that many of our most dearly held beliefs on humanity and happiness stemmed from his copious cranium. But to them I reply: I don’t give a damn!
Despite my not giving a flying fart about Aristotle’s contributions to society, I do have a confession to make. While I do think Aristotle is drastically off base with some of his ideas, that’s not why I hate him with an everlasting passion. I hate him because I don’t understand him. He forces me to confront my own ineptitude in some aspects of philosophical literature and I resent him for that. Philosophy is somewhat akin to literature, which is “my thing”, and my not being able to properly interpret him is an affront to my proficiency in doing “my thing”. And for this Aristotle pisses me off and makes me rejoice at his unfair trial and death over 2000 years ago! Ah, ancient vindication! So sweet!
There is a certain truth within my desire to destroy Aristotle’s name for all eternity and possibly wreak havoc within the lives of those that think he has a point. As humans, we tend to vilify the things we don’t understand. This is not a new concept. But it is especially acute when it comes to people we don’t know. I’m sure Aristotle was a really cool guy when you got to know him and I don’t doubt that if we had a chance to talk, we’d come to some sort of peaceful impass about our situations in philosophy. But because I don’t know him, or Hillary Clinton, or Lindsay Lohan, I’m able to see them as horrible, lowlife human beings that lack anything resembling a soul. The fact of the matter is that that is only because they make me question what I believe and they challenge the things that I hold most dear (well, except for Lindsay Lohan). I don’t agree with them, I don’t understand how they can think or do the things that they do, and therefore I am able to nurture my unbridled, unjustifiable hatred of them.
Maybe I’m sensitive to this because my dad is a figure often vilified in the hockey realm. Because people don’t agree with his calls and they’ll never have to confront him face to face, somehow that makes it OK for them to intricately plan his painful death online. Side note: it’s not, so chill the hell out Toronto!
The thing to remember with people like my father, or yes, even Hillary Clinton, is that they have families, they have people that love them and that they love in return - they’re humans with virtues and faults like the rest of us (who knew, eh?).The point is, I realized today that people, even soul-crushing public figures, deserve a fair shot at living the life they believe in, complete with the values they hold dear, no matter how much we may disagree with them. And that just because we disagree, doesn’t give us the right to decapitate their voodoo doll likenesses or to curse their progeny for the next twelve millennia.
So you got lucky this time Aristotle, I’ll back off…but I still think you’re an asshole.