A Small, Quiet Thought, Possibly Incorrect

If anything characterizes a civilization or a society as decadent, surely it is this: it feels immature to be principled.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

what is the relationship, if any, between decadence and barbarism, i wonder?

it was mark twain who said, 'always do right. this will gratify some and astonish the rest.'

davidly said...

Brilliant. The brevity of wit. Yet, sadly, I'm sure several someones would respond to your aphorism, in the most immature manner imaginable: "But your principles are the sheer depth of decadence!"


immature, as in naive, i suppose. yes. well put.


naive, as in unworldly. unaware of how the world works. how the world works is always, cynically, and compromisedly.

i am only fussy-ifying what you expressed with supreme pith.

:-p said...

Thanks for the comments!

What we're ultimately talking about is the lack of something extrinsic. An attempt to conceive of a universal morality absent religion. A non-contingent set of principles with no deity to enforce them.

Sir Charley:
Decadence and barbarism? Self-indulgence!

Decadence and barbarism is really a question of education, isn't it? It's why doing coke in some unlit corner of Berghain seems somehow different than doing the same thing wearing neon at a bad "rave" in LA.

Yeah I know what you mean. It's as if trying to be good is a luxury that we can't afford.

Sorry I haven't been in touch!

Yeah naive is an important word, but I think it's something else too. It's not awareness, it's hyperawareness, it's seeing a few more moves ahead.

Generally, if what I said is intelligent, it is so because of the word "feels". It's not about being actually immature or naive but rather feeling that way in the context of those who are willing to take advantage.

Consider a world that consists of a candy store owned by a childless, spouse-less, family-less man or woman who has just passed. To steal from such a store would be a victimless crime and yet there are some of us who feel as if taking all the candy would be wrong without being able to point to any source of morality that could justify our innate sense of wrongness.

Or something like that.