November 11th, 2018
Adam Raposa: Idealism for Idealism’s Sake
Authority and structuralism. In relation to each other, both can be seen as complementary cousins. Aiding and abetting one another in the conceptualization and prioritization of worldly endeavours, structuralism in its sociological, anthropological, and linguistic contexts equally apply to its succedent counterpart; authoritarian hierarchy. When called into question Adam Raposa’s metaphysics lie as the roots for his politics, ethics, and epistemology. It is possible to examine many of Mr. Raposa’s more rudimentary beliefs, and extrapolate an overarching world view, which consistently produces actions and consequences in concert and constant coherence with the rest of his actions. This paper will build up from nothing his metaphysical world view, which will be further espoused by the second-half of the paper. Adam as a mild-mannered and traditionally quiet person, fancies himself as in channelling a form of stoicism. By refraining from participating much in any social event, and engaging in intellectual enrichment, Adam prefers the solace of his mind to the companionship of others. This is mentioned not as a direct indicator of stoicism, but as a demonstration of a lack of emotional and abstract enrichment. Like the stoics, Adam does not wish to react to everything life has to offer in an increasingly extubated way, rather, he wishes to calmly accept most that befalls upon him. Engaging in books, video games as a form of escapism, and sleep, Adam utilises the mediums around him as a way to channel his rarely expressed emotions. Another form of expression comes from his overtly exaggerated theatrics. These are distinguishable from his overtly dramatic and exaggerated tirades in which he employs the use of inflammatory rhetoric, elevated intensity as it applies to voice and posture, and use of cartoonish hand gestures. All drawn into a caricature, this is most obviously a channel for which Adam shows a small part of his political beliefs and identity. Although they are greatly extubated, and magnified, this may give us the clues we need to piece his political beliefs, and subsequently, his metaphysical beliefs in the process of concocting his political beliefs. When it comes to ethics, Adam is most notably deontological. His sense of virtue and righteousness is a religious one, although one that is not specified. In cases such as abortion, drugs, and government policy in regard to culture, Adam seeks the universal enforcement of his ideals. Ideals that must be adhered to no matter the outcome or the situation. This can be seen as a religious conception of life. Disregarding any autonomy of choice in the individual, as a means of producing new morality, in Adam’s world, morality is singular and universal. Subject to a universal law of some kind, Adam subjects all his rationalization under the filter of universal morality. This is where he differs from the stoics. Adam does not seem to prioritize either reason, nor hedonism and exclusive materialism, as well as naturalism. Akin to a pre-modern archetype, duty is prioritized over thought, pleasure, and any form of consequentialism. The natural conclusion that may be derived from this is an obvious preference for the collective as opposed to the individual. Even leaking into his epistemology, the individual is nothing but a cog in the machine. Culture and groups define the person, and without a group, the person is nothing but a missing piece of the puzzle. This becomes obvious when observing and analysing his opinions on gay marriage, abortion, and drug legalization. According to him, it does not matter what these people think they have the right to do. It matters what his perceived ideal form of culture is like, and how their actions will affect others. Again, the individual does not have choice. He is subject to the state, however unlike Nietzsche or Aristotle, Adam does not follow naturalistic ethics. Devoid of any role for reason, science, or natural order, Adam believes in Plato’s forms as it conforms to his enlightened version of what society must be. This is where we may start to observe his metaphysics more closely. In his society, the individual is only an individual as he is ancillary to the needs of the group. Not much can be determined by anything, and while he is not a sceptic, or an empiricist, under Adam’s worldview such things as rights and wants cannot be determined even via naturalistic/ materialistic means as the concept of an objective “reality” are obfuscated by the senses. All that is viewed, touched, smelled, or felt, is as prone to distortion as anything. In this mode of thought, it is useless to ponder on the nature of reality, because much like Francis Bacon and David Hume stipulated, the mind has its failings. Adam takes this even further however and like Sartre, takes the view point that nothing exists except our consciousness and its perception. That is the reality of the world. The logical conclusion to this however, is not Sartre’s conclusion of moral relativism, but the conclusion that one must resort to a priori, rationalistic means of conducting one’s self. Like Plato, ideal forms of reality are constructed in Adam’s conception of life, and through this, Adam asserts an objective, singular, monistic ideal of morality, and consequently reality. I would like to place Adam in the tradition of the idealists, however his aversion to complete rationalization and reason makes him Luke-warm at best. Without much reason, Adam falls back on a form of pre-modernistic irrationalism, that plays some tunes to the style of Christian-existentialist and absurdist: Kierkegaard. Although Kierkegaard was not a post-modernist, Adam shares many similarities in though with him. Like Kierkegaard, Adam accepts the irrationality, and lack of structure to life. Humans live in a state of perpetual strife and conflict as they by instinct attempt to categorize and identify certain laws in which they can predict and universalize human behaviour and morality. However, this proves to be an ever-moving goal post as life itself is irrational, and uncategorizable. Humans change, conditions change, and cognition is incapable of capturing rhyme or reason in human environments. We are stuck, straddling the line between having cognition, yet lacking sufficient cognitive power to comprehend even the most rudimentary of concepts such as nothingness. Due to this trying to attribute the existence of reality to any mode of living and acting such as the naturalists, and the materialists do, humans become lost in self-contradiction and subjectivity. As espoused by Heidegger and Derrida we are so prone to illusion and delusion that we do not notice the power structure at play when we speak. “Nothing is beyond the text” Our entire absurd existence relies on socially constructed modes of communication in which there is only negation and non-negation. Right and wrong. Do or do not. These are impossible concepts however, when one accepts the absurdity of life. Unlike both Derrida and Heidegger, Adam takes a Nietzschean position on this by encouraging the dominance hierarchy within these modes of communication. Since we only exist in the mind (idealistically), and the universe is a singular (monism) from which everything derives from, and through the complexity and irrationality of the nature of reality through view of our limited brains, morality is subjective (hold on, I’m not contradicting myself), in terms of anything that can be viewed outside the mind. To bring structure to this deconstructed reality of being, Adam stipulates that morality is best viewed as objective through the exercise of force and strength. Like mentioned earlier, Adam utilizes Nietzche’s will to power as a justification of bringing order to morality and being. Reason does not matter, as long as tradition is preserved. Consequently, one may see Adam’s political beliefs coming as results of this power based, subjective metaphysical and epistemological conception of reality and the methodology used to perceive it. This is where it is most clear that Adam makes the jump from post-modernist methodology to a pre-modern conclusion. Fascism, monarchy and community. Adam requires structure in an evidently structureless world. This can only be done through sheer force. As an answer to this classic existential dilemma that is to live and be, conforming to authority and a dominance hierarchy life be lived out in order. Through order, one can make sense of this chaotic world. Order out of irrationality, even when the justification for such order is irrational in it of itself, still proves to be preferred over raw relativism and subjectivism. In this mode of format Adam relies on power structures to provide sense in the world. If five plus five need be six, it is six. If fire comes from God, it comes from God. Science is irrelevant to the needs and wants of the collective, and if the ruling authority, (being the king, the ruler, or the autocratic dictator) decides that science is against the best needs of the population, then it is so. In this manner, even while Adam’s ethics prove to be deontological, his means of arriving to his certain deontology are consequentialist. They are also consequentialist as it pertains to reality. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to see or prove this fall, it has not fallen until the authority says it has fallen. Even if further confirmed that the tree has fallen, some justification or guise will be thought up to cover up even the existence of such tree, if the people’s interests are that the tree must not exist. This can be done through mythology, mind control, double think, and any form of social brain washing. As far as it concerns Adam, the tree has no use existing, except for the fulfilling of some conscious goal. Here is where Adam’s mental idealism becomes overwhelmingly evident. The philosopher closest to representing Adam’s view is Plato. Plato like Adam emphasized the importance of rule by the philosopher kings, and like Plato, straddles the line between consequentialism as a means of achieving deontology. One such example of this is Plato’s endorsement of lying and “twisting” reality as a means to achieving an ideal society. In The Republic book 8, Plato elucidates the five regimes, and asserts Aristocracy as the best form of government. In the excerpt for aristocracy, Plato states that deceiving the people would be most preferable as a means to properly structure society. People would be lied to, and told that everyone carries a certain type of blood/soul: gold, silver and bronze. Those born with gold would be kings, those with solver would be soldiers, and those with bronze would be commoners. Since these “blood types” are to be passed down generation to generation, it is clear that Plato meant to enforce a self-imposing caste/ class system in which the citizenry would undermine, and regulate themselves. They would relegate themselves to their class with the religious conviction that such truth, being a religious truth, is good and normal. This would then be accepted as a law of nature. While Plato admits this is an overt lie, he justifies such law by the benefits of having such structured cleanliness, and order. In the end, this is all that could be extrapolated from Adam within my designated time period. As an idealist, and a monist, Adam relies on both post and pre modern ideas to build his conception of a moral world though strength, power, authority, and irrational duty and obedience as a means of combating rational irrationality, which he sees as chaotic, and pointless. As opposed to the post-modernists, Adam does not reject metaphysics, he welcomes it as a means of employing overarching narrative structures to combat relativism, conscientious subjectivism, and nihilism. Through irrational traditionalism and complacency, Adam seeks to escape the besetting of irrational secularity and individualism.