On the Origins of: Human Behaviour – A pub brawl with Nietzsche, Sartre, de Beauvoir and Confucius

On the Origins of: Human Behaviour – A pub brawl with Nietzsche, Sartre, de Beauvoir and Confucius

As the last three articles in this series where somewhat money related, we want to take your mind out your wallet and back into your head, closer to the heart. This week you’ll read about what we deem the origin of ethics; and what better place to meet a couple of ancient thinkers than in

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As the last three articles in this series where somewhat money related, we want to take your mind out your wallet and back into your head, closer to the heart. This week you’ll read about what we deem the origin of ethics; and what better place to meet a couple of ancient thinkers than in a pub?

Dark skies, back alley, a small wooden door just big enough for a hunchback – MIND YOUR HEAD. “The Philosopher’s Pit” is exactly what it says on the tin. Dim lights, stale beer and an omnipresent stench of antique pages welcome us. The usually heavy silence is only broken by four voices, which seem to be in an argument.

PMP: Sorry, to interrupt but what is going on here?

Confucius: Do not worry, my friend. Sit down and listen.

Sartre: I tried to explain to you that because we cannot agree on universal aspects of the human character, it means that there is no Creator who has given us essence but only our own actions and experiences reflect our nature. No need to despair though. It means that we are not bound by our past, that we are not inherently good or evil, and that we are only responsible for our actions.

De Beauvoir: I understand where you are coming from, my love, but it’s just not that simple. This absolute freedom that you describe does not quite exist in reality. How can we be completely detached from our past if our environment constantly influences our idea of freedom? When we are children, we look at the world of adults, as if there was a world of objective values. Are you not yourself restrained by social barriers and what is considered to be good or evil?

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Nietzsche: Please, my dear Fräulein, surely you must realise that you are mistaken. Since the beginning of time we have continued to evolve so why would a few social barriers restrict our moral progress. To Sartre I can only say that we have clearly seen that man’s will to power supersedes everything. But then again, I am uncertain as to how fruitful our conversation will be at all. Next to dumbing-down mass culture that leads humanity to only strive for mediocrity, it might all be worthless.

Confucius: It is the person who is able to broaden the way and not the way that broadens the person.

The other three: What?!

Confucius: Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.

Sartre: Great. He’s speaking in riddles again and Nietzsche thinks he’s become the Übermensch. Can’t you two just contribute normally?

PMP: Alright, guys. I’ll leave you to it. Let’s leave before it gets too heated in there. We might have to come back, in case they’ve come to an agreement.

 

Are we led by some superior power, or are we truly able to choose our own path?

What do you think?

 

 

Jasper
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