crap that i only half believe
December 08, 2002 Saturday - 22:29
there are some things i believe i will never never ever do. for some it is not because i do not want to, but because God forbids it. sex before marriage is one of them. suicide is another. and smoking.
but what about someone with a totally different value system? someone unencumbered by religious conscience? how does that person decide what is "right" and "wrong"? how does that person know what is moral and what is immoral? what defines "goodness"? perhaps it is that one value that a person prizes over all else. perhaps, power. or beauty. or love. it may not be a god of religion but it is a god nonetheless that guides every person.
so i (and many many people) "know" that smoking is bad. it makes you get lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, etc etc. it is selfish in that people around suffer too. it is addictive and pollutive. it is representative (to people like me) of a delinquent sub-culture, of thugs and hooligans and generally bad people.
but i know people who smoke who are not like that. these people are smart, study hard, do sports, well-liked. they are what you might say are "good" people. why, then? is it peer pressure? curiosity?
why is it wrong to smoke? what gives me the right to criticise the value system of another person? i *know* that God exists and is real. but to someone else, He is not. to that person, my Christian values are no more more valid that his own postmodern truths.
if a person desires to destroy his body through the action of smoking, why is that bad? is there not something incredibly romantic about self-destruction? it is an expression of the Dionysian taken to its ultimate extreme. dionysus represents the potential for creativity and expression; this is inextricably linked to the darker side of destruction and chaos. thus self-destruction is only an aspect of creation and passion. thus, then, if dionysian creativity has the potential to create something beautiful, will not that other aspect, destruction, have the same potential?
it is beautiful to die for an ideal. death says, i believe in something so much, it is the ultimate reality for me; this is my message. smoking, as is any sort of self-destruction, is to die for no ideal. is that pointless then? yet perhaps this sort of death is even more pure, even more romantic, even more needless, even more lovely. to have an ideal so pure that it cannot be expressed in human philosophy, that it cannot exist. such a death is not stained by the influence of ideals, or consicence, and is truly innocent.
and is life that valuable? i don't think my life is worth the extra couple of years. maybe i won't die of lung cancer. but the odds are, i will die of something equally painful, like some other cancer.
the younger i die, the better.
so maybe i should smoke, and do drugs, or something.