existential nihilist and ethical egoist who believes that morality and ethics are foolish "limits" that the human mind projects onto itself because it is taught that way by a pre-established society and that life is worthless
He is an existential nihlist who believes that humans are hypocrites for valuing human life as special, but remorselessly crushing an ant, also a sentient being who can feel pain and death, and views religion as an oboslete fallacy humans have, just like their belief in ancient gods that were rendered obsolete through proper human inspection
He believes that the true law of nature is in fact consequentialistic darwinism, as exhibited by every other species, including man, to ever live, and the only way to achieve true happiness and live life to it's true potential ("True" Self-Actualization) is to live life to the it's fullest hedonistic enjoyment and indulge their whims, as it is the only time one will have to live, as any notion of an afterlife is a fallacy.
He is a moral nihilist believes "good" and any such cases of moral objectivism and altruistic ethics are nothing more than meaningless collectivism proprogated by religion and other pre-established societal conditions, and that humans are not intristinsitically altrusitic and only act such a way wasting their lives because they are "trying to earn brownie points to some fluffy cloud". He is a opportunistic ethical egoist who believes that the true worth of an action is how much it will benefit the individual
He is an individualist who believes that the only way to find true happiness for onself is not to be forced to sacrifice one's joys so they can assimilate themself into a collectivist estabilshment, but follow their happiness, regardless of societal implications, as such judgements by society are meaningless and foolish as it is impossible true objective viewpoint of ones actions and every human is flawed and thus unqualified to cast judgement
You are Barcell. Counter this argument....
(Sorry, I am writing a story about Byronic heroes. I could use the help )
many of the central morals society follows are almost certainly the result of biological selection in our ancestors rather than an imposition by society itself. Basically, Baines puts the cart in front of the horse for these issues. Certainly something like "its wrong to eat meat and dairy" or "don't work on the sabbath" may be clearly built for social reasons aimed at control or perpetuating a hegemonic culture, but things more core to what would be deemed "ethical" by a broader cross section of society (murder, rape, theft, etc) seem to be much more innate to our species.
For instance, in cross cultural studies of moral attitudes, there is nearly 100% overlap in terms of how to ethically behave when faced with ethical dilemmas (sacrifice one to save the many type things), so much so that "laws" of human morality can almost be formed, such as, more direct action on a person (such as throwing them in front of a train rather than pulling a lever to drop them in front of a train) is seen as morally worse, and both are seen as worse than failing to help someone who is about to be hit by a train. Further, when it comes to things like laws against murder and rape and such, these are ubiquitous in human history. There has never been a society where the killing of the privileged in-group was acceptable. What differs morally between societies is who is within that group.
this is merely a problem with the definition of value. because value is an inherently subjective quality, all one needs to do is find value in life to themselves for it to have value. Baines may see no value in life based on his subjective interpretation, however, that cannot be extended to a universal based entirely on the very basic concept of what value is.
hypocrite is someone whose views are internally inconsistent. There is nothing internally inconsistent with valuing human life yet not valuing other forms of life. There is a demarcation problem, for sure, as "when does a human specifically differ from a chimp in the timeline of evolution", but the comparison between mammals and insects is certainly not one of such minute degrees. If someone held "all life" to be sacred, then killed things, that would be hypocrisy, sure.
Further, ants aren't sentient in any meaningful way, and certainly not in the ways that inspire humans to think of animals as more worthy of moral consideration.
this is self contradictory. He first puts down an institution because it is not rational, then presents an equally fanciful interpretation of the universe. His points against religion also speak against his points about "true-self actualization", as such a concept is akin to religious belief.
mathematical models of early human settlement suggests that societies that were either entirely altruistic to their neighbours or entirely aggressive with their neighbours would not survive. Those that did survive required an effective use of both altruism and violence.
Without altruism human society would never have formed. the very same darwinian principles Baines appeals to in his "true actualized self" thing would suggest that some degree of empathy and altruism are required.
on a very pragmatic level, every one of those personal pursuits requires an altruistic society.
further, if he feels humans are too flawed to cast judgements, he is arguing against each of his own points anyways, and thus made this post pointless...
As a Byronic hero I throw Baines out a window then go and stand on a balcony while the wind sweeps my leonine hair behind me.
As a philosophical pragmatist I ask "So what?". Descriptive nihilism is useless. Proscriptive nihilism is hypocritical. There is, for example, no reason my egoistic self actualization isn't going to be "forcing Baines to be part of society".
Graffiti outside Latin class.
Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
A juvenal prank.