Good Is Absolute

Long Story short: Not everything is relative. Good, goodness are not relative, but absolute. Absolute thanks to what? Neurohormonal activity. The fact is, and it’s a truism, people are happy enough to keep on living.

The Gods are relative. Biology is absolute.

So how come much of human thinking and values became all too relative in the Twentieth Century?

In the early Twentieth Century, the genius mathematician, physicist and philosopher, Henri Poincaré, announced what he called the “Theory of Relativity” (1904). The theory achieved great fame. Especially as “Relativity” slowed down time (as observed since zillions of times). (Relativity was attributed to a German scientist, so it was viewed as very serious; never mind that Einstein had neither discovered, nor demonstrated ANY of the basic equations or ideas of said theory; it was the interesting case of a strictly non-German theory attributed to a German.)

In any case, it was thereupon decreed by the vastly mentally unprepared masses, and not quite a few intellectuals, that everything was relative, including good and evil. A relative mood set on the land. Einstein himself played it to the hilt:

Many Philosophies (Such As Buddhism), Adopt The Mood That Suffering Is More Important Than Happiness. Neurobiology Contradicts Them

Many Philosophies (Such As Buddhism), Adopt The Mood That Suffering Is More Important Than Happiness. Neurobiology Contradicts Them

Relativity of morality is not all wrong. My pet thinker, Nietzsche, contributed to exhibit moral relativity, by pointing out that aristocracy and the rabble it ruled over, had, thank to the “slave religion” of Christianism, completely different moralities. The mathematician, physicist and philosopher Pascal himself had pointed out that truth itself depended upon which side of a mountain range one considered (“Vérité en deçà des Pyrénées, erreur au delà. Ce qui est une vérité pour un peuple, une personne, peut être une erreur pour d’autres. Ce qui est valable pour l’un ne l’est pas forcément pour l’autre.”). In truth Pascal parroted Montaigne’s use of the mountains. More generally Montaigne said: is called barbaric what is not usual (“Quelle vérité que ces montagnes bornent, qui est mensonge au monde qui se tient au-delà…. Chacun appelle barbare ce qui n’est pas de son usage”.)

In truth, the “Theory of Relativity” is all about some types of space and time measurements being relative to some types of motion. It’s not about everything being relative. Modern logic admits that any logic is relative to the universe it lives in.

Does the latter mean all morality is relative? As the Nazis claimed? No. Morality, in the end, is a biological concept. But not an obvious one. Contrarily to the pathetic naivety of Nazi theories, biology can give us a ground to stand on, which is otherwise subtle than the “selection of the fittest“. We are biological systems, and much of us is inherited. Yes. However, what about good and evil? Is that inherited, and can we go beyond what’s inherited?

John Zande wrote a book “The Owner Of All Infernal Names”. I commented: Mr. Zande seems to embrace the ancient Cathar theory that the creator of the world is obviously evil. The problem with this, is that love is even more important to human beings than evil (that’s easy to demonstrate: babies would not exist, but for love). So, if one believes the occurrence of evil is absolute proof of an evil creator, the even more prominent occurrence of love is absolute proof of an even more prominent benevolent creator, by the same metalogic. (The Good Lord is good, because He makes more good than bad.)

Yet, there is no God but Evolution, and Evil is the Master’s stroke.

Mr. Zande kindly replied:

“Insightful comment, and the logic is sound. The thesis presented in TOOAIN addresses the so-named Problem of Good. To paraphrase, good is a necessity. It spurs on growth. Ultimately, though, there is no good. What appears good is in fact little more than the means to greater and more efficient suffering. Love is also encouraged. In the book I cite this poem by Naomi Shihad, Kindness:

>>Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness<<

The premise is, love-lost is stronger and more potent than the fleeting curiosity of love-found. Complicated grief is a terrible ailment and serves to exemplify this. To love is to opening oneself up to tremendous physical and emotional pain, and to the Creator, this is pure cream.

I also present a number of examples to demonstrate this point that there is no true ‘good,” including medicine in general, writing:

Consider then the truth: More bodies doing more things over a longer time can only be scored as a breathtaking augmentation of resources.

A general population dying at 35 cannot, by and large, produce the same quantity or quality of suffering generated through the extended life of a general population dying at age 80 or 90. Here man has added 30 years—an entire generation—to the duration of his potential suffering, which in the eyes of a debased being is to be applauded as not only a marvel of market optimisation, but an almost miraculous, self-inflicted diversification in the greater portfolio of potential pain.

By permitting the development and maturation of innovative methods and practices which abet bodily longevity the Omnimalevolent Creator has positioned Himself to reap 20, 30, or even 40 years more pleasure from His game; drinking in the pang of creeping irrelevance, the pain of crippling arthritis, the emotional distress of immobility, mental degradation, senility, the anguish of seeing friends and loved ones die early, the anxiety of financial and perhaps political insecurity, and the hopelessness of a life bookmarked by death and conscious annihilation. In no uncertain terms, ruinous ageing is an abhorrent stain on even the most spectacular of lives lived, often robbing an individual of their most prized possession, their dignity, and this gradual drip of irreversible decay and the misery born of it can only be seen as a boon for a being who thrives on tapping into increasingly complex veins of suffering.

Now, let me just say, the book is a parody of 19th Century natural theology works… and it was, at times, desperately hard to write the words. I couldn’t bring myself, for example, to detail all but three examples of animal cruelty.”

The first step out of the dilemma of pain is to realize that it’s evolution which created us, not some moral person up there (the so-called “God”). So there is no game. Normal life is, most of the time pleasant enough to feel better than the alternative(s). This is what evolution expects. And has selected us for. Cocktails of neurohormones in our brains and gut make sure of that we experience enough good to keep on going. So, integrated all over, weighted with time, life is, overall, pleasant. Abject pain and unfathomable terror, occasionally, do not make much of a dent on this (although, as John Zande points out, the problem of ageing has become, viewed as a sum, much more considerable, since we have made enough progress to extend ageing rather than extending health, indeed).

However, when pain and suffering get to be too much, one can take action: euthanasia, revolution, and even war, are solutions.

You want peace and happiness? Then kill pain and suffering, in a timely manner. Otherwise, your brain will do it for you. And slavery may ensue.

Patrice Ayme’

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17 Responses to “Good Is Absolute”

  1. john zande Says:

    Hi Patrice

    Interesting stuff.

    The way out of the dilemma of pain is to realize that it’s evolution which created us, not some moral person up there (the so-called “God”).

    The TOOAIN thesis says exactly this. The Creator does not interfere or stir the pot. Creation is painted in impenetrable naturalism and sowed along a few clear rules so there is nothing to blame, and if there is nothing to blame then there is nothing to rebel against. There are no supernatural stains for a very, very good reason.

    The greatest proof for The Owner of All Infernal Names is that is that there is no conspicuous proof of His existence, just teleological birthmarks that can be isolated and examined as testimony, for He understands that the trinkets of His greatest amusement, arousal and nutritional satisfaction must be blind to the nature of the world they inhabit so they may act freely, and suffer genuinely.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      hello John, and welcome! I slightly boosted the present essay since you made your comment. My argument is that happiness is the sum (“integral”) in mathematical analysis, of the sensation of good. That integral for normal people is perceived as greater than the integral of pain.
      However, evolution has selected the rebels and their descendants, our ancestors, thus the spirit of rebellion, those to whom pain and suffering are enemies to be reduced, spurring one to go beyond yesterday’s limits..


      • john zande Says:

        My argument is that happiness is the sum (“integral”) in mathematical analysis, of the sensation of good. That integral for normal people is perceived as greater than the integral of pain.

        That’s fine, but what are you basing it on? A sample of a few first world people is not indicative of the actual reality of the broader human experience. The majority of our species is born into, lives, and dies in utter wretchedness.

        At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

        But I must stress, simply discussing the human experience is a distraction from the greater theatre of pain. This is a passage from the book (minus references) concerning he omnipresence of suffering:

        Published on the 7th of July, 2012, the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness firmly asserts that the presence of a neocortex does not preclude non-human animals from experiencing genuine suffering. Indeed, the signatories to the declaration stressed that the required neurological apparatus for total awareness of pain—and the emotional states allied to that—arose in evolution as early as the invertebrate radiation, being evident in insects and cephalopod molluscs, such as octopus, Nautilus, and cuttlefish.

        Based on the overwhelming and universal acceptance among neurologists of the Cambridge Declaration, and drawn from the conclusions of over 2,500 independent studies, Professor Marc Bekoff has since proposed an even broader declaration, a Universal Declaration on Animal Sentience, where sentience—and by extension a total awareness of suffering—is defined as the “ability to feel, perceive, or be conscious, or to experience subjectivity.” It is a definition that would, the Observer notes, reach out to include the modest—yet phenomenal—protozoa.

        It is clear, therefore, that suffering is very nearly omnipresent. It is built into the very nature of all things, present and acting against even the shallowest expressions of what may be considered ‘happiness’ for billions of years before the first empathic thought was ever teased loose.

        Patrice, plants are pregnant with fear. This is a physical reality. Located deep inside the plant genome, isolated within the first intron MPK4, lay three ancient genes (PR1, PR2, PR5) that have revealed to researchers that MPK4 is devoted to negative regulation of the PR gene expression. What this means is that plants not only experience suffering (they have action potentials), they live in fear of it. This gene expression is anticipatory. It is what humans would identify with as a deep-rooted paranoia, a most ancient anxiety.

        Now, that being said, neuroscientists Giulio Tononi and Christof Koch have proposed something even more radical. In their Integrated Information Theory they state consciousness is integrated information, represented as Phi Φ, and the quantity—or body—of consciousness corresponds to the amount of integrated information (Φ) generated above and beyond the information simply generated by a thing’s parts. Anything with a non-zero Phi has subjective experience, and this includes subatomic particles. Consciousness, as Koch points out, is spread throughout space like a cosmic web of experience, and awareness is greatest where there is significant information integration. Mind, therefore, is everywhere. Not only do zircon crystals (the first “things” on earth) experience the world, but protons, too…. and anything with a non-zero Phi can (and do) suffer. A peculiar, alien caliber of pain therefore existed long before life (which existed for 2.5 billion years before the first stirrings of anything even remotely close to ‘happiness’ emerged), and with life the degree and depth of suffering has only augmented, expanded, deepened, grown more competent, more pervasive, more convincing over time.

        Suffering is the bedrock, and it blossoms with time. This is an unmistakable pattern, and pattern is evidence of intent.

        Or, so the thesis goes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. brodix Says:


    Are you sure you are not mistaking absolute for ideal?

    An absolute would be a pure, universal state. Which logically would be a state of perfect equilibrium. So no good and no bad.

    Good and bad necessarily are relative to one another, because without one, there would be nothing to compare the other. What would a state of absolute good even mean, since any deviation from it would make it not absolute? So there would be nothing against which it would be good, only uniformity.

    Perchance the problem is that our sense of consciousness is necessarily designed to focus on those aspects which are of danger, or otherwise disruptive to our sense of peace and security. Consider that in Genesis, the foundation myth of western culture, knowledge is treated as a fall from grace.

    Now the position that relativity means there is no true good or bad and that it is simply a matter of perspective assumes an objective state from which to compare such points of view, but ultimately, there is no such thing as an objective point of view. It is an oxymoron.

    While what is good for the fox, is bad for the chicken, a subjective argument can’t say the chicken’s view is just a matter of opinion, as it truly is bad for the chicken.

    The absolute would be the universal state from which distinctions arise, not an ideal form from which they fell and every point of view is a unique point of perspective. Each of us is as much the center of the universe as any other. So our views of good and bad are completely valid expressions of our point of view.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, absolute good for the fox can be detected in its neurohormonal bliss, as she crunches the chicken, and drinks the wonderfully warm blood. And absolute bad for the chicken can be detected in a flood of neurohormones, endorphins in this case, which will not only make the chicken suffer less, but the fox risk less injury.

      “Good” and “bad” have different machineries in the brain. They are not two ends of a spectrum (as you yourself point out! ;-))


  3. indravaruna Says:

    The only Good is what is Good for the Jews.

    President François Mitterrand, near the end of his life and on his last day in office, referred in private to “the powerful and harmful influence of the Jewish lobby in France.”

    Former Prime Minister Raymond Barre, also close to death, told a radio station: “The Jewish lobby, not only concerning myself, is able to organize operations which are disgraceful. And I want to say it publicly!”


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I guess you keep, indeed, a close watch on the French. The oldest cemeteries in France are Jewish. Hence the insistence, by some (such as Nadine Morano, from Loraine, an ex-minster, European MP, and otherwise all around steel eyed crazed blonde) that France is of “white race” (that was actually the racist De Gaulle who advanced that one, as NM is won to notice), and Judeo-Christian (in this order: Jewish, first).
      As I explained five zillions times, though, the civilization centered on so-called “Francia” is actually much older, and a total melting pot of ideas. Although Julius Caesar won (special guy), the Celts were, in matter of war tech, more advanced than the Romans.
      I am not Zionist obsessed, I rather do into Paleolithic obsessed. The most alarming, as I said, is Attali praising the idea of making community based lobbies an integral part of the Republic. THAT is alarming (because it justifies the Islamist state, the Putinist state, etc.)


  4. EugenR Says:

    Dear Patrice, thank you, thank you for the beautiful essay. And the poem, marvelous.
    Very true. The relativity of our existence is not only a phenomena observed by physicists, but it is even more a human reality. And you are very right, as the human being is aging, he adds with the time new and new layers of suffering. And it seems to me it is not just another layer of the same feeling, but there s a development in it. The accumulation of more and more of it causes a development towards the eagerness for love. But not eagerness being lived, for love from others, but for loving the others. This tendency is installed in our genes.
    When a child is born, all the world exists only for him. Then he starts to be cultured. Not all the attention is focused only on him. So he cries and tries to get the attention, even if not of love but of anger. Until his biological processes open his eyes to the reality (sad for him) that there are others. And this grows with him, when one day he is in love, a hormonal love. But out of it comes the new life, that makes him entirely altruistic. Even the worse human beasts (like Fouche or Goebbels) felt this kind of love. And with the years it………


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Goebbels? I don’t know. His vicious wife poisoned her 6 children (and some resisted). Just so they would not see with their own eyes what indescribable trash Nazism was.
      In any case, my point, leaving poetical thinking aside, is that, well defined, with state of the art mathematics and physics, one can show life is not a valley of tears, but of happiness. And what you say is very true: love is taught, but love is something we learn to make as we mature, to distribute it to the new, as it is as needed as milk.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. De Brunet D'Ambiallet Says:

    This approach to the good and pursuit of happiness changes everything! Nice blend of science and philosophy.


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