Missing Axioms III – The Martyr

November 2, 2020

The following can now be asserted: the level of authenticity in character is correlated with the approach of explicit and implicit value(s). To take this to it’s logical conclusion the maximally authentic character would have an overlap of their explicit light and implicit shadow to produce a total eclipse.

Does such a conception of authenticity have any implications? It was demonstrated that although somebody can seem intuitively morally reprehensible to our taste, they can actually be a pristinely authentic person. Is there anything of worth in this unorthodox notion of authenticity? Surely either the claim of authenticity, or genuine authenticity can be used as hypothalamic justification for any base set of wills in order to provide personal solace in the descent into the darkness of desire maximisation. Although this seems to be one potential use of the notion ethically, this collision can also be to used to transcend such circuits characteristic of our biological substrate, thereby giving existential meaning to authenticity beyond materialist inertness and rationalised causal explanation. Aesthetic expression manifesting itself in a performance art of the genuine can be found in the convicted man who through virtue of their character has no option but to adopt the role of a willing martyr. This is the beautiful car crash of authenticity which transcends the supposed biological imperative of our substrate.

The martyr doesn’t necessarily have pride in explicit character and throughout history has often concealed their explicit nature for practical reasons (often pertaining to their transcendent cause). They are in fact the archetypic anti-epitome of those ever-present virtuists – who proclaim their explicit virtue but often conceal their implicit character behind a mask of moralism. Where a virtuist makes a career of being seen at the head of his cause with all the adorning signifiers, they always manage to conceal themselves when it comes time to bear a genuine cost. This tends to hold true not only in service to the supposed value(s) but also when it comes to just about any sort of inconvenience. Concern over immediate inconvenience and a void of will to maximise the adherence to genuine character not only pertains to a life to be spent unlived but also a life to be lived among Ovis. Truly needed for their cause the martyr is modest, even to the point of seeming innocuous. However, when fate comes searching the martyr lays bare selfhood, dignity, appendages, limbs and blood in order to be united with his authenticity. Martyr’s don’t run.

The martyr’s authenticity in death escapes an apparent certainty; the argument from continuity. The argument from continuity is a naturalistic outlook which asserts that despite the projection men like to make of themselves they are fundamentally continuous with the rest of nature. There is no divine origin, nothing irreducible within the human making us ‘higher’ than any other form of life. A truth claim that mankind is ultimately, despite the fictions he is prone to concoct, immutably part of the Darwinian story. All human action is reducible to game theory; a universal fitness function which measures propagation of kin and the betterment of personal stimuli. In the sacrifice of life for authenticity, and by extension their axioms, the martyr escapes rationalised narratives. To rationalise a martyr would be to allow the lunatics to run the causal asylum. Martyrdom disconnects the biological substrate from its materialistic sole function through a mutation that is unique to the human animal. This could be interpenetrated as a defect which selection is expected to correct, however, what consistently reoccurs is the propensity for martyrs to emerge from obscurity and lean into natural selection like it’s an inside joke. They are an ultimate performative rejection of the biological imperative and it’s foundations. To the supposed biological imperative the martyr looks past with a wry smile and responds: “Oh yeah? Watch this!”

< Missing Axioms II – Beyond Nihilism | Missing Axioms IV – The Passion of Socrates >