Ted Bundy and The Logical Consequences of a Dead Universe

ted bundyby Glenn Fairman   2/11/14
Many years ago, one of my esteemed graduate professors, Claremont McKenna’s illustrious Harry V. Jaffa, wrote a brilliant but pithy dialogue highlighting the pitfalls of conventionalist morality in which he pitted the charming and debonair Mr. Ted Bundy holding forth with what is soon to be one of his victims. Indeed, Bundy, as a murderous Socrates, is portrayed as a rhetorical master of the wicked apologetic; and he employs his talent effortlessly with the young lass who is pleading passionately for her very life.

One can frame this debate as arising from the necessary consequences of pleasure and self-interest in a “God Vacuum” where morality is reduced to both The Republic’s “Assertion of Thrasymachus” and Thucydides’ Melian Dialogue–wherein those famous statements:”Justice is the interest of the stronger” and “The strong do what they can while the weak suffer what they must” reverberate throughout the centuries. The idea that the genesis of human moral obligation arises conventionally through reason or historical circumstance (which individual humans are duty-bound to obey) merely kicks the proverbial can down the road. In truth, what men perceive as ethics must be grounded in something more authoritative or compelling than a social contract or the whims of a legislator if they are to be respected and held sacrosanct in the human heart. Humanist moral/ legal structures, after all, ultimately occupy the province of mere opinion — even if they attempt to claim their pedigree in the gilded haze of distant memory.[pullquote]In truth, what men perceive as ethics must be grounded in something more authoritative or compelling than a social contract or the whims of a legislator if they are to be respected and held sacrosanct in the human heart.[/pullquote]

Ultimately, the authority of even the strongest conventional law or moral “ought” vaporizes upon touch with the rational “Why.” The philosopher Kant tried to ground morality in reason through the Categorical Imperative, but even the most stringent reason cannot serve to justify reason itself. Ultimately, why select reason over appetite, hedonistic pleasure, desire, or will? If men are merely the determined automata of DNA, which are themselves the by-product of the random and the material toss of nature’s dice, then on what flimsy foundations are our own myopic understandings of reason and law erected upon that we should give them our considered devotions? Fortunately, for the world of awakened men who will not wallow in solipsism and philosophic angst, we make our piece with the command authority of Divine revelation. And thankfully, it is in these transcendent commandments, that imbue value to humanity and align the compass points of vice and virtue, where we take our bearing in a fog covered moral universe where rebellious man has stormed and profaned the throne of power. Having enthusiastically and prematurely pronounced the death of God and jettisoned all obligations to Him, we find that a long trail of rotten and skewed judgments, proceeding from the ill-considered ardor of his moral revolution, have proved disastrous throughout mankind’s historical moment.

But something inside us keeps jolting our collective consciousness and steers us to a position that actions are either praiseworthy or just plain wrong. In contradistinction, the physicist Lawrence Krauss and his neo-atheist soul mates, living on the detritus of a civilization that still carries the moral sub-structure of Judeo-Christendom, are in reality mere termites that enjoy the genteel architecture of a transcendent morality. But in all honesty, they are cerebral parasites who make a comfortable living consuming civilization’s edifice. Perhaps the moral instruction of smashing all of them in the teeth is the best way to bring home the inevitable consequences of their theories on man and civilization. All would no doubt vigorously protest, but why should the premises underlying their thrashing prove inconsistent with a groundless amoral human nature and undirected universe? Not one of them would agree with Mr. Bundy, the rightful heir to their philosophical theories, that my pleasure and interests trump the subjective value of your life. Nevertheless, if we are ultimately lone agents of desire ensconced with a thin illegitimate drapery of moral fiction, why proceed with that hypocritical myth of civility that we are, in truth, only provisionally required to give lip service to?

In fact, all the Horsemen of the Nietzschean Apocalypse: Denton, Hawking, Krauss, Singer, Dawkins, Harris, and the late Mr. Hitchens are, I assume, amiable fellows. I’m sure they pay their taxes, stop at red lights, refrain from beating their wives, pass the butter, defer their place in line to the elderly, and do any of those thousand and one niceties that are consistent with a pre-programmed moral apprehension of the universe – instead of affecting the posture of Viking Ubermenchen. But do not their philosophies lead us to the necessary endgame of a universe without Mind, teleology, design: chaotic, lawless, formless— a coldly Darwinian superstructure functioning as the macabre theatre for the arbitrary exertion of raw power, blind circumstance, and oceans of absurd manifest death? If we are to buy into their dark reckoning of man, it is up to them to explain the inconsistency of why they exhibit the external civility of genteel intelligence, rather than the driven appetites of opportunistic predation.[pullquote]But do not their philosophies lead us to the necessary endgame of a universe without Mind, teleology, design: chaotic, lawless, formless— a coldly Darwinian superstructure functioning as the macabre theatre for the arbitrary exertion of raw power, blind circumstance, and oceans of absurd manifest death?[/pullquote]

Somehow, we cannot turn around without bumping into a moral obligation that seems propitious to us and resonates a certain “rightness” in the marrow of our bones: a justice that even the most unsophisticated child is keenly aware of. Be that as it may, we ultimately find that there are some incomprehensibly foolish things that only an intellectual would deem reprehensible enough to build a career advocating.

It is, however, Mr. Bundy who is the natural spawn of this natural philosophy’s false and chaotic universe of unbidden natural selection. Armed with his own energetic and self-affirming personal morality, he is power and death incarnate by virtue of his relentless Will to Power. Moreover, in possessing a daunting intellect and personality, and having artfully disposed with the encumbrance of any trifling moral governor standing in the way of his considered ends, he is affable and glib enough to be able to explain the intricate ins and outs of his philosophy to his latest comely young maiden. And he will deliver all this, and much, much more — with a handsome smile.
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Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be reached at arete5000@dslextreme.com. • (1883 views)

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4 Responses to Ted Bundy and The Logical Consequences of a Dead Universe

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    This is a great article, Glenn. I love this bit:

    But in all honesty, they are cerebral parasites who make a comfortable living consuming civilization’s edifice.

    We could go on and on about what it means to be a conservative. But to explain a man of the Left is rather easy: He (or she) becomes emotionally and intellectually habituated to the constant supposed debunking (they are “men without chests”…C.S. Lewis) of Western Civilization.

    Whether guided by narcissism or an embedded dark petulance, it gives this type glee to tear down. It becomes, as I said, rather habitual. This manifests itself particularly in our news and entertainment culture where the only things that are said to be real or important tend to be violent, destructive, of vulgar things. There is not much left in an individual’s soul after a regimen of Leftism to simply be able to stop and appreciate the roses, the small, charming, and wonderful things in life. Beauty is pooh-poohed, not trusted. It’s beneath “serious” people.

    This next bit is good as well:

    Ultimately, why select reason over appetite, hedonistic pleasure, desire, or will? If men are merely the determined automata of DNA, which are themselves the by-product of the random and the material toss of nature’s dice, then on what flimsy foundations are our own myopic understandings of reason and law erected upon that we should give them our considered devotions?

    The rebuttal to this would be that “the heart” knows what is right or wrong. I’m not sure whether I should go into my entire Dennis Prager spiel, but Dennis regularly notes that the heart is a terrible way of determining right and wrong. And yet the liberal myth persists that “the heart” will simply be guided to the Good. Hell, even the Pope seems to have bought into this idiocy with his comment of “Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them.”

    This is, as you said, the downfall of humanism. Ethics become mere opinion. And even less than that (and a nod to Jonah Goldberg and his excellent book, “Liberal Fascism”), ethics become thoroughly politicized in such a state of affairs, leading to this absurd Orwellian situation where one day (a nod to Deana) they say that gay marriage is an oxymoron. But the next day (relatively speaking), they say it is good and true. And then all of the mindless useful idiots who gobble up this stuff (having jettisoned their minds and replaced them with pod-people “popular” minds) then regurgitate this nonsense: We have always been at war with Eastasia and have always been at peace with Oceania.

    In contradistinction, the physicist Lawrence Krauss and his neo-atheist soul mates, living on the detritus of a civilization that still carries the moral sub-structure of Judeo-Christendom, are in reality mere termites that enjoy the genteel architecture of a transcendent morality.

    This is also what Dennis Prager calls “cut flower ethics.” In essence, as Dennis mentions, the Judeo-Christian moral underpinning of Western Civilization is ignored or remains unknown to those on the Left (and not just those on the Left). And these ethics not having been totally overridden, they are practiced unconsciously by many….thus the delusion that “the heart” is guiding them.

    But there are many many ways for a civilization to organize itself, many of them extremely brutal. Thus Judeo-Christianity for the naive idiots on the Left (and not a few agnostics and “moderates” as well) becomes like the water in a fishbowl. They swim in it and do not see it and thus accord it no importance.

    And thus these ethics — detached from their source — are “cut flower” in that they will bloom for a while but will soon wither, cut off from the soil that spawned their growth in the first place.

  2. Steve lancaster says:

    In my time I have been in some very bad places and done terminal things to some very bad people. However, only once did I encounter a person that oozed evil. He was an agent of the PRC in Vietnam, many time winner of our creep of the year award, given every month at USMC 1st division G 2.

    There is evil in the world and often it comes with a happy face, George Carlin got that right and so do you Glenn.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    The Alfred Hitchcock movie Rope, based on a play that was itself inspired by the Leopold and Loeb thrill killing of Bobby Franks, features a professor (played by Jimmy Stewart) who taught the Nietzschean attitude that the superior have the right to kill others who finds out what happens when someone takes him seriously. One critique wondered how he had meant his words to be taken.

  4. Glenn — thank you so much for putting into words what I’ve been groping toward for quite some time “In contradistinction, the physicist Lawrence Krauss and his neo-atheist soul mates, living on the detritus of a civilization that still carries the moral sub-structure of Judeo-Christendom, are in reality mere termites that enjoy the genteel architecture of a transcendent morality. But in all honesty, they are cerebral parasites who make a comfortable living consuming civilization’s edifice.” And thanks to Brad for adding the cut-flower analogy as well. Both are apt and useful metaphors for what we are observing. These arrogant atheists are mocking and hacking away at the very floor that supports them. Unfortunately, we also stand on that floor and soon it will no longer support any of us. Thanks for a great piece, Glenn.

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