Sunday, 11 April 2010

Let's get physical

I find it preposterous that we are conditioned to believe in the superiority of a world of ideas, and how the physical world lacks value. Immediately, we judge a woman who marries a rich man so she can have objects. She is a gold-digger, and while this might be true, it is also true that morality is subjective, so who says she's doing something bad? Maybe the old man knows this, and just wants his wife for physical reasons. If this is the case, then both people are benefitted, and nobody gets hurt-- what makes it wrong?
Yet our society judges, because we have been taught that love is the ideal, mostly from the Bible (referring to Christian societies). However, we find ourselves in a greatly secularised culture, where right and wrong are not as clearly defined as in the good ol' days, and each citizen has a right to implement his/her own moral compass.
If we can use our own compasses for morality, or for the generation of ideas, or basically anything, just because it is within our rights, why should we assume that ideas are more important than the physical world around us? This was once a justificaton, used by medieval philosophers/priests, of the importance of the immortal spirit over our transitionary stay on earth; if we behaved well, we would gain access to heaven (See for example, San Agustin- my philosophy class is in Spanish, but I guess this must be Saint Augustine?).
However, now the numbers of people that believe in heaven, or in an inmortal spirit, dwindle. The spiritual has no logical superiority to the physical. In fact, the physical is our reality*, and ideas remain only in our heads, more subjective than ever. Is it that wrong for a person to have hedonistic values? I suppose not. Yet I cannot help to consider a person like Paris Hilton**, who may not have thought once in her life, to be shallow.
Herein lies my dilemma: though I do not feel the body is superior to the mind, I am having a hard time justifying this.

*Though it is true that we each filter it in our own way, and nobody has the same experience.

**Actually, I sometimes think Paris Hilton has just created a scandalous character through which she gains lots of money, which would require a pretty advanced mind, in my opinion. However, she is the ideal dumb blonde, so I use her as an example.