Chasing Perfection

Hence, after exploring and inquiring into virtually every subject and topic that we can think of thus far, given that the development and the fostering of a “generalized intelligence” that can navigate and thrive in an age of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) requires the exploration of as many subjects and topics as possible, we finally arrive at the issue of credibility and legitimacy on one hand and the notion of “doing the right thing” on the other hand, given that these are the two issues which are most pertinent to our healing and recovery in the West. We have spoken about the issue of credibility and legitimacy in the recent past, and now a word is perhaps called for in terms of what we mean by “doing the right thing” and whether such a notion can even be clearly defined from both a philosophical and practical perspective.

I should note that the solidification and permanence of my shift towards philosophy, politics, and religious studies came after a youth that was largely eclipsed and drowned by music, partying, and sports. My true nature, I must note, is inclined towards music, partying, and sports. It was by happenstance and as a result of forces and occurrences that were largely outside of my own control that I solidified and made permanent my shift away from music, partying, and sports and towards philosophy, politics, and religious studies in my mid to late twenties. 

And after solidifying the shift and rendering it permanent, it was only until recently that I fully and truly realized how critical and consequential this issue of credibility and legitimacy as well the issue of “doing the right thing” actually is in the “real world” or in the corporate and political world. The fact that the real world is so void and empty of a stable and solid notion of credibility and legitimacy as well as a notion of “doing the right thing” – even though virtually everything revolves around these two notions – has actually made me more and more depressed and disillusioned with the real world over the course of time. 

In turn, writing became for me the antidote to the sense of depression and disillusionment resulting from the lack of credibility and legitimacy as well as the absence of a stable and solid notion of what “doing the right thing” means in the real world. And quite honestly, while I was familiar with “black magic” and superstitious modes of thinking as a result of my cultural background, I was not aware that such modes of discourse and thinking were actually prevalent and pervasive in the mainstream corporate and political world until recently, despite the fact that much of everything is swept under the rug. Hence, the only reason why I was able to identify such modes of thought in the mainstream is because I was familiar with these modes of thought as a result of my own cultural background, even though I had largely disavowed myself of my cultural background a long time ago. 

In essence, the call for “doing the right thing” and its validity and trueness stems from the very fact of our existence. It is by the very fact of our existence that the call towards “doing the right thing” is a valid and true one. As Saint Thomas Aquinas argued: “It should be said that evil acts in virtue of a defective good, for if there were nothing of good, neither would there be a being that could act. But if it were not defective, it would not be evil.” 

Thus, we can view evil as a defect in our existence rather than the actual nature of our existence. No one is expected to be perfect. If the expectation was for everyone to be perfect, then we would have failed in our existence by now. And if we would have known more in the past and if better knowledge were given to us from people at the top, we would have done better as regular people. Rather, the expectation is to learn and to improve and to even go ahead and make mistakes. Without mistakes, there cannot be anything to learn from. As the Bible states in Luke 12:48: “But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Personally, I have caught at least one person with the appearance of perfection stealing some of my ideas. But as one philosopher said, I am not concerned with the fact that they stole my ideas, but rather, I am concerned with the fact that they do not have any ideas of their own, despite their appearance of perfection. And as a result, a call towards renewing credibility and legitimacy and a call towards “doing the right thing” amounts largely to a call towards continuing what is essentially a work in progress, namely, self-development and self-improvement as individuals and as a society. And even if our collective aim cannot be perfection by the very fact of our imperfection, the aim, it appears, is nevertheless the sure and steady move towards perfection. 

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