Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Nine Theses of Ethical Ironicism

  • Any non-trivial system of beliefs is bound to be riddled with absurdities.
  • So a person who must take himself seriously at all times is either a simpleton or morbidly attached to his ignorance.
  • We make an exception for those whose benign obsessions are so manifestly and magnificently ridiculous they clearly must be saints.
  • Nobody laughs at a joke they don't understand.
  • So a person who laughs at himself is on the path to enlightenment.
  • Nobody can truly love another unless he truly knows the other. Nobody can truly know another without knowing the full measure of their absurdity.
  • Therefore verily I say unto you that Love is Absurdity.
  • And God is Love.
  • And therefore God is Absurdity, and Absurdity, God.


n54 said...

And as God is enlightened he surely must have lots of laughs.

...I have a feeling you've just proved the sanctity of slapstick comedy X)

Matt Leo (grumpynerd at yahoo dot com) said...

Well, I once asked my wife this very question: "Does God have a sense of humor?

"Yes," she said immediately.

I was impressed. Not only that she knew what her opinion was, but she seemed so certain.

"Well," I continued, "how do you know? What proves this?"

This was a bit more of a poser. She thought for a moment, then said with equal authority, "Sex."

By the way, congratulations on being the first ever responder in my blog. Up to now, it's been an exercise in solpsism.

Antonio TouriƱo said...

Very interesting read. It brought out a sad little chuckle. hehe. I have translated it into spanish and posted to my weblog with a link here. I hope you don't mind. Will be dropping by more often.

Got here originally via Slashdot.

Matt Leo (grumpynerd at yahoo dot com) said...

Well, Antonio, I must say I'm flabbergasted that somebody actually thought something I wrote to be worthy of translating. But I thank you. You are certainly welcome to use anything or part of anything you find useful here. For me it's just theraputic to get some of the odd things inside my head out into a more tangible form.

Anonymous said...

...and a Divine Paperclip says:

Looks like you're extending the Discordian doctrine. Do you need help?

(I like it.)

Matt Leo (grumpynerd at yahoo dot com) said...

Discordianism? Oh no.

I strongly disagree with the Papal right of infallibility. It's harmless enough when the Catholics do it, but in the Discordian context it's a very bad idea. For you see, the fundamental Discordian characteristic is a morbid love of cleverness -- which I understand well enough I should add.

One possible tenth thesis of Ethical Ironicism might be this: There is no stupidity so intractable or dangerous as the stupidity of the clever.

Anonymous said...

I would like to use all or part of your nine thesis in the preface of a book.

Ian Varley said...

Hey Matt! I don't know if you'll see this, but I would *love* to talk to you about a comment you made some time ago on Slashdot, related to Ontology, Taxonomy, and an "intersection of metaphysics and software engineering" (it was on this post: I can't find any other way to contact you, so feel free to delete this comment and reply directly to me. I'm Ian Varley, email me with my name ( or via