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Mar 9, 2023Liked by The Living Philosophy

I'm following a plant-based diet, though lean on the Hobbesian/right-wing side of things, so take what I'm saying with however much salt you want. (I eschew veganism as a label due to the ethical claim involved.)

PETA is definitely an exemplar of the quasi-religious end of veganism. Personally I just blame normative ethical philosophies. They tend towards the universalism that constitutes most religious thought. These things are antithetical to a truly evolutionary paradigm, but sometimes I question whether or not the majority of society would ever really give such a position purchase.

I'd say there's a bit more to the story of human dietary evolution than was represented by both articles. Firstly, on the point of changes in rainfall leading to more grasslands and grazers, while that is true, I think an important intermediary step overlooked between nuts/seeds and meat was that of starchy roots and tubers. Not only do they somewhat explain the brain's preference for glucose, they absolutely required the invention of fire to be digested, which isn't the case with meat.

Meat does play an interesting evolutionary role, which we see in humans' ability to burn fat and power the brain with ketones, which together with fire was necessary for humans in colder climates pre-agriculture. Meat undoubtedly played a survival role, though as far as the carnivore position goes, the Eskimos provide an interesting case study as to potential limits of being in ketosis forever (they adapted to never go into it).

In general, most people are seeking grand narratives to cope with nihilism, and any lifestyle cope will take on a religious bent when paired with an ethical philosophy - or it'll become a political programme. The only exception being reactionary impulses that simply get entrenched into whatever position they had before, examined or not. Though those have a political programme waiting in the wings, often some offspring of fascism. But I appreciated the food for thought!

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God I love this comment so much in it. I especially agree with the last part about the grand narratives to deal with nihlism. The prevalence of that has been occurring to me again and again the past couple of years. Also on the mention of Fascism I think there's quite a lot to be said about that I just finished a book on it which has given me a lot of food for thought and I think there'll be an article on that very soon and it speaks a lot to our current moments as well

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Mar 8, 2023Liked by The Living Philosophy

I think getting people to believe there is no such thing as authenticity (that is what it would mean to truly embrace Darwinism, the view there is no stable essence to be authentic to) is a very hard sell.

It might be true that our freedom is total and we don't have to submit to anything. When religions get esoteric they all say that. In total flux, how do you decide which direction to steer mankind in? My personal choice would be the Culture mixed with The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, which I think should sound appealing to quite a lot of people.

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Interesting reply Carlos. I just finished The Dream of a Ridiculous Man this morning after seeing your mention of it. Very interesting story. I'm guessing the part you're referring to is the pre-Fall part of the dream? It was a great story. My personal feeling on the authenticity question is a bit different to yours. I think we can move away from an essentialist atomic authenticity and embrace a pluralistic authenticity that is living and evolving rather than static but I think this goes back to a fondness for becoming I got from Heraclitus and Nietzsche

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Mar 10, 2023Liked by The Living Philosophy

Yeah, I mean the pre-Fall part. It definitely makes one wonder about feasibility. But an evolving pluralistic authenticity definitely seems like a way forward.

I brought up authenticity because I picked it up as something important to the views criticized in your article, but there is also a way to discard the concept entirely and just be (or become, as one prefers). In a certain light, caring about authenticity reminds me of how in the Republic Socrates conjures up that whole model of the City because his initial vision of a simple bucolic society is rejected.

That is, 'authenticity' can only appear post-Fall. As the Tao Te Ching says: When the great Tao is forgotten, Kindness and morality arise.

Someone in touch with the Tao is not thinking of such things as authenticity.

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You might find my perspective interesting. I'm a radical working class left-liberal, both an environmentalist and an animal rights advocate. I was raised in the hyper-liberal Unity Church that was an early advocate of vegetarianism. I've spent most of my life in a liberal college town. Most of my family is vegetarian. I've had friends and roommates who were vegetarians. And I was a vegetarian for a time. But now I follow the carnivore diet. I see it as more natural, environmentally friendly, and healthier. I won't repeat my reasons here, but I'll share some links in case you're interested.

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