neutral-ethics

One of the things I really like about Mob Psycho 100 is that, although it involves a number of enemies/antagonists becoming the main character’s friends, this transition isn’t the result of the main character being aggressively cheerful and kind to them.

Instead, Mob is essentially neutral.  He does have ethics and opinions, but it takes a long time storywise before he’s able to figure out what they are, much less voice them (which is another thing I love about the series, the theme of self-discovery).  The antagonists’ redemption comes not so much from Mob pointing out that they’re wrong, but from Mob remaining neutral/passive in the face of their wrongness, which forces them to view their own actions from a more objective angle and realize on their own how wrong they are—generally spurred by guilt at what they’ve put the unresistant Mob through.  It’s a really interesting approach to character development.

(Not to disparage stories where the main character does help redeem their antagonists by being aggressively cheerful and kind to them, though!  I do enjoy those, I just wanted to point out the difference.)

Vegan Anti-Capitalism

The problem is that I don’t think people who use “There’s no such thing as ethical consumerism under capitalism” as an argument against veganism even know what the fuck that statement is supposed to mean. It does not mean that being aware of your consumer choices is useless. If anything, it urges you to be more aware:

Because we understand that there’s a modern capitalist society which engenders cruelties and injustice simply to produce our consumer products, and that (for now) we are condemned to live in such a society, our only immediate option is to make sure that we are not as complicit in such a system as we could be. It is better to acknowledge the means of production and avoid that which you absolutely cannot bring yourself to fund, than to adopt a cynical attitude of “everything is evil, so I will do nothing”.

Consumer choices will never be ethically neutral. Whenever you choose to purchase something, you cannot consider that action a plus on the “scale of ethics”. There is decent reason to criticize people (vegans or not) who buy things just to feel good about themselves. You’re not making the world a better place by buying shit. Everyone knows that on some level. But some consumer choices are bigger negatives than others. And veganism isn’t about what you buy, but what you don’t buy.

Vegans are choosing to have a less negative impact on the world.

anonymous asked:

Can i enjoy rough sex and be a budhist?

The Motivation for Sexual Behavior

The main point to look at in Buddhist ethics concerning sexuality, then, is the motivation for our sexual behavior. Sexual activity is not terribly different, as an act, from eating, in the sense that it is a biological function that comes from having this type of body. If we have this type of body, it’s going to get hungry. We have to feed it. Likewise, when we have this type of body, there are going to be sexual hormones. There’s going to be a biological function regarding sex that we somehow have to deal with. There’s a big difference, however, between satisfying sexual hunger and satisfying hunger for food. We can live without sex, but we can’t live without food.

Sexual activity, like eating, can be motivated by a disturbing emotion or attitude, a constructive one, or a neutral one. Based on the motivation, the act of having sex or eating likewise becomes destructive, constructive, or neutral. For instance, if we eat out of tremendous greed and attachment – just stuff ourselves like a pig – it’s self-destructive. If we eat because we need to be strong in order to take care of our families – in order to have the strength and energy to work, and so on – that’s a positive motivation; the eating is constructive. If we eat just because it’s time to eat and everybody else is eating, it’s ethically neutral.

The same thing is true with sex. If we have sex because we have tremendous attachment and desire, or because of anger like when soldiers rape their enemy’s wives and daughters, it’s destructive. If we’re having sex in order to show affection and help somebody – an appropriate person – with the hope that this will make the person feel a little better, it’s constructive. If we have sex just because we can’t fall asleep and it’ll make us tired so that we can fall asleep faster, then it’s neutral.

The result of what we experience from the same act is different according to the motivation. “Destructive” means that it’s going to produce problems for us in the future. For most people, the negative motivation for sex that would make it destructive and cause problems for them in the future is usually attachment and longing desire. What we need to work on, in the context of renunciation, is not the sexual act itself, but rather this attachment and longing desire.

Namaste,

Forrest Curran

anonymous asked:

What's the difference between an anti-hero and an anti-villain if there's a difference at all

Anti-villain:

  • Heroic traits or traits not typical for a villain
  • Heroic/moral/ethical/neutral goals and evil/immoral/unethical ways of reaching goals or
  • Immoral/unethical/evil goals and not-so-evil ways of reaching goals
  • Often an antagonist, but can be the protagonist
  • Usually sympathetic to the reader
  • Example: Dr. Horrible

Anti-hero:

  • Unheroic traits or atypical traits for a hero
  • Neutral morality, ambiguous morality, or amorality
  • Almost always the protagonist or on the protagonist’s side
  • Often has moral/ethical/good goals
  • Example: Han Solo in Episode IV

Both:

  • “The ends justify the means” mentality (unless the antihero is apathetic)
What, Then, Does Beatrice Mean? Hermaphroditic Gender, Predatory Sexuality, and Promiscuous Allusion in Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket’s "A Series of Unfortunate Events"

by Tison Pugh

In many ways, Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket depicts a setting amenable to female agency and empowerment throughout his A Series of Unfortunate Events.1 The chief protagonist, Violet Baudelaire, moves freely in traditionally masculine fields, and other characters—both male and female—appear remarkably unhampered by stereotypical gender roles and expectations. Roberta Seelinger Trites defines a feminist children’s novel as one “in which the main character is empowered regardless of gender. A key concept here is ‘regardless’: in a feminist children’s novel, the child’s sex does not provide a permanent obstacle to her development” (4).2 From Trites’s perspective, Violet’s freedom from traditional gender roles enables the entire series to take on a feminist cast because such a paradigm of gendered equality is taken as the normative structure of the society depicted in the thirteen novels of the series.

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the STATEMENT NECKLACE is, exactly, preemptive, a scare. a minimalist intervention in consumer morality. a plea to purchase in spite of [the recession] in the name of thrift which served itself to convince women that there was [a recession] at all. an invention of a recession by way of recession ethics!: there is [a recession] so [you can’t afford to shop] but [you must shop, for us all] so [shop Correctly]. (you will recognize this from literature on women’s magazines during the first world war, domesticity campaigns of the 1930s, gendered world war ii propaganda, and so on.) 

the STATEMENT NECKLACE is about a post-Clinton assimilation by [fashion, women’s media, the public world of domesticity] of neoliberal market logic and its terrors wherein it is said that shopping is a matter of investments and economic decision-making with longterm impact and potential danger. (shopping is risky, shopping is rational, shopping is brave and necessary for our nation.) you invest in pieces that are supposed to “last” (”live”) a long time. lifespan here is determined aesthetically and materially: “investment pieces” are things that are not supposed to go out of style and things that are not supposed to fall apart. both of these categories are lies and both of these lies are essential to the fashion economy in the first decade of this century. 

the notion of durability–things that are not supposed to fall apart–is not, here, accompanied by any sort of material improvement in mass-production or increased consciousness about care and repair of clothing. it is arguably not accompanied by an increased awareness in production broadly, it is more likely accompanied by a lot of smokescreens about labor which likely have something to do with distancing consumers from the memories of the very public sweatshop crises of the late 1990s, but instead of being about labor it is about rebranding clothing ostensibly made in sweatshops as less cheap. it is clear that the middle and upper classes of mass retail are produced more “cheaply” and less durably than ever.

things that are not supposed to go out of style are alleged to be [ethically, aesthetically] neutral, here we see (not for the first time) a moralizing of neutral colors, which become (again) good, righteous, smart choices for the uncertain future. (today we are seeing repressive “minimalism,” as people say.) 

things that are not supposed to go out of style are also determined by genre, not necessarily by aesthetic features: the investment jean, the investment dress (the “lbd”), the investment blazer. it is essential that a [black blazer] from [target] can become a “staple,” standardized, eternal, so you must be distracted from the other categories through which datedness happens–fabrication, tailoring, ornament or its absence, nuance of color, stitching, relations with the body, yes even genre. distracted only long enough to convince you that a [black blazer] is true and eternal, not so long that you don’t eventually notice that its buttons are dated, throw it out and buy a new one.

there is an economic (moral) imperative to buy smartly, not unlike prewar consumption scripts about thrift and nationbuilding through domesticity and the body. there is, however, an equally (more?) powerful imperative to demonstrate through practice that the market invents the individual. from this emerges the accessories turn, where modularity is the solution, and personhood is expressed via combinations of elements chosen by consumers from a range of options. the accessory is posed as the primal, pleasurable opposite of the investment piece, the consumer’s reward for making the rational decision to buy the [allegedly timeless black slacks], but it is simply a parallel reinforcing mode of consumption. 

 while the logic of investment fashion alleges to foreclose ornament–the “smarter” lbd is, supposedly, without flourish–the (austere) unaccessorized woman is not sufficiently personalized. the STATEMENT NECKLACE does the work of demonstrating individuality and, of course, creating ways that people are convinced of the legitimacy of individuality, and the capacity of a consumer choice (the purchase of a STATEMENT NECKLACE) to be literally expressive.

anonymous asked:

not the same anon: but isn't the anti-hero too someone with heroic/moral/ethical/neutral goals and evil/immoral/unethical ways of reaching these goals? so basically the way you represented it an anti-hero is also an anti-villain? i think the anti-villain is only someone with immoral/unethical/evil goals and not-so-evil ways of reaching these goals, and that's what makes him an anti-villain? i hope you don't find my question somewhat offending, i'm just a little confused.

I listed two possibilities for the anti-villain (though there are more):

  • Heroic/moral/ethical/neutral goals and evil/immoral/unethical ways of reaching goals or
  • Immoral/unethical/evil goals and not-so-evil ways of reaching goals

Anti-villains still have villainous qualities, but they’re more sympathetic to the reader. They usually believe what they are doing is for a better humanity. Oh and they’re not that great at being villains. 

The anti-hero is more ambiguous and their goals are not as large. They often do things because they will benefit, not because it will help others. Their means of reaching their goals, like I said before, are usually ambiguous.