The Heterodox

The Heterodox

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The Essence of Heterodoxy

January 3, 2011 , , , , ,


This being the first article of the year, I thought I might expose a little more of the quiddity behind this blog, it being a means to showcase my writing and thought. While ruminating on a proper topic which would achieve this aim, it occurred to me that the very name of this blog might incur some unwanted criticism. Let it be understood that self criticism is an ardent moral requisite for me along with the proactive absorption of the criticisms of others for the achievement of intellectual growth. Yet there is one criticism which every philosopher should be aware of and when encountered, remedy immediately. This remark being the accusation of obscurantism. Asserting oneself as a heterodox can easily be construed as a glib or contrarian stance for one’s views and not at all serious in intent. So to avoid being seen as purposefully opaque, I will share my ideation on this state of existence. The state or essence of being a heterodox is a condition that is innate and has to be demonstrated and not merely asserted. Now with this being said, I hope you are now wondering what exactly do I think renders me a heterodox within this society? As it happens, there are three distinct areas of human existence which evince one as a heterodox if one finds that their very being in these areas is in a state of revulsion and antipathy as compared with societies. These human cores are to be found within one’s feelings towards religion, one’s diet as well as one’s integral sexuality. Let me explain what I mean by this.


The first aspect of human existence that renders one a heterodox depending on disposition is one’s stance on theism. My position on this topic is seeded throughout the essays on this blog so I will not go into too much detail here. What I will mention here though is that my antitheism was something that I came to realize about myself when I was quite young, or to put it another way my antitheism was something that I discovered was congenital to me—it was not a philosophy in which I acquiesced into. And I feel confident in asserting that there are more people like me than is readily apparent within this culture, no matter what any populist pole taker may say and also regardless of the number of us who do and do not vocally assert our unbelief. But within the borders of this republic, theists and theocrats continue to hold too much sway in public life as well as persisting in abhorring our secular Constitution. So much so, that they unremittingly abnegate, or at least attempt to, our First Amendment and the separation of church and State. Our Pledge of Allegiance and our currency would be salient examples in this vein. Due to this nefarious state of affairs many people continue to be bullied into admitting to some form of faith of which they to do not believe in all in order to keep up the illusion of a religious majority. If it were not for child indoctrination, religion would die out within a generation; as all other Bronze age myths have already done. Nonetheless, being antithetical to faith in this society does in fact axiomatically place you into unorthodox arms but it still takes more than this to be a heterodox.

The next aspect of human life that may manifest you as a heterodox is in regards to one’s diet. By this I mean whether you consume animal flesh or not as flesh eating is a cardinal necessity in all patriarchal societies. And if you are a male, your sex can in fact make your vegetarianism even more vitriolic towards society and often does. This reality is readily patent to anyone who becomes vegetarian who was raised as a flesh eater. Once you cross this threshold, you quickly see how replete and regnant flesh eating is within the media and the culture as a whole; this is a finding no matter where you go in the world with perhaps only the exception of India. Even after more than a decade of abstinence from flesh eating, I find that I am still disgusted by any flesh eater’s incredulity when they see that I do not view hacked up animal corpses as appetizing food as well the fact that they think I can and do only eat vegetables. This is where the etymology of the word vegetarian becomes important.

Firstly, before 1847 the main sobriquet for anyone who abstained from eating animal flesh was Pythagorean. This shows how ancient vegetarian philosophy and thought actually is. Besides Pythagoras, another great ancient thinker, Plutarch, was also vegetarian and wrote the influential Essays on Flesh Eating in the first century of the common era. With the coinage of the word Vegetarian in the nineteenth century, the etymology was and is rooted in the Latin word vegetus, which means whole, fresh, or lively. The origin of the word had nothing at all to do with a diet based on vegetables. I hope with this clarification of the etymology, you can now easily glean the ethical rooting of vegetarianism as this diet has long emanated from ethical concerns; long before the salubrious benefits of vegetarianism were scientifically known. Since I see vegetarianism as a moral necessity, I believe it also now becomes clear as to why this diet makes one quite unconventional within the gaze of the mass culture. This combined with atheism puts you still closer to heterodoxy, so we now must examine the last predicate for heterodoxy which I stated as being one’s inherent sexuality.


Being still evolving primates, one cannot refute the fact that we are a sexual species. I mean this to be understood as not just a reference to sexual reproduction, but to the fact that we are an animal that engages in sexual congress strictly for the psychosomatic pleasure with procreation being incidental to the procurement of orgasmic release. This view of sexuality I also see as being more inherent and observable in male sexuality. So with the fact that we have evolved our sexuality to the point where we can now disobey our genes and enjoy sex for our own benefit and not theirs, it is not surprising in the least that humans have evolved different approaches to sexuality. The salient case here being the existence of homosexuality. My views on homosexuality and male sexuality overall are unorthodox (to say the least) and I have delineated some of these contentions in previous essays on this blog. All I wish to state here is that exactly like being vegetarian, coming to terms with one’s homosexuality involves the same sense of alienation from the mass culture and society in general. Throughout the media sphere you see an almost total existential nullification of homosexuals. “Heterosexuals” continue to exude an untenable elitism which most egregiously manifests itself where ever gay civil rights are concerned. Being a gay man or woman renders you an absent referent within any aspect of the society, just like a animal’s death is absent from reference wherever their flesh is involved. Believe me when I say this has a roborant effect on one’s view of the world. How could it not?

As I have hinted at throughout this essay, finding yourself coterminous with any one of the three existential realities that I have discussed most definitely makes you a freigeist to some degree. I hope you have found some kind of enjoyment out of this realization as I have. And if you have not had such an experience being an individual then just let me assure you that to be a free thinker in a society which is so entrenched and wedded to conformity and populist consensus is a blessing and benefit as much as if not more than it causes sturm und drang. But since the original point of this exercise was to explain the appellation I have endowed this blog with, my peroration will simply consist of the notion that it is in the antithetical possession of the three existential exigencies I have laid out which renders one a heterodox. Therefore heterodoxy is simply a state of being that you discover as you experience and live life, it is not an intellectual position in which anyone can simply will themselves into actualizing. Even with all of the uncertainty and doubt that this reality induces, it also intensifies the great pleasure that can only be experienced when you are able to think for yourself while simultaneously seeking no solace or safety within any majority.

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