The Greatest Philosopher Who Ever Lived

Screenshot of footage of King beaten by LAPD o...

Screenshot of Rodney King being struck by police officers on March 3, 1991

Whenever we dare to tread in the treacherous ideological minefields of good-better-best, especially in areas that avoid objective measures, there are inevitably a wide range of opinions. Sometimes our points of view are suspended on a frothy swill of passion as a substitute for objective facts. It has been said; nature abhors a vacuum. Perhaps the absence of evidence is just such a vacuum into which our passions flow. On the surface, any attempt to identify the greatest philosopher who ever lived seems like an invitation to a most furious carnival of disagreement. Nonetheless this is what we will explore.

Philosophy at its core asks the questions. How we value and respond to the questions can be considered our philosophy of life. We could grind through a tedious exposé of all the questions gurgling around the throats of philosophical points of view from Ableism[1] to Zurvanism[2] in an attempt to emerge victorious with the best slice of philosophy, but we will simply step right to the climax and avoid too much in the way of harrowing digression.

Humanity has accomplished a few things of merit over the course of time. With the aid of sheer will, careful observation coupled with disciplined action, along with a few fortunate missteps we have improved our lot. These accomplishments have been carried largely on the back of probing questions that spurred us on to discovery and realization. Among the vast array of mundane things like plastic Christmas trees and multi-toned facial creams are some of more qualitative substance like the wheel and the polio vaccine.

If the value of ideas is measured by how much potential they have to impact our individual and collective lives, one notable philosopher stands out. He didn’t lead what would generally be considered a perfect life. A construction worker, ex-convict for robbery, speeding away from police while drunk and beaten during his arrest inadvertently sparked a wave of horrific violence. In this boiling aftermath of civil unrest, Rodney King[3] stammered out the immortal phrase “Can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?” Of the questions we might consider probing for a way to translate our reality toward something more palatable than it is today, this phrase, uttered by a reluctant philosopher, is perhaps the greatest of all time.

[1] A social prejudice against people with disabilities.

[2] The belief that Zurvan is the god of infinite time and space and is therefore the one and only deity of matter.

[3] Rodney Glen King (April 2, 1965 – June 17, 2012)

3 responses to “The Greatest Philosopher Who Ever Lived

  1. I might not always comment, though I always read your posts. This time, I feel compelled to comment on Ableism. Though I’d not heard the term, it’s a theme I’ve been trying to develop in my current project. A picture is painted in Act Two of EDEN IN BABYLON in which people with disabilities begin to be treated as the Jews were treated in Nazi Germany. This could be a turn of events in some future society wanting to rid its populace of “dross.” I’ve not yet developed the theme very fully, but it’s been on my mind.

    You write very well, and your topics are always intriguing. I’m glad I tuned into your blog. Keep up the good work.

    • Thank you very much, I enjoy your blog very much as well. Based on what I have read, you seem to have the perspective of someone who has had a very experience rich and colorful life. Based on your description of Act 2 I think you are tapping into something prophetic, and perhaps unfortunately inevitable. The cultural pendulum appears to be swinging from sacrificing our now for our children’s future to sacrificing our children’s future for our now. I do think this future trend may also involve first the increasing acceptance of euthanasia for the old and sick to either expectation or outright demand later on. The polarizing effects and the underlying lack of respect for life will no doubt have a number of hidden destructive side effects in many unintended areas as well. While I am in favor of people making personal choices, I do think we are sometimes very generous, even vicious with a pious veneer, with our expectations of what others should do. Of course if this happens it will be justified with all kinds of verbal pixie dust by the executioners so they wont have to call themselves into account. Sleep well…

  2. For a moment I almost did want to disagree with your choice of philosopher [I have a great bias to Socrates] but I find the words of Rodney King to be loaded!

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