“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.” — Nietzsche
We live in an increasingly strange world. All kinds of ethical boundaries are being challenged these days as a result of technology developments that would have been impossible to even imagine 100 years ago.
This story about a Japanese man marrying a virtual reality anime character would have been inconceivable a generation ago. Here’s the story, followed by a brief analysis of its implications.
Man petitions to marry comic book character
A Japanese man has enlisted hundreds of people in a campaign to allow marriages between humans and cartoon characters, saying he feels more at ease in the “two-dimensional world.”
Comic books are immensely popular in Japan, with some fictional characters becoming celebrities or even sex symbols. Marriage, meanwhile, is on the decline as many young Japanese find it difficult to find life partners.
Well, admittedly it’s hard to take this one seriously, yet it does raise a question. Who decides? Who decides what is right and wrong? By what authority is the line drawn here and not there?
These questions are continuously arising. In business, men like Andrew Carnegie and Rockefeller built fortunes doing things that were legal at the time, then made illegal afterwards. Our government rightfully drew up new rules.
More recently, Dr. Kevorkian and the Hemlock Society sought to change medical rules regarding what is acceptable with regards to end-of-life situations. Seven states have now crossed that line.
The definition of when life begins is continuously being debated. Likewise, the simple definition of marriage is no longer simple.
French philosopher Michel Foucault, in his book The Archaeology of Knowledge, argues that all ideas have a moment when they emerge, are birthed, and that one needs to examine the context of this emergence in order to understand its transformative power. Behind his thesis is an effort to break down the moral absolutes that label people as “crazy” or “sick” for behaviors that don’t fit a prescribed norm as dictated by those with power. To some extent he was right. Labels can often be applied arbitrarily, with dreadful consequences. (I’m thinking here of the eugenics movement in America.)
As regards what is and is not acceptable or legal today, the conviction of the founding fathers was the principle of Lex Rex, “law is king.” But whose interpretation of the law? Isn’t that really the question? And what law? Revealed law, as in Scriptural truth, or natural law? Or some other law?
Naturally, the founding fathers conveniently gave no voice to the founding mothers on these matters, but that’s another matter.
Well, here’s where things go when “anything goes.” Instead of a family being constituted of a man and a woman, we now have a man and a comic book character. Hopefully he’s in pursuit of Wonder Woman and not, say, Bugs Bunny. Then again, by post-modern standards, who am I to impose my tastes on everyone else?
In other news, an Australian carnival performer is planning to set a new world record by walking on 57-foot stilts. I think this is going a little too far, don’t you?