Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Champion of Logic

"Okay professor," I said during break in my Bioethics class. "We're discussing the philosophy of animal rights, sure, but it has to have practical implications. This subject demands that you take a stance." I paused a moment, then challenged, "So what's yours?"

Professor Butchard laughed dryly. "Actually, I find it one of my failings in life to not be a vegetarian," 


"Yeah. It's just not practical. And I like meat." Then he added, "But I've decreased how much I eat."  

Respect, I thought. 

When class convened again, I raised my hand and declared, "Look, all the arguments that it's okay to eat animals could be defeated in like, 20 seconds." I gave example after example of my own life. "So ultimately, the only reason anyone still eats meat is because it tastes good, and you've been eating it your whole life." 

Even the most adamant students against vegetarianism remained quiet after my speech. Even Jake. 

The following class, a snag in the logic of the philosopher who was arguing for animal rights caught my attention. After class was dismissed, I approached the professor. I systematically countered the logic of the philosopher while my professor nodded and prompted me on. 

It was weird to argue for the devil.

At the conclusion, the professor only nodded in agreement, and then said, "Hm, e-mail me with more ideas," 

I turned to leave. Jake was sitting there, waiting to speak to the professor. He grinned and raised his hand. A little baffled, I high-fived him. He declared, "That was awesome,"

"Oh whatever!" I laughed and scaled the auditorium stairs. "Of course I'm still a vegetarian."

Then I remembered how Lord Chaitanya as Nimai Pandit used to debate with the most esteemed scholars in all of India - and he would demolish the logic of each and every one. He would argue for one side, then defeat it, then argue again, then defeat it... And in the end, it was to show the world that logic was pretty much word jugglery. Pretty much pointless.

The only logic that works is spiritual logic. 

I'm not a vegetarian for health, economic, social, or convenience reasons. I'm a vegetarian because hey, God is compassionate and likes vegetarian food, and I can offer it to Him. 

Can't beat that.     

"The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician or theologian, unless the latter, too, be lovers in disguise."  - George Santayana

Friday, September 3, 2010


To write is to dare the soul. So write.