THE PHILOSOPHY OF VICE
Silver Medal - Literary Titan Award May 2021
The idea of writing this book came to me many years ago, by simply analyzing the realities around me.
I noticed that practically every person has a vice. Except for Jesus Christ, I do not believe that there was ever a man on earth who did not have any vice. The simple acknowledgment of the fact that nobody is flawless, made me wonder: why do we have these vices? How can we win the battle against our own demons or at least calm them down? There are many kinds of vices, not just the ones we all know: food obsession, alcohol, and drug abuse, sex addiction. In addition to these weaknesses of humans, there are many others, such as envy, malice, greed, lust, or arrogance, to name only a few. They will be discussed in detail, later in this book. Generally speaking, it is agreed that everyone has a vice; some people may have even more than just one. While many of us realize the existence of vices in their life, others do not even think that some of their character traits are basically considered vices. To them, suffice it is to say: “This is how I am!”
I believe that being aware of our vices is the first step in correcting them.
I am a thinker, a visual artist, a poet, and an individual who loves philosophy and the questions that it makes you ask. I do not claim that this book is a treatise on philosophy. It is just a book in which I tried to explain from my point of view how vices influence someone’s inner self and how they relate to society, as a whole. I tried to enter into the philosophical examination of the vice itself and the way of relating it to the fundamental questions of philosophy; that's why I thought that the title "The philosophy of vice" is the most appropriate for the message I wanted to convey. It attempts to answer specific questions, but its main goal is to make the readers ask themselves certain questions.
The research of this book lasted 5 years and took me from North America to Europe, Israel, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. I met people with very different beliefs and habits. Discussing such a delicate and personal topic right at their homemade them feel at ease thus creating an environment conducive to my research. I will always be grateful to all the people (scholars and ordinary people) I have met in my travels. From each, I had something to learn and if I evolved a little on the scale of human understanding, it is also the fruit of my meetings with them.
While I was doing my research for this book, I came across many philosophical and religious interpretations related to the phenomenon of vice, from the Ancient Greek Era to the present-day writings.
What do philosophical books written 2000 years ago have in common with the ones that were written yesterday? The answer is The Questions! The thinking man always asks questions and looks for the answers. I found out that the most important thing for humans is to ask and search. The answer you will find matters less, and so does the scientific validity of your solution. Your query is the first step to your spiritual elevation. Knowledge is the second step on your way to enlightenment.
We may perhaps never get rid of vices. Conceivably, we do not even want that, or maybe it is not good to do that, either. However, we should try at least to reduce some of the most toxic and immoral vices that we have, especially those that darken our lives day by day, year by year.
I hope that you, The Reader, after reading this book will ask yourself questions about yourself, your vices, and what you can do to become a better person. If I succeed in my attempt to challenge you on this introspective journey, then I can say that I accomplished my goal.
This book is for those who want to understand more about themselves and the world surrounding them. I have tried to write it in simple language so that any reader without specialized training can understand its content. Those who are already well accustomed to the subject matter will realize that I have used for my research different materials, and I have interpreted them through the prism of the philosophical vision in relation to vice. A complete list of works and authors who inspired and guided me is attached at the end of this book.
I would like to thank Ms. Deborah Brown, professor at the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, University of Queensland, Australia. Her course “Philosophy and Critical Thinking” presented at www.edx.org was crucial for understanding critical thinking. I would also like to thank Ms. Karen L. King, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University. Her considerations regarding early Christianity presented in her course “Christianity Through Its Scriptures” taught on the HarvardX platform helped me understand how early Christianity relates to vices.
I would also like to thank all my friends worldwide, people who embrace different faiths and have different cultural and religious backgrounds.
I would like to thank the visual artists’ community in Canada, GTA, and Toronto. Special thanks to all members of the “Artusiasm” group, friends, and colleagues whose positive thoughts and great energy I always appreciated.
My book was published at www.amazon.com
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