Vampire Philosophy - Ontology of the Undead

As with my previous blog on this subject, I have been trying to work my way through the book "Zombies, Vampires, and Philosophy." After reading the first chapter I was derived a number of points which I covered in relation to issue #8 of I, Vampire. I was disappointed therefore that when I got to the next chapter dealing with vampires (quite a few only deal with zombies) that I was surprised to see most of the same points rehashed as previously. This is often the case in books which collect essays as the collaborators don't really collaborate. This essay (by Manuel Vargas) was titled "Dead Serious: Evil and the Ontology of the Undead." It presented what can be summarized as a scaled view of the undead from a more scientific approach. One of the arguments I disagree with, that as humans represent such a small fraction of life that it is therefore unlikely that the majority of the undead be human. This is analogous to for instance the disease of pox. While humans can get smallpox and die (though they have mostly eradicated this) there are numerous other pox, which affect cows, birds and mosquitoes (called mosquitopox.) I don't necessarily agree with this though. As mentioned previously, what makes the undead the undead is us as humans. There is an aspect of fear because we have created that fear from some of our primal urges. What makes most of the undead so creepy and scary in my opinion is that they have both souls (though this creates a problem of defining what a soul is) and because they can make their own decisions (that is if you believe in free will.) An undead tree or firefly is not going to pose as much harm, because they will go back to what they were doing before presumably. So I disagree in large part with this assertion by the author.

To tie this into I, Vampire though, what I do agree with is the opposite end of the author's scale. He asserts that if vampires are evil and if they are even born that way, that there would be no less of an impulse of them to want to reform than there would be for humans. Again this ties into the concept of what is a vampire? It is a fictional creation of humans meant to terrify us, and although the representation of the friendly vampire does not work so well with the literary history, fiction is after all open to the interpretation of any, and thus from a philosophical sense there is nothing wrong with a vampire struggling with their own morality, especially so if they were born as humans and understood the morality that we generally hold as a culture and in our civilizations. This is an excellent example of what both Andrew and Mary are. They used to be human, but they resist their natural impulses (sometimes) to be what they should be, instead of what they are.

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