The Post-Truth World

Are we living in a world of “Alternative Facts”?

Is truth plain and simple?

No, not anymore, it’s abused and distorted now.

Some people say, there is NO truth, only OPINIONS!

The free press is exposing more and more of what goes on in the corridors of power, making us aware of how much we are deceived!

The World of Post-Truth is characterised by lots of mis-information and politicians that have no shame.

 

Lets define Post-Truth–objective, hard facts are not used in the shaping of public opinion.

Appeals are made to the emotions which are more potent.

Fake news and outright lies!

There was once TRUTH, but the powers that be have abandoned it in favour of fake facts and lies that appeal to people’s emotional biases.

Post-Truth is embedded in humans. For centuries fiction was spread about the world. No one questioned the factual truth of the Bible.

People are used to fictions to explain things.

 

When a thousand people believe in something for one month, that’s fake news.

When a couple of billion believe it for thousands of years, that’s religion.

 

The good that came out of Biblical fictions is that humans became more compassionate, courageous and creative.

Politicians know that if you stick to the truth, few people will follow you. It’s a sad story!

Humans prefer POWER to TRUTH.

We spend far more time and effort on trying to control things as trying to understand things.

But even when we understand things, we only do so because we hope through understanding, the world will be easier to control!

 

What are the things that characterise a Post-Truth world?

People tend to be too credulous, believing almost anything that is repeated enough.

Also, some tend to be too cautious, disregarding evidence and expert opinion.

These tendencies emerge when emotions are aroused.

People tend to TRUST powerful people less in a Post-Truth world.

 

What is to be done to eliminate fake news?

We need to cultivate better ideas and habits.

Better leaders are needed who don’t gloss over the truth.

We need an environment and educational system that teaches cautious scepticism and open mindedness. Also people should analyse things closer to uncover the facts.

 

What dissolves the fictions we believe?

Science shows us, constantly, much of what we think about the world is false.

Also, the world has shrunk through globalisation and we wonder what we think in our culture is so, or just emotional bias in our area.

 

What is the effect of this Post-Truth era?

People feel like they cannot distinguish truth from lies, so they choose leaders on more emotional factors.

We’ve lost trust in our intellect, so we go with our gut feelings instead.

Authoritive Truths–There are many areas of life that we don’t know much about so we defer to the authority of experts. But some charlatans pretend to be experts.

Who to trust?

Do we trust our gut or expert opinion.

It’s a balance of our judgements and the expertise of others.

We have to analyse the evidence so as to take care of whom we grant authority to and on what basis.

 

Truths that are likely to be understood by only a small number of people with specialised knowledge is called esoteric truth. Another form of esoteric truth is truth that is hidden.

Conspiracy theories arise because people believe the truth has been hidden.

 

Are people today governed by reason and truth?

No, because this is the era of fake, post-truth.

 

What are Empirical Truths?

These are truths based on observation and experience alone.

They have no regard for theory.

But experience alone leaves us with uncertainty.

So Empirical Truth is always open to scrutiny, revision and rejection.

 

What can we use as a GUIDE TO THE TRUTH?

Think for yourself and do the research.

Be sceptical.

Ask questions, especially of people in power, such as:

Who benefits from this version of the “truth”?

 

So, in conclusion:

When you are wandering through the maze of knowledge, you will find many isms, such as   idealism, pragmatism, scepticism, etc.

If you invent your own “ism” you might become famous!!!

Remember that TRUTH is liable to CHANGE!

Truth is conditional and conditions change.

Collect observations as they pass through your present moments.

Just maybe you will stumble on a new truth OR POST-TRUTH!!!

Philosophical Frankenstein

It’s remarkable how much philosophy, psychology and social science you can glean from a ¬† Horror story!

Short Summary of the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:

Scientist Victor Frankenstein, whose god is science, wants to give life to a being like himself, only more perfect.

However, his creation is NOT the perfect specimen he imagined, BUT and ugly creature that he rejects and so does mankind.

The monster resents being rejected by everybody and with no help from his creator, he seeks revenge through killing and terror.

 

What are the philosophical themes?

Tampering with nature, taking no responsibility for your creation and the need for love and nurturing so as to survive in a rough world.

Frankenstein was obsessed with the need to create life.

He took on the role of God.

He had the desire to break scientific boundaries.

 

Frankenstein is a cautionary tale for the Present.

Scientists today need to take proper treatment of the organisms they create. They need to be supervised by monitoring agencies.

Frankenstein is a tale of ethics concerning scientific research in the fields of life extension, cloning and artificial intelligence.

 

Frankenstein should have nurtured his creation with love.

He should of given his creation a name and welcomed him into the world. Things would have turned out different if he took responsibility.

Was Frankenstein’s monster evil or just a victim of his creator’s ineptness?

Some say, there is good and there is evil, there is no gray area.

But life isn’t that tidy!

Life experience involves mixing and blending of characteristics.

Shelley, in writing her story, draws on the idea that people are born good and evil comes later, the result of the corruption that society inflicts.

The monster, at the start, is a decent, helpful, innocent and naive person.

But when he is rejected by his creator and society, he is forced to live in isolation.

He becomes evil because of his circumstances.

If corrupt society is the source of evil, you will have to put in place the right kind of society to reduce the chances of evil.

What is the right kind of society???

 

Frankenstein also has some Freudian connections:

The Id represents the primal demands and needs of humans.

For Frankenstein, he has the need to create that ends up with a monster.

This is his Id at work.

There is always the conflict between the creator and the created, which is the conflict between the Ego and the Id.

The monster represents the Id and Frankenstein, the creator, has a responsibility to give some sense of conscience, or Ego, upon his creation.

The conflict between Ego and Id feeds Frankenstein’s repulsion to the monster to the point that he can’t stand the sight of his own creation.

So the Id is the fall of both Frankenstein and his monster.

So there can be a mixture of good and evil in human nature.

THE DEBATE GOES ON…

What is the Worst Scenario That Could Happen?

I hope this subject isn’t too pessimistic, but…

What would it mean if a global disaster wiped out all but 2% of the world’s population?

That would leave about 1,400,000 people!

Well, that would be much better than wiping out 100%.

Total destruction would be the worst scenario that could happen.

2% survival is a better scenario.

WHY?

Because the population left could continue to progress in science, art and future discoveries.

Saving 2% would be great because humans are what makes this world unique!

So, a world with humans is far richer than a world without humans.

YES, definitely.

Would it be so bad if the remainder of the people, through scientific advancement, started cloning humans?There would only be a gender difference (men and women).

Otherwise people would differ only with regard to their inner moral character so judgements would have a less superficial basis than before.

The cloning would mean people would have a greater regard for each other.

Also, cultural diversity would disappear and there would be no more conflict or injustice arising from nationality.

Some people think cloning humans would be a global worst scenario.

 

Lets look at the Pros and Cons:

Would it be so wrong to produce a cloned human?

Some would say: A person has the right to a genetically unique nature and they also have the right to an open future.

Would it bother you if there was another you roaming around?

Is uniqueness so important?

No one is against twins!

As far as an open future –you would have it because your inner character would be different.

Elimination of defective genes would be an important Pro.

Cloned children wouldn’t suffer from genetic diseases.

Increased chances of producing healthy people by cloning healthy human cells.

Cloning would change the world in a positive way.

You could clone people with high intellect so the clone would offer potential benefits to others.

Cure disorders by cloning perfectly compatible organs.

Cloned organ banks would save people who otherwise would die.

Organs would be available immediately.

Cons:

Faster Aging–Older cells are used for cloning which might create premature aging.

Reduced Individuality–A human clone is a brand new set of life with unique preferences, but would we lose individuality?

Not necessarily, just because a clone would have the ability to be intellectual, doesn’t mean they have to be.

Cloning interferes with nature–Cloning is an artificial process and things could go wrong, a life could be altered or changed negatively.

In conclusion:

So, human extinction would be a terrible loss in science, art, literature, technology and medicine plus all the wonders of human greatness.

But the 2% that survived could start from scratch, so to speak, but they would have scientific knowledge already.

So, the 1,400,000 left after the disaster would produce a…

BRAVE NEW WORLD, with intelligent clones!!!

Will Civilization Collapse?

Years ago you used to see doom-mongers with “the end is nigh” written on their sandwich boards.

These predictions usually were based on interpretations of the Bible.

BUT we are still here!

Now scientists and politicians are warning that civilisation might be heading for a tipping point, due to poor world leadership, social unrest, population expansion, climate change, depletion of resources and inequality.

This scenario is scarier than a Frankenstein movie!

When will civilization collapse?

According to the Powers That Be–It has already started!

It might totally collapse in 40 to 50 years if we don’t do something to turn things around.

In the meantime society is getting restless!

How does social unrest start?

The population expands, supply of labour is more than is needed so it becomes cheap. Wealthy elites stick together and living standards of the lower class fall. Society becomes more UNEQUAL. The infighting between these groups starts social unrest.

Do we resist change?

Yes. When inequality and resource depletion meet they cause collapse–they fuel each other.

The ‘haves”are protected by their wealth from resource depletion for longer than the “have-nots” and so there is resistance to a change of strategy until it is too late.

The gap between the richest 1% and everyone else has been growing since the financial collapse of 2008.

How did the 2008 financial crisis occur?

In 2006 house prices began to fall and so the deregulated banks allowed people to take out mortgages for 100% of the value of a new house.

Deregulated banks started trading profitable securities worldwide which were mortgage backed.

People reneged on their 100% loans, so the securities lost value and the banks panicked when they had to absorb the losses. They, then, stopped landing to each other.

Government bank bailouts started.

An economic stimulus package was started, tax cuts and public works spending put money back into the economy.

The outcome: The realisation that banks couldn’t regulate themselves.

Can we avoid another global financial crisis?

Financial crisis is one of the stages of COLLAPSE.

Why do collapses happen?

Financial crisis-see 2008 collapse.

Climate change–when the stability of the climate changes it results in crop failures, floods and droughts.

Environmental Collapse–people start to cut down trees (deforestation), pollution from over use of fossil fuels.

Cars, planes and industry increase carbon emissions.

Poor World Leadership–leaders that tend to wait and see instead of finding solutions now. Political will is lacking.

Inequality–the gap between rich and poor drives social unrest which handicaps a societies ability to respond to the problems, ecological, social and economic.

Resource Depletion–oil will run out someday soon but the world relies heavily on fossil fuels.

Deforestation and Artic ice melts are continuing.

Rivers are drying up so future water shortages will develop.

Wars might be fought over water!

Overpopulation–will collapse the world’s food supply.

Crop failures cause by climate change–overfishing of the oceans which are getting polluted.

If we keep adding billions of people we will exceed the carrying capacity of the planet.

More people tends to create more pollution.

 

Well, my friends, that is what collapse looks like.

It may take years or decades, BUT it is already set in motion! People feel hopeless!

Is there hope? What to do?

We lack the knowledge of HOW TO LIVE!

Our original form of human social organisation was TRIBALISM, which didn’t have any impact on the environment.

The problems listed above are motivated and justified on the thinking that we humans can do what we please–we can build, dam up, extract, cut down, pollute as much as we want, shaping the world to our desires.

Maybe, during this collapsing process, we can start from scratch.

Can we learn from the hunter-gatherers?

They knew how to live so they didn’t ruin their environment on which they depended on for survival?

I think we have to simplify life:

Go into the garden and read nature’s signs.

Do things yourself–start a veg garden and feed yourself.

Retreat to the countryside, inhale fresh air, feel the sun on your face and let go.

Be a modern day hunter-gatherer.

 

We have to make the best of our situation and use the opportunity to create something better.

Step back to go forward OR in other words:

GO BACK TO THE FUTURE!!!

Man vs Nature

Do you feel man is superior over all other species?

Of course you do.

Our species has been to the moon and back!

How do we compare with other species?

Darwin’s work proved that humans evolved from monkeys.

The major difference between us is brain size, in other words, intellect.

Humans are good at inventing things and being creative.

How smart are we?

Was creating the atomic bomb really such a good idea?

Evidence is that humans are to blame for global warming, melting ice caps and rising sea levels, plus pollution.

Which means millions of people and other species could perish.

ARE WE SO CLEVER AFTER ALL?

Is man or nature best for looking after balancing life support systems on our planet?

This is the Great Debate.

Man’s dominion was backed up by the inventing of guns and gunpowder.

Then came transport linking up continents using ships to transport goods.

Man was doing great things!

Then in 1800 something happened–POPULATION EXPLOSION!!!

Despite wars, disease and natural disasters, the world’s population rose to one billion people!

What did Thomas Malthus, the economist, say about this?

He predicted disaster!

With the population explosion there would NOT be enough food to sustain human life.

Nature would have to take over producing disease, famine and starvation until balance was restored.

This shocked the World!

What happened next, how did the World respond?

Malthus’s predictions became a challenge to the creative minds of Europe and America to make sure they didn’t come true and man could break free from Nature’s limitations.

So what did the minds of the World come up with?

Britain found coal under the ground to replace wood burning.

BUT the World still relied on wind and water power.

In other words, energy came directly from natural processes. Nature was still king!

Then steam was perfected with the steam engine. This machine didn’t rely on the earth’s natural forces.

The steam engine could pull a wagon without the help of gravity, wind or water.

All it needed was the raw materials of the earth itself, such as coal, oil and gas.

By burning coal in an oxygenated atmosphere water could be heated in a high pressure container to produce an independent source of power.

Then the railroads were built.

After steam power came electricity.

Then mass production of products in factories followed.

Now man and nature were in competition for the earth’s finite resources.

Nature needed them for sustaining habitats and species.

Man needed them to keep the machines going to maintain a lifestyle for the people.

Man made materials, such as rubber and plastics, were on the rise.

So these advances were made without regard for nature or other forms of life.

What problems did all this progress create?

The man made materials have NO place or function in the natural eco systems.

Nature’s products degrade and decay over time.

But man’s products create waste and clog up the earth’s environment.

What has this to do with population increase?

Man’s manipulation of nature has led to population boom.

Better farming methods produce more food.

Better health and hygiene (vaccinations and drugs).

Motorized power and insecticides help the boom.

Today the population grows by approximately 211,000 everyday!!!

What will the future bring?

In the next 30 years the earth’s population is expected to be almost 10 billion!

Right now there is enough food grown to feed 10 billion people.

BUT the food is NOT evenly distributed, that’s why the Third World countries are hungry.

The other problem is food waste.

Most developing countries don’t have refrigerated warehouses and trucks.

So lots of food spoils fast.

What are the negative effects of population growth?

More infrastructure is needed in developing countries.

Undernurishment do to lack of food, which lowers productivity and poverty emerges.

Poverty breeds large numbers of children which increases poverty further–a vicious cycle.

The the overall consequence of population growth is to lower standards of living.

 

In conclusion:

Man’s intervention stopped Nature from having her way and keeping things under control!

 

The Grim Reaper Looks Different When You’re Old

Life is comprised of misfortune and suffering as well as pleasure.

In life we hope there will be an even balance between pleasure and pain.

So, on our good days, we are unconscious of the evil fate may have in store for us–sickness, loss, sadness, or loss of reason.

In youth we look forward to our coming life, we are like kids in a theatre before the curtain is lifted, sitting, feeling good, waiting for life to begin.

It is a blessing we don’t know what is coming our way.

If we foresaw it, it would be like the kids were condemned, NOT to death, but to life!!!

 

Nevertheless, every man desires to reach old age, a state of life where it may be said:

It is bad today, and it will be worse tomorrow, and so on, until the worst of all happens!

Life is a task to be done, in death it means that man has done his task.

It is a bad situation when you are faced with a future that can only get worse in the throes of old age.

 

Now, lets turn to some OPTIMISM in old age.

Death looks different in old age!

In old age, hopefully, the life force is strong and death looks different, less scary.

Most old people can’t escape illness but they live with it.

They don’t let it overwhelm them and ruin the time that is left.

Part of life is aging. Dying is the biological process that happens only at the end of all that LIVING.

Our ageist society combines aging and death into one.

That’s not right, aging is concerned with life.

 

Every old person struggles to come to terms with death.

In our youth oriented society we tie aging to death.

We project our fears on the oldies.

But the old can and do, to a great extent, adapt to their circumstances.

 

As I move into my eighties I become less uneasy about death.

None of us wants to die in pain, but we’re not afraid.

People project their terror of death onto the aged.

But to an oldie, life goes on in death’s shadow!

Oldies are aware that time is short but it doesn’t fill them with dread.

It makes people spend their time more wisely.

Oldies give priority to relationships and spend time doing things that are satisfying to them.

When you’re young and striving for success, the future can be oppressive.

So, for the oldie, we are relieved of the burden of the future. We savour the moment.

There is NO present if there is NO ending!

Oldies live in the moment because we know time is running out and we don’t want to waste our time.

 

As I go into my eighties, I realise that somewhere along the line there is a STOP.

That’s it!

So you decide to live life to the fullest.

REMEMBER: THE GRIM REAPER LOOKS DIFFERENT IN OLD AGE!!!

 

Good Leaders Are Needed NOW!!!

Do you remember the story of the Lord of the Flies?

It was a novel by William Golding about a group of boys stranded on an island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves.

Democratic rules of civilisation vs Autocratic savagery.

In the novel two different types of leaders emerge…

Ralph-represents civilisation. He was elected by the boys in a democratic vote.

He wants to implement rules by which to live.

 

Jack-represents autocratic savagery.

He put himself up as the leader who has absolute power, who takes no account of the other boy’s wishes or opinions.

 

The theme of the novel is the conflict between two opposing instincts in humans.

The instinct to live by the rules and act peacefully and value the good of the group.

OR, gratify ones immediate desires and act violently to obtain supremacy and enforce one’s will.

Everything was going good under Ralph.

But then, Jack imposed his will and put himself up as an autocratic leader.

Everything collapsed under Jack!

 

So, I’m going to talk about the need for Good Political Leaders for World Survival!

The world is full of aspiring political leaders, but sadly, very few live up to the leadership ideals.

In fact, many political leaders lack some of the most important leadership qualities, such as integrity and accountability.

Political leaders are vitally important–through the authority of government they assess the distribution of power and resources, build relationships with other countries and leaders, and make decisions that have a great impact on the well-being of a nation.

Good leadership requires a focus on the long-term good of the country, above any personal short-term gains.

They need to assess a situation and make a decision based on what would be best for the greatest number of people.

What is very important in a leader?

STATESMANSHIP–THIS MEANS HAVING THE INTEGRITY AND WILLINGNESS TO STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT.

 

What makes a good political leader?

Someone with good communication and interpersonal skills, who can work with others to achieve the greatest good for the population.

Someone with a strong character.

Someone who listens to the needs of the people.

Someone with the courage to say what needs to be said.

Someone who is willing to make difficult decisions for the greater good.

Anybody come to mind???

 

A good leader must have a style that focuses on building and doesn’t use manipulation to get what they want but uses inspiration and motivation.

Sometimes they might have to use coercion and negotiation, but in the end they use persuasion.

A key quality is taking Responsibility.

Accountability is crucial to effective leadership, without it there will be NO respect from followers.

A good leader is someone who will be honest and responsible for their actions and decisions and who is willing to admit mistakes.

They will focus their energies and time on representing the people rather than spending time covering their backs and criticising others.

GOOD LEADERS ARE CRUCIAL TO THE SURVIVAL OF CIVILISATION!

AMEN!

Addicted, Obsessed Or Dependent On Digital Gadgets, Is This The Future?

The other day I was walking on a crowded pavement and I noticed everybody was glued to their phones except me.

There was one zombie headed straight for me, so I bumped into him.

He looked up with a blank expression and continued on.

I bumped into another one, he gave me an angry look like I was interrupting his obsession.

Other zombies just look at you with a bored look and don’t even say they are sorry.

What’s the world coming to???

 

The world is feeling the effects of the intense environment of instant communication.

Are you unable to do without your smartphone for even a few hours?

That’s an ADDICTION!

Screen culture is a world of sound bites, gossip tidbits and news headlines–ideas that don’t stand alone, they are interlinked to everything else.

What is this doing to people’s minds?

The addicted have to stay plugged in for fear of missing something!

This is the life of being constantly connected which is the norm today.

 

It’s NOT all bad. The internet carries and distributes a lot of information. It can bring us data on anything.

It is the basis of our financial, health and education systems.

This is a dream world our ancestors never experienced.

But humanity still seems in a state of pain, injustice, prejudice, abuse and general unhappiness!

SOMEHOW WE HAVE BECOME THE VICTIMS OF OUR TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES.

The state if being withdrawn or isolated from the objective world is having a bad effect on our mental health!

We shouldn’t moan about technology, but develop self-control, like we do with other temptations in life.

The public is addicted to their smartphones and this makes some people depressed and anxious.

The need for instant connection to others is a need we can’t control.

We spend more time on social media trying to connect with others digitally but we spend less time interacting face-to-face.

 

So, people have to learn how to self-regulate this device in their hands.

Lets talk a bit about the importance of face-to-face communication.

Some people can go an entire day without actually interacting with others!

They rely on emails, texting and social media.

Digital communication tends to be impersonal.

 

Advantages of face-to-face communication:

First is Non-Verbal Clues.

You can read a person’s body language to see if they’re interested or not in what you are saying.

Next is Effectiveness–emailing and texting back and forth is less effective than getting your ideas over to someone in one go–face-to-face.

Face-to-face creates a personal touch to your communication.

It also builds relationships, it builds a bond between people.

And lastly, your information retains confidentiality through face-to-face in a private setting.

 

Face-to-face is still the most efficient way of communicating between people because it’s personal and you can get a direct response from the other person.

It’s not enough to just say the words, we need eye contact, body language and facial expressions to communicate our feelings.

Face-to-face is the best way of communicating because you can avoid misunderstandings that may occur in writing.

Too much digital attention is the cause of a shallow, scattered mindset especially in the young.

So lets learn some self-control over our digital world.

 

In the meantime…here comes another glassy-eyed zombie headed straight for me.

GET OUT OF THE WAY YOU DIGITAL SLEEPWALKER!!!

 

The Ethics of Vegetarianism and Entertainment

While checking out the philosophy in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, I uncovered two philosophical questions that are brought up in the novel.

They are:

Is it alright to eat animals?

What is acceptable as entertainment?

We will look at Vegetarianism first:

Arthur, the main character in the novel, questions the ethics of animal eating when he is confronted by a cow!

He is an omnivore and he never before contemplated the case for vegetarianism.

We don’t usually think about our modes of behaviour, whether they are morally right or wrong.

Do we wear clothes that are made in a sweet shop in a third world country?

Is that wrong?

Well, eating meat is another behaviour that not many of us consider.

If we thought about the morality of our actions constantly we wouldn’t have time to enjoy our own lives!!!

Some people feel animals exist for eating, for human sustenance.

Vegetarians object to the slaughtering of animals for human consumption.

Some have a humorous outlook that killing an animal deprives it of its long term pleasant existence.

Do you know any animals that have long term plans or projects?

No. Well then, their deaths aren’t like human deaths, are they?

The vegetarians abhor the pain and suffering animals are put through before they end up on our plates.

Are animals devoid of mental life?

Of course, you say. Animals don’t think about death like we do.

But we know they do feel pain because most have a central nervous system.

What are your thoughts on vegetarianism?

Myself, I enjoy a juicy T-bone steak!

 

Now, lets turn to entertainment:

What is acceptable entertainment? No violence. Mild violence or extreme violence.

There are several passages of violent entertainment in the Galaxy of the Hitchhiker’s.

What is violent entertainment?

Tarantino movies? The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

This is fictional violence.

Violence is defined as the physical force that causes injury or damage to a person or property.

Is it acceptable to read or watch moderate to severe fictional violence as “Mere Entertainment”?

 

Let us now turn to the objections to violent entertainment.

The first objection is the idea of Character Corruption.

Does a diet of violent entertainment desensitise a person?

Does violent entertainment cause violent, aggressive behaviour?

The second objection is that real people suffer from violence, so then is enjoyment of violent entertainment decadent?

Does it contribute to moral and cultural decline?

The third objection is the “Viciousness Objection”.

If a person reads or watches about a vicious violent act, should this feel repugnant to the person or is it entertainment?

Why should the person who enjoys fictional violence be said to lack sensitivity or compassion?

Maybe such enjoyment requires the person to suspend his compassionate attitudes.

Or does one’s enjoyment of fictional violence make one desensitised to actual violence?

That would mean that it would corrupt the person.

 

There is another objection and it is called the “Cognitive Failure Objection.

This entails a moral failing, a failure to realise the nature of violence, for example, that violence hurts and causes damage.

 

The last point to make is the violence in comedy.

Remember the old cartoons? They used slapstick violence, poking each other in the eye, or hitting someone over the head with a frying. pan–this trivialised violence.

I enjoyed:

The Three Stooges

Laurel and Hardy

The Marx Brothers

This is slapstick comedy violence at its best!

Let me know your thoughts.

 

Mortality or Immortality

Which has the most meaning in life, considering the absurdity of it all?

Lets take a close look at this before your mind gets boggled!

We know religion promises eternal life but lets leave that aside, especially if you’re a non-believer.

But, we mere mortals, who have a finite life, and who try to create meaning for ourselves, and who don’t believe in religion, we ask the question, “What’s the meaning of life?’, over and over again!!!

Us mortals endeavour to be part of something that transcends our biological existence, such as having children or creating works that last past our demise.

This makes us feel MORE than mortal!

There is another question floating around:

“Would you be BORED if you were immortal?”

Some future-minded scientists predict that in a 100 years or so medical science will be able to STOP the aging process!

Would humans be bored with a radical life extension, or indeed, living forever?

Would there be meaning in immortality?

Note that life extension does not imply COMPLETE immortality.

There still would be some traumatic deaths and accidents.

So there would always be some uncertainty about death!

With future technology advancing at break neck speed we probably would never get bored. Our engagement with life would go to new heights!

 

I am in the midst of analysing the philosophy found in the novel:

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

In the novel the character called, “Wowbagger” has immortality given to him.

To begin with it was wonderful, taking risks and having non-stop fun.

Then things got a little boring for him. He got tired of going to other people’s funerals and smiling!

So, he conceived the purpose of insulting everyone in the universe and that would keep him busy and never be bored.

So, Wowbagger found meaning in immortality.

 

What about the finite human life? Can we find meaning or is there always the threat of meaninglessness?

We all have things we want to do, projects to finish. The problem is death. The fact is we have many things we want to do and only a finite amount of time to do them before we die.

If we were immortal we would be free from time pressure.

We would have all kinds of time for many, many projects.

But, being mortal, all our good works tend to be wiped out after our death.

Hence, what’s the point?

We struggle with the question of a meaningful life but is this struggle absurd because of our insignificance in the whole scheme of things?

The human condition is absurd because we seek inherent value and meaning in life but we fail to find any in a chaotic, meaningless world.

We can only embrace our existence and meet absurdity with defiance.

 

Example of absurdity in everyday life:

Get up in the morning, take train to work, four hours work then lunch then four more hours work, take train home, have dinner and go to bed. Monday through Friday- all at the same rhythm. One day, the “WHY” of it all overcomes us and we see the absurdity of life.

Do our lives serve some real purpose?

Or are we just inconsequential specks in the world?

But we still seek some sort of meaning because we cannot stop wanting CLARITY AND COMPASSION AND MEANING from the world, it’s built into our nature.

Why let the question of meaning torture us? Maybe we should ignore the question.

Maybe life itself can restore the balance that has been made chaotic by our continuing questioning.

I will sum up my 81 year old thoughts now:

“I’m old and tired and I’ll probably never find out what is really going on. So the only thing to do is to say the “hell with it” and just keep writing blogs.”