Anyone who tells you there is meaning, any meaning, vague or specific, any purpose to life, is either brainwashed or trying to sell you something.
Be real. Life is, indeed, a phenomenon. It is ontology itself, by definition. However, this does not entail that there is any meaning or purpose to it. Quite to the contrary, it is fraught with basic anxieties in the whole need to whittle away the time in order to not go mental while we wear down the years that ravage our bodies and minds without mercy.
Spiritual folk look to a Higher Power. The more funky of us think aliens are going to give us enlightenment and answers. Both may answer a few questions. The truth is that even if you found such Being or beings, neither could take away the everyday realities of existence specific to humans.
It is ironic that at our advanced stage of technological science, that we are living increasingly meaningless lives, becoming more brutish, and, yet, living longer. In fact, we live such long, brutish and painful lives that we have introduced the right to die clauses in the constitution of many nations. Those that don’t have an assisted dying law practice methods of eugenics that range from crude to sophisticated; they are often uncontested as it is the elderly, the diseased, the disabled, the mentally-ill, the criminals, and the unborn who get snuffed. The only exception is that pro-life/anti-abortionists are active for the case of human fetuses, but whether they can honestly say that they care beyond the abstract principle of not killing is dubious, as no one protestor can attest to an attachment to something they can only see on grainy film. Other than the mother who might develop an attachment, the rest is theoretical until the baby is born. Besides, most of these same pro-lifers go on to various forms of abuse towards children, drive these children to delinquency and self-medication with street drugs and booze, lead them in a life of violence, only to incarcerate them out of “tough love”, and, ultimately, express desire to reinstate the death penalty. Hurrah! Aren’t we humans fearfully and wonderfully made?
We look to Nature for answers to our meaning to life. Another irony. Both Creationism and Evolution agree that we are the highest and most developed of creatures—so, why are we looking backwards? I am not referring to, the stars forbid, to question the legitimacy of animal welfare. Rather, I mean that we are not doing ourselves a favour in debasing our natural complexities to the level of lesser developed lifeforms. Science, in that sense, and theology in other ways, too, are based on speculation. Nobody knows anything for sure. Repeatable results only prove that something is repeatable. It doesn’t make the hypothesis and its conclusion indisputable truth, and it certainly tells us nothing normative. Theology deals in speculative directives, also unprovable. Nobody has proof that the dead contacted by mediums are only demons in disguise. Nobody knows what heaven is like since nobody has gone there and come back, and even when they supposedly had, such as the Apostle John, he was forbidden from speaking about it, and the mystical scroll was rolled back and sealed or swallowed or closed again. It was the same with the Apostle Paul. So, good luck Truthseekers and Mythbusters, alike.
Perhaps the only sure thing that probably a slew of philosophers before our generation have elucidated is that of personal, lived experience, and even then, it is only true to our filtered understanding. In other words, lived experience, or truth, is subjective and, hence, relative. That is a sad state of affairs, perhaps. And yet, good to finally know since we can all start on the same page…that is we all are in different proximities. There is no absolute truth or reality or rules.
What works for me may work for you if altered to suit your lived experience. Inalienable rights, advantageous to the survival of diversity in the human race, are couched in normative terms, and “seem” politically manufactured. Even if acceptable to most, they are instilled in us by socialized brainwashing and not personal experience and understanding. That is our mistake in pedagogy. Then again, if there is going to be social brainwashing, inalienable rights of all persons and life forms is probably the only one thing worthwhile brainwashing others into advocating.
When you start to question and investigate further, suddenly, we don’t know anything for sure. Suddenly, we’re fucked in the head. This is one reason why philosophy is mostly not harmless.
The one human gift that abides with me from childhood is the ability to appreciate abstract beauty. It could be in a measure in music, or in a literary turn of phrase. It could be as eternal a beauty as a wistful fairytale, or as fleeting as a comedian’s punchline. In any case, it is what gets me through the dreary days, while addicted to my phone, to YouTube, and to the mall wifi, and that whittles away at what has proven to be a life that is too long, and moments of beauty, too short.
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