HDD Killers

Views On Life

Posted on Monday 30 January 2006

Assume for a second that there is no God, I’m sure some of you already realise believe this, but for those that still believe in God, assume that he doesn’t exist for a second. Now let me ask you, in the absence of an all powerful being, what is your reason for living?

In the film Equilibrium, the plot is that the governments of the world decided that war could be eliminated and peace would reign if humans didn’t have emotions. So some sort of drug was developed that would suppress all emotion in people. There are some rebels who do not take this drug and instead live underground. One of these rebels is captured and the main character goes to interview her. In that interview she says something like the following, “What is the reason for living if you can’t feel? Without emotion each breath is like a clock ticking, you live to reproduce so you can live, it’s circular.”

The implication is that the meaning of life can be found in the emotions. In other words, when you feel happy, it’s nice, and when you feel sad you strive to be happy again. I would equate this to be similar to training a dog, when it pisses on the carpet you rub it’s nose in it and it doesn’t like it, when you throw a ball and it fetches it you pet it and it’s happy. Positive stimulation for doing good things, negative stimulation for doing bad things. So what this theory boils down to is that nature (or if you prefer, God) has us well trained, we’re a slave to our emotions.

Leaving that point behind for a bit, I want to move on to another train of thought. It would seem that we exist to reproduce plain and simple, we’re born, and (in most cases) our parents bring us up and protect us from the big bad world until we’re ready to go into it, then (in most cases) we partner up with someone of the opposite sex and reproduce. This then is the same circular existance, it makes no difference whether we feel emotion or not because some day we will all die, but as far as nature is concerned, it doesn’t matter so long as there are people left to carry on existance and reproduce more.

So now we’re a slave to our emotions and we only exist to carry on existance. Now let me pose a question, what difference would it make if a huge meteor struck the Earth and all life were extinguished? We have very little effect on anything that’s not on Earth, sure we’ve been to the moon and back but that’s the astronomical equivalent of stepping onto your own doorstep and then going back in the house. So since we can only affect things that are on the Earth, if all life were wiped from it, there would be no-one left to care. The Universe wouldn’t exactly shed a tear over the loss.

So having covered the point that the entire human race collectively has a net worth of zero, what about individual people? Well, if the sum of all the parts is zero then all of the individual parts must also be worth nothing. Therefore as individuals we don’t matter. You may not agree with this assessment, so let me prove to you that you do actually agree with me. When was the last time that you got all broken up over some peasant who died sometime in the year 1400, or 1500, or 1600, it doesn’t really matter on the year. What about the death of someone who was important, like Queen Elizabeth the first? Can’t say that I really care she’s dead, can you? No, because it’s ancient history. And some day we’ll all be ancient history to someone else, and they won’t care about us. We won’t matter in the future so therefore we don’t matter now.

There is nothing the human race can do to increase the amount to which it is worth to the Universe, because the Universe is unaffected by us, whether we exist or not. Therefore no matter how heroic or self-sacrificing an individual is, that individual is still worthless. An interesting expansion of this idea is that no matter how evil someone is, they are still equally worthless. So doing evil deeds is perfectly acceptable when there is no God in the picture. In other words, when there is no-one watching, anything goes. Children seem to understand this concept very well, leave them alone for any length of time and sooner or later a fight will start because one of them will have taken something that the other child wanted. This also happens on a global scale when one country takes possession of something that another country wants, say for example … oil, and oh look, a fight starts.

Of course, if you do include God in the picture, everyone is born with a clean slate (ie: born worthless) and they have the potential to be good or evil. If they are good then their worth increases and when they die they go up, if they are evil their worth decreases and when they die they go down, or live their next thousand lives as a spider or whatever you believe in your particular religion.

So to sum up, if you believe in God then you’re sorted, all you have to do is be good and you get a nice cushy place to stay when you die. If, like me, you don’t believe in God, we’re also sorted because we don’t have to worry about eternal damnation after we die. However, I have a problem in that since I am worthless, no matter what I do, no matter what goals I achieve or problems I solve, in the end it’s all worthless. How’s that for a severe lack of motivation? It’s been plaguing me for some time and I can’t shake it, I can only see one way out, but I won’t go into that here.

Not only that, but try this, as we get older our bodies eventually start to fail, joints start to ache, organs work less efficiently, skin wrinkles up, we become more prone to illness, bones become brittle, the mind loses it’s quickness and dignity is lost when eventually we can no longer maintain control over our bowels. We all have that to look forward to, but that’s not all either, because in order to scrape out an existance, we have to work. In most cases, the work that we get employed to do we will not like, therefore we will spend a significant amount of hours each week doing things that we don’t like, simply in order to afford our own existance. So that’s a third of the time sleeping, a third of the time being bored at a place we don’t won’t to be at, just so that for the other third of our time we can do what we want to do. Then our bodies will begin to fail on us, but we will be required to stay in work until retiring age, (here it’s 65 for men and 60 for women), then we will be forced to collect a pension and live on a fraction of what we had when we were working.

Without God, nothing we do matters, life is a constant futile struggle, the end is never pretty and we are soon forgotten. Belief in God offers us purpose and goals to work towards, dignity in death and eternal life, no wonder people invented him.

    Monday 30th January 2006 | 2:53 am
    Neal V.'s Globally Recognised Avatar

    Well, if you chose not to believe in an afterlife, your life, right now, is what you should live for. I am unsure of an afterlife, but that has only pushed me more to enjoy the right here and now. Yes, biologically we are what we are because our species proved to be especially apt at reproducing and surviving long enough to reproduce. But regardless of how we got here, we are here and since we have the ability to enjoy, I entend to do as much of that as I can.

    I disagree on your point on the worth of people. Because worth is very much subjective. You know the old adage “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure”. It very much holds true. The sum accomplishments and failures are very, very much important to humans, but I don’t suppose it affects the sun much at all. However, as a musician, Les Paul’s life and accomplishments (the production of electric guitars) made a big impact on me and every rock musician’s life. So while your life might not affect the existance of life on a planet in a separate galaxy, it could have a very large impact on humans (and other life) living today or those that will. So you are worthless to who exactly? Because the lives of those you affect don’t view you as worthless, value is in the eye of the beholder, really.

    Monday 30th January 2006 | 3:00 am
    Neal V.'s Globally Recognised Avatar

    So having covered the point that the entire human race collectively has a net worth of zero, what about individual people? Well, if the sum of all the parts is zero then all of the individual parts must also be worth nothing.

    This reminds me of a quote, supposedly by Woody Allen:

    Socrates was mortal. All people are mortal. Therefore, all people are Socrates.

    Monday 30th January 2006 | 4:57 am
    David's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Yeah, there’s another one like that, goes something like, “Dogs have four legs, cats have four legs, therefore my cat is a dog.”

    But that’s not what I was saying. I’ll try and make myself a bit clearer. Imagine a sealed container, filled with some gas, helium for simplicity. The individual helium atoms represent people and the container represents the world. As the atoms fly around they occasionally come into contect with other atoms and interact with one another, these interactions represent the interactions with people you have throughout your life.

    Now if one atom is removed from the container, the internal pressure would decrease by a tiny fraction and overall, the internal situation would hardly change at all, it would be an almost immeasurable difference. In fact, thousands upon thousands of atoms could be removed with barely even the slightest change.

    However, from the outside of the container, it would appear as if there is no change, even if all the atoms were removed, what’s left is still a container. The situation inside the container would have changed drastically, it would be a vacuum, but from the outside there is no visible difference. Therefore, no matter what happens inside, from the outside it’s still the same, and nothing that happens inside matters.

    But, you’re saying that worth is calculated something like, worth = people that would miss you if you died * the amount that they miss you.

    (Or more accurately, worth = Σ1n ( personn * griefn ) )

    Fair enough, I don’t see any flaw with working it out that way, but the only time all of that raw emotion is displayed is after you’re dead, and by that time you’re not around to see it.

    Ben Rogers
    Monday 30th January 2006 | 8:24 pm
    Ben Rogers's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Angst much? This is a topic that bugs me constantly. Yes, we’re rather worthless, nothing I do matters. But that’s all I have, and frankly, I have nothing better to do, and I’m scared shitless that my logical mind is wrong, and that maybe there is a god, and I’m fucking myself But if youover every day. So, I choose to force myself to ignore all that, and do what I enjoy. Usually this is writing in a journal or whatever–stuff somewhat like this, but more rambling and incoherent–reading, drawing, trying to make things make sense to myself.

    If I die, I can’t do that. I hope to affect people. My goal in life is that somewhat I’ve never personally met will be affected by my death. Because, right now, no matter what I do, it won’t matter. I have nothing else to do, and since I believe I have the ability to achieve my own goal, I have to figure out how to do it without compromising myself. It’s useless, but it’s meaningful to me, and hopefully, eventually, to others.

    For all logical reasons, though, I agree with you. Sort of. However, if you commit suicide because it’s less bothersome than enduring existence, I’ll find a way to reanimate you and force you to scrub elderly people. THOROUGHLY.

    Tuesday 31st January 2006 | 2:32 am
    rhsunderground's Globally Recognised Avatar

    The key element to my stand on this topic is the fact that we are not celestial beings looking in on the great helium bottle that is Earth of today. We are the atoms floating around, and unlike most atomic particles that I know, humans have emotion, and thus we are affected by death. The affect differs by the both the person that died and the person that survived. In the universal scheme of things, Einstein may have been just another human pest, but perhaps his efforts will lead to humans being known in the universe. That means that he mattered. And as the chaos theory is welcome to point out, everyone that ever met or affected in some way Einstein or his ancestors and the people that affected those people and so on and so forth thus becomes indefinitely important to Einstein, so they all matter as well. By the chaos theory’s teachings, we all matter to everyone on the planet, because somehow someone I know knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who slept with someone who knows someone that knows the president of Russia, and through that relation chain I have affected his life, because if somehow that chain was broken, then perhaps he never becomes president and some other dick does and decides to nuke the hell out of the USA. That would affect everyone that isn’t a cockroach (Keith Richards excluded). What it all boils down to is that everything affects everything else.

    As for the job issue: if you get stuck in a shitty job that you don’t like then change jobs. I’m not sure of the current employment situation in Manchester, but I know that there are tons of jobs available here. Or maybe you could take what you do like and turn it into a job. What I’m trying to say is that the only thing keeping someone in a job they hate is him/herself.

    Ben Rogers
    Tuesday 31st January 2006 | 11:31 pm
    Ben Rogers's Globally Recognised Avatar

    I don’t think chaos theory exactly means self-fulfillment, Rizz. I disagree with you.

    Monday 19th June 2006 | 4:25 am
    dresdendolls2's Globally Recognised Avatar

    loved your post. same sorta stuff i believe, but you put it much more eloquently than i ever would have been able to.

    Monday 19th June 2006 | 7:49 pm
    David's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Thanks, I try.

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