Beliefs, Models, Analogies: Part Three
“On meaning of life and personal direction”…
Life has no meaning or priori. Before you come alive, life is nothing; it’s up to you to give it a meaning and value is nothing else but the meaning that you choose.
Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
Critique of Dialectiacal Reason (Volume One), Sartre
All human actions (are said) to have one or more of these causes:
The challenge (it seems), for humans is to identify what one is exhibiting at any given time and to understand how it affects ones actions/state/mindset/situation.
A Dose of Sanity: Part Seven
No set of commandments is self-authorizing. It cannot tell us why we should follow it, rather than some other set. Of course, it would be no help to add an Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Follow Commandments since the same question would arise about that commandment.
In the same way, no voice of moral authority is self-authenticating. We are the ones who must discern whether it is a voice to be trusted. Moral thinking is like that. No one else can do it for you.
Sometimes it is said that human life is valuable because we are made in the image of God. But we have no idea what the image of God looks like, except as reflected in the things we find valuable in human beings, like imagination or self-awareness. It is not that we find life to have worth because we believe we are made in the image of God, but rather that we believe we are made in the image of God because we find life to have worth.
No one can ignore the importance of Judeo-Christian values to the history of Western cultures, and no one can deny that faith is a source of virtue for many people. However, in the evolution of humanity, religion arose after the capacity for reason and empathy….the conscience. And in determining which values are best, we have no alternative but to rely on conscience.
This is the secular message: Ethics comes from below, not above. It is a message that reaches out to believers as well as atheists—and everyone in between.
To Be Or Not To Be
Have Your Soul Cards Ready For Inspection Upon Entry
Should other species be regarded as human?
In 1779 it was proposed by a man (Lord Monboddo) that orangutans should be. His research, observations and work with these animals uncovered the facts that orangutans walk upright, use weapons, form societies, build shelters, and behave with dignity and composure. In short, they exhibit most of the same behaviours that we, the human animal species do.
While mocked for his ideas about the species, he is not the only one to forward the notion that orangutans are and should indeed be reclassified as “humans”.
Today, a Harvard legal scholar, Steven M. Wise argues that orangutans, as well as chimpanzees, bonobos, elephants, parrots, dolphins, and gorillas deserve legal person-hood.
In his reasoning, Wise argues that it was ancient philosophers/religious (hand in hand at that time) thinking that claimed that all nonhuman animals had been designed and placed on this earth for human beings, and it was also ancient jurists whom declared that law had been created just for human beings.
So it seems when one looks at this issue of so called “human-ship”, the real question one must ask oneself is…
What does the essence of a human consists of, and what it is that distinguishes a “natural human” from the “human of art”?
To me, the answer (or denial thereof) lies in the arrogance of the human species…. and religion. If one were to look at philosophy and science, being they have the ability to evolve and grow in ways religion and our arrogance don’t, both areas of study (if still not shrouded in religious ideology or self ego) have long since recanted these ideas of animal servitude to the human species. So if there is indeed a “separation of church and state”, as is so many times espoused (especially in western cultures/countries), then why has the law not? (could it be there is no such thing in reality as persons cannot just seperate their thought in the way we are told in most western societies we do. Could it be that no matter how many “laws” one has decrying the seperation, one cannot legislate our own personal thinking?)
It seems in many ways we come back to one of the great questions of existence (for humans)… the question of …why are we here and what is the meaning of our existence…?
Many will claim it is due to the existence of what we call a “soul”… but then, can anyone really say for an absolute that such an entity exists? And furthermore, can we really say (beyond our own arrogance as a species) that other animals do not have one? I can recall children being told (in movies, in books, and in my own personal experience), that their dog, cat, hamster (and the like) had gone to their respective “heavens”. Is all of this one of those harmless lies we as a species tell each other everyday in an attempt to shelter another from pain and hardship or “reality”, or is this a lie of arrogance we tell ourselves? Indeed, has anyone ever actually died and came back to tell us of the many different doors to the different heavens there are, or are we really so egotistical that we actually believe that all other things on this planet are “dead” inside?
Religious ideologies and self ego aside, if one were to look at the basic, practices, habits and rituals of us (the human species) and other animals on this planet (like the orangutans), it seems to me that one would have no question in their mind as to the legitimate reasoning of their “person-ship”. Indeed I have travelled to Borneo myself and observed orangutans for many hours and I can honestly say that if they are not “humans” then I don’t know whom is.
… so then why are we so greedy with the term?
We use the term animal as a degrading notion, telling each other to stop acting as such when we are out of control, not listening, being crazy, and the like. But it seems to me, WE are the animal that is out of control in many ways. In our spending, our consumption, our notions of living for the day and never thinking to the future generations, our disregard for the world that we live in. The animals that have the control are the ones we see as less than us. They live in the cycle of existence in a balance that works for the entire system of ALL life. Not like us, the one that lives above and beyond it. the ones that constantly tell ourselves OUR reason, OUR soul and OUR… everything… makes US the superior animal.
It seems the time has come for us as a species to let go a bit of this (self important) notion of being the only ones on this planet that could possibly have any power in any way.
And besides, all you people whom argue the whole soul thing, think about your own pets and animals you like. Would it not be nice to have some of them in your “heaven”
….or maybe they are just magically transported there to please you in the afterlife
…. slaves to our arrogance in life, slaves to our arrogance in death.
Sadly it seems the ones whom are the real slaves…are us.
Human beings have so much capacity. So much promise and so much hope…
So why do we squander our opportunities?
It is funny this thing we call reason. It is, perhaps (next to language) our greatest asset… but also our biggest deficit. It is the thing that gives us so much… our science, our art, our culture, our technology, our communities… our life. But it also gives us the other as well (you know the ones we try and deny). It gives us our fears, our anger, our insecurity, our unwillingness (or inability) to open our eyes, to see others in a way that is not like us, to be able to (at least try) and understand (even if it is only from within us), ALL this world of human thinking has to offer.
Imagination has sparked the renaissance, the enlightenment, the information age (and yes, all the negative as well). It has given us the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, the Dubai Tower. Classical music, contemporary art, galaxy exploring telescopes.
Imagination has taken us from those caves so many thousands of years ago, and catapulted us to where we are today….
But still we squander our real opportunities. We let our imaginations bog us down in labels, groups, and small thoughts. In short… we stifle one of the things that helps us to continue to evolve.
So your angry? What now?
Feel lost? How come?
What if you were never born?
Is writing a form of self therapy?
Today makes me?
Why are you putting it off?
When was the last time you?
………………………….don’t be held back by your own imagination. So many other things in life we have designed to do that for us.
Good Intention Photos that make me think…. well wait a minute
Yes, everything happens for a reason… like war, hunger, poverty, rape, suppression, (the list goes on and on).
When I hear people say this phrase, it makes me wonder if they are saying it because they don’t know how to deal with the situation they are facing, they are asked about something they cannot explain (and so use this as a simple response in that…”aaaaahhh, I understand it is beyond me right now” sort of way), or if they are really naive to the fact that many things happen because WE (the human species) cause them. Human creations (of thought) like greed, want, power. Things that we can control within ourselves (remember that thing we have called reason? It seems a bit different from that otherworldly for a reason spin we put on it). I understand the idea of what people mean when they say this, and yes, everything does happen for a reason (in logical terms of the idea), but to just say it and not look at the REAL reasons for what occurred seems to limit ones self (and our species) in many ways. It is like we are washing our hands of a situation “well everything happens for a reason so….”
The road to understanding is enlightenment.
The road to enlightenment is openness
The road to openness is (reallying) seeing
The road to seeing is (not always) what we would like it to be.
Understanding that things are not always “for a reason” does not make you an pessimist, it shows your on the road.
Please, just stick to your day job (and even then I don’t particularly want to hear you)…..
Canadian boy wonder “the Bieber” waxing philosophical and taking on the big important issues (no, not Usher or his hair)….
“I really don’t believe in abortion,” Bieber says. “It’s like killing a baby?” How about in cases of rape? “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”
…..insight that blows my mind…..