anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,
anotherlongshot
anotherlongshot

The only philosophical question.

I'm someone who's pretty convicted in her beliefs and ideals, and I'm so stubborn that close to nothing can make me question my own beliefs. And yet, every time I think I'm convinced that life is little but a senseless, random discrete occurrence of events, I come across something like this and I can't help but wonder, again.

Is it too much of a coincidence for someone to be at the scene of two completely unrelated shootings in two completely different countries in the span of one, two months? Of all the people that had to be in the food court, it had to be her; of all the people who had to have gone to the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, it had to be her; and this time, she wasn't so lucky. Of course, rationally speaking, there is no statistical basis to support a hypothesis that this incident wasn't a mere coincidence, or, put in a more direct way, that there is some form of larger force, loosely-named, at work here. I know it's a coincidence and that makes sense...

But how could someone be so unlucky twice? What were the odds? The manner of her death almost has a sense of inevitability, as if it was, in a way, destined.

Even as I write that, though, I am fully aware of how that makes absolutely no sense. Even I, a born-again atheist and rationalist, if you will, find irresistible the idea that some things are meant to be (whatever that means). It makes life seem more serious, more worthy of living; it gives added meaning to the things that happen to a person in his/her lifetime. A series of seemingly connected events suddenly lead to a major incident, and those preceding events feel like fate because of what happened afterwards. Isn't it a pretty cheap way of looking at it? In-hindsight analysis is necessarily flawed because hindsight vision is 20/20 based on things that have happened exactly the way they turned out. It doesn't allow for an analysis of what-if scenarios that is equally accurate - because you wouldn't know; you wouldn't have the benefit of knowing what has already happened to assess the alternate outcome; and therefore, when you do assess the alternate outcome, the analysis is necessarily weaker because it did not happen and you are without the benefit of hindsight, of the certainty that comes along with knowing how things have turned out.

Why should life be any more serious than it really is? It is, in all likelihood, a fantasy concocted by human beings so that we could feel better about things - about death, about our utter lack of control, the non-existence of this shit called "free will". It's nice to feel as if things happen for a reason, but I really don't think they do. Upon further thought, I really do think that Jessica Redfield was just that unlucky. One person does not a pattern make; life, sometimes, is just that cruel.

*

I've always thought it would be fun to have a daughter, a mini-me, because I'm that egoistic. When you really think about it, though, reproduction is pretty selfish. Why do people have children? The usual reasons are: to continue the family name; to spread one's seeds around for purposes that elude me; it feels like something that you should do when you reach a certain age; and to have someone take care of you in old age.

None of these reasons has anything to do with the unborn child. Barely anyone gets pregnant and think, "I want to pass on the gift of life to my child." Even if someone thinks that, barely anyone stops to consider whether life is actually a good thing, or whether it's actually cruel and unkind to inflict life on another person.

Life is a gift that nobody asked for. It is therefore our philosophical duty to examine its merits. I stole this from Julian Barnes, but he probably stole it from Albert Camus, who wrote about suicide being the only true philosophical question (and concluded against suicide). You receive an unsolicited gift - if you don't like it, chances are, you'd throw it away.

The same applies to life, does it not? If it doesn't, I humbly submit that it should. Why do we want to save ourselves from extinction? What have we done for the world - for planet Earth - that is so worthy of preservation? Call it human instinct, survival instinct, but there's probably no such thing as instinct; it's an indoctrination, a social construct, people telling you what to do, what's right and wrong. As a Literature student I found the concept of free will so enthralling and intrinsically true; but the more I experience life and read about philosophy's take on Literature's pedestrian understanding of concepts like free will, the more I find it to be a crock of shit. Your birth is inherently empty of free will; right from the start you have absolutely no choice in whether you even want to be born. You are here because your parents fucked and your mom gave birth 9 months later. In the light of such an absolutely meaningless, thoughtless and pretty senseless start to life, is it any wonder that some people would actually conclude that life is, gasp, a collection of random, discrete events, to which time gives an appearance of continuity?

Obviously, it took a huge event for me to wake up to these basic truths that most people are too afraid to admit. It's not sad or depressing; it's just the way it is. It's just the way it is, and you survive by trying to find some meaning out of the shit that you do, some form of validation, even though you know that at the end of your life, none of it would matter. I've always wanted to be in a position where I'd be able to leave a legacy, or to make an impact on history, and to be remembered a hundred years after I die.

But you see, that's also pointless - the human race won't live forever. At the very end of our existence, there would be no one left to remember the great individuals that lived throughout history.

In short, life is really just a long drawn-out, massive masturbation session. That's all there is to it.

*

I'm fucking tired.

Can't wait to watch The Dark Knight Rises. I re-watched TDK last Sunday and had some thoughts but I'm too tired to write about them now.

Sometimes I think I'm too smart for my own good. I think I'd be a happier person if I were a bit stupider. But then, I'd rather be depressed and smart than happy and stupid; I am nothing without my brains.
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