It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve accomplished or what differences you’ve made in this lifetime. In the end, you and everyone else, along with every other existing thing, will eventually fade into non-existence. It’s inevitable. The size of the one’s grave really doesn’t matter, because someday the grave itself will no longer exist.
Unlike humanists, or religious people – I do not believe that human life is anything special or inherently meaningful. As humans, with our advanced consciousness and egos, we have this notion that our lives are somehow more ‘valuable’ than other non-human lives.
‘A human life is worth more than a plants life’ or ’10 human lives are worth more than 1000 dogs lives’ or some other statement like that. But why do people assign so much value to human lives? The humanists says its because humans have reason – that we are intelligent and provide good for the world. Yet when we look at human history all we see is a long list of violence, terror, murder and other destructive acts. Did you know that if the entire human species went extinct the earth would actually prosper – environmentally that is. Most of the problems plaguing our societies – such as poverty, crime, discrimination, warfare – all of these are human creations. Humans have done far more harm than good. Humans may be intelligent, and we may be artistic and reasonable and creative – but when you look at all the destruction and damage that humans do – its hard to think ‘well, even though we’ve destroyed this planet – at least we created some good music in the process!’
No, I do not believe that human lives are worth anything just because we can create art, or complex machines, or solve scientific problems regarding the workings of the universe.
The religious people usually say that human life has value because God has given it value, or some sort of spirit has given it value or some other notion like that. But once again I must argue that this is false – just another man-made fairy tale that tries to convince people that they are more important than non-human forms of life.
So, I disagree with both the religious and the secular humanists in regards to human life. Human life has no greater value than the life of a plant, or a bug, or any other animal or any other living thing.
Any ‘value’ that a human life has is a completely arbitrary creation and is more than likely subjective. After all, if a person had to choose between killing a stranger or killing their mother – chances are they would kill the stranger. Why though? Is the mothers life really more ‘valuable’ than the strangers? Maybe the stranger was a successful doctor who had a cure for cancer. Maybe the stranger had saved thousands of lives. In the end, it doesn’t matter what the stranger did, because a person will almost always kill him rather than their own mother.
And they’ll do this because the value of human life is subjective and man-made. Human lives have no inherent value. They have no value whatsoever actually. A human life is just like every other type of life on this planet – worthless in the long run and destined to fade away into non-existence.
Perhaps everything is superficial. Many times I’ve been praised for my ‘depth’ in regards to philosophy – how I go deep into the underlying concepts of things and penetrate beyond the surface – bringing a person into an area of thought that is deeper than than usual limit. But perhaps all my ‘depth’ is for nothing. Perhaps everything is superficial – and these ‘depths’ of mine are nothing more than an illusion created by my consciousness. Of all the ideas that bother me – this one bothers me the most. Perhaps our entire existence is simple – we live and die and there is no reason, no meaning, and no structure behind any of this. All this philosophy and psychology and aesthetics – perhaps they’re all just illusions that ones consciousness creates. Perhaps everything is superficial. Perhaps the ignorant and blissfully stupid people have lived life as it should be lived.
You don’t remember the beginning of a dream, and similarly you don’t remember the beginning of your life.
Perhaps both are the same then.
Consciousness makes us think that we have a purpose – that we’re important. That, because we are self-aware, this somehow must mean that this ‘self-awareness’ must serve some purpose. After all, if we are self-aware surely this must be because there is some high meaning or purpose that we can discover – right? But ask yourself this question – what if the universe is indifferent to your self-awareness? We ponder, and contemplate, and think about what our meaning in life is – and we do this because we have consciousness, because we are self-aware. We can’t help it – it’s just the way our brains work. We think and question the world around us – but that doesn’t mean the questions will have ‘answers’. It would appear that all meaning is itself subjective, or at least largely given value by a conscious human.
Thus, perhaps all our ‘deep’ and ‘philosophical’ questions are nothing more than a diversion to distract us from the inherently meaninglessness and indifferent universe we inhabit. We are conscious, and we realize how cruel and unfair the world is, and we are aware of our suffering, and we aware of our creativity – thus we formulate these questions, these religions, these so-called ‘answers’ and ‘hopes’ to try and tell ourselves that we have a purpose, that we have a meaning, that in the end everything will be worth it! But perhaps it wont – more than likely it wont. We exist and then we fade into non-existence. We are conscious, and we therefore are aware our position in a harsh universe. So we try to formulate ideas, concepts, and so on – we try to create ‘meaning’ and such. But these ‘deeper meanings’, these ‘inherent purposes’, these ‘important questions’ might be nothing more than figments of our imagination.
Every now and then – I find it somewhat cathartic to just say to myself ‘everything is meaningless, none of my ideas are valuable, everything I believe is a lie, and I have no purpose in this world’. Try it sometime – after a while it becomes liberating.
I exist – I am sure of that. After all, some say that ones existence may only be an illusion – but how can something nonexistent experience an illusion?
Our identity seems to be formed largely by words. Let’s say, for example, that humans had no verbal language. How would one form an identity? After all, our identity seems to be formed largely by words – we have a name, we have a word that designates our culture or ethnicity, we use words to describe our personalities and physical features. If someone told you to ‘describe yourself’ you would do it using words.
‘Identity’ itself is just a word. We think that we have an identity, but this ‘identity’ is just an abstract concept. Yes, it appears that our ‘identity’ is mostly formed by words. Without words, I wonder how we would describe ourselves – how we would view ourselves. A baby, for example, seems to lack an identity (because they do not know the words that are used to describe an identity). Likewise, a baby never worries about appearances, or existential themes, or its personality. However, a baby also lacks the understanding and consciousness to grasp these concepts but still – I cant help but think that, since a baby lacks the words to describe an identity, this baby doesn’t have an identity, and therefore the infant lives its life peacefully. We seem to worry so much about our identities – when in reality our identity consists of a bundle of abstract, superficial words that have no meaning except the meaning we give to them.