Okay, no part deux

March 21, 2006

Instead… My father and I had a great thick philosophical discussion over the vacation. My sister and I hold very humanistic individualistic as well as collectivistic beliefs while my dad is spiritual and monotheistic but unlike myself he values the heirarchical authority/power/control schema of “God.” That people “should believe in something greater than themselves.” It sort of got a little heated when he was talking about community and decisiveness and when he said, “[so your belief system is] all about you.” and then referenced ego and the “pleasure principle” (think Freud and the Id). Then continued to ask questions about purpose and wondering whether or not my beliefs had anything do with the rest of the world (instead of beliefs being just about me).

I’ll admit I got a little offended and suspicious about what he was trying to do and why he was asking these specific questions about my beliefs being individualistic. Was he eventually trying to get me to say my beliefs are selfish? That I’m egocentric, self-centered (which he oftens suggest I become more of)? Why? Because I don’t value the idea that moral codes which work for me should not necessarily be applied globally? I fundamentally do not believe that what believe should be the beliefs of others. They are my beliefs, which I formed, through my experiences. So it seems fallacious to apply a belief system, which is catered specifically to/for me, to anyone else. Anyways…. I was mainly intrigued by his other questions. He was asking me what I thought the “purpose” of suffering is, what the “point” of negative emotions were and so on. I could give any number of answers to those questions but why do those concepts need “purposes” and “points” to them? People ask what is the ‘meaning’ of life, ‘reason’ for existence.. etc.

At my time in my life, now, I don’t believe that those concepts must have purposes to them. I’ve often felt certain questions which are raised by religions and early philosophy were completely pointless and unnecessary. For instance, the question of the meaning of life or even the existence of God are questions which don’t have answers. It’s not something conclusive or universally accurate. And even if they were conclusive and universally accepted.. it’d STILL be pointless and life as we currently experience would not dramatically change for the better or the worse. People, right now, think they have the scientific evidence for God’s existence.. AND the evidence which disproves his existence. Either way, their knowledge doesn’t and hasn’t influenced the world. David Hume essentially disproved 99% of all metaphysics the same way. The world, as I see it, is chaotically beautiful and there is no one way to view the world. Quite frankly, our language has proven itself time and time again to being inadequate. There is not one perception of the world, of humanity, of spirituality and the universe which is complete or accurate. And in the very, very, end… I have no belief or faith in “beliefs.” I suppose I would much rather have knowledge of facts than “best guess” beliefs. Woo-hoo nihilism and amoralism and agnosticism.

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