Friday, 12 May 2017

Some quotes by me

Various quotes I've made on facebook, sometimes after a few beers!

There's 2 possibilities:

a) This is the only life there is. When we die we simply cease to exist. Our lives and the Universe are, in a sense, ultimately absurd. In that case nothing we do ultimately matters. How much money we accumulate and our social status are transitory and ultimately unfulfilling, and in the end are to no avail since we all end up in the same boat -- namely eternal non-existence. I suggest instead we just live our lives, have a laugh, have a few drinks, be kind to others, but most importantly of all not to take life too seriously.

b) Or there is a "life after death", and perhaps an ultimate purpose to our existence and to all things. But if we continue to exist after death, why do we think what we achieve in this life is so terribly important? If there is some ultimate purpose to life, we don't know what it is, but presumably it will have nothing to do with how much money we accumulate and our social status. I suggest instead we just live our lives, have a laugh, have a few drinks, be kind to others, but most importantly of all not to take life too seriously.

 Nothing to do
I'm astonished to hear that many people -- if not indeed most people -- would find it profoundly boring not being in a full-time job as an employee. That they would have nothing to do all day. Indeed, many people claim that when they were unemployed they were sleeping 12 hours a day and were just depressed.

I have to say I find this utterly bizarre. So going for walks in the countryside; visiting museums; learning and becoming proficient in some subject and perhaps even becoming an expert; discussions on a variety of subjects on the Internet and elsewhere; reading novels; playing games; exercising; just simply thinking about reality and our place in it and what it all means; laying in a field in the warm bright sunshine in the arms of the one you love. And so on and so on and so on... None of this has any appeal? Peoples' only aim in life is to sell their labour to an employer? Nothing else in life is worth doing? Wow...

In the Future

I wonder what it will be like in the year 802,701? Or in the 111,394th Century approximately 11 million years from now? Will human beings be long gone? Will there still be complex life on Earth? Or will the Earth be wholly devoid of life due to some catastrophic event? Such an event will surely be very unlikely. Perhaps gigantic creatures like dinosaurs will exist then. I'll probably never know.
In a Million Years time

I was just thinking. Suppose we could go into the future exactly 1 million years from now. What would we see?

I would speculate that our technological civilisation will have disappeared and most probably that we will have become extinct and the Earth will have returned close to a pristine condition.

Will other life forms have evolved with limbs and something like opposable thumbs so they can manipulate their environment? Probably not, but maybe. But even if they did arise I doubt they would build a technological civilisation like ours.

The last human ever

I wonder who will be the very last human to ever live, what his/her life will be like, what his/her thoughts will be, and when this will occur.

We're all on a Train

We're all on this train. We do not know where our fellow passengers come from, nor even where we ourselves come from. Perhaps people just materialise out of nothingness, or perhaps people just don't remember. And we do not know where people will go when they finally get off the train. But we know we will finally get off at some point. To some strange destination, or to oblivion -- we do not know. Meanwhile the train and its inhabitants are our world -- the only world we know. Let's read, chat with our fellow passengers, play games. Something to do before we alight from the train to our new strange destination, or to oblivion.
What are we?

We find ourselves in this world not knowing what we are, who we are, or why we are here.  Are we are mere meat robots with no free will living out our purposeless lives in a purposeless Universe?  Or are we souls with an ultimate purpose to our existence -- a purpose which we cannot as of yet know, or possibly even comprehend. Worst of all we don't know what our ultimate destiny might be, whether it will be oblivion or whether it will be to ascend into some mysterious new reality.

In our day to day lives let's just be happy for the day and have a few pints of beer.

What's it all about?

Questions about what the world is, what we are, why we are here, what it all means, are questions we surely are all interested in. But most of us react angrily when people ask such questions. It's something most of us don't want to think about. Most people want to concentrate on the "real world" -- the practicalities of existence, the transient issues of the moment.

I have been told that people are not interested in such ultimate questions because they are concerned about the next meal and being able to make a living.  Yes, but questions about what we are, what the world is, are nevertheless questions which some of us will entertain no matter what our circumstances. They are perennial questions. Struggling for a living will perhaps necessitate that we cannot find time to pen such thoughts or even think about them too deeply, but they are there underneath the surface of existence nevertheless.

What's it all about eh? We find ourselves on the surface of a huge ball floating in the midst of an infinite sea of nothingness. And yet . . and yet . . people just live out their lives thinking exclusively about the mundane, being concerned about wearing the right clothes, and condemning those who think beyond everyday concerns...


Occupying my 13 year old body

I'm just wondering what it would be like if my soul travelled back in time and inhabited my 13 year old body? I'm guessing I'd lose my current intelligence, but yet retain my current memories as an adult. But if I do keep my memories, it seems I might understand more on, say, something like philosophical issues, than I originally did when I was 13. But I wouldn't understand as much as I do now.

The world of work

I don't really like the idea of a job where you're working for someone else from 9 to 5 and you don't find the work interesting at all, but find it dull and repetitious. The type of work where you occasionally look at your watch and hope 5pm soon comes round. And the weekend! Wishing our lives away. Then feeling gloomy on a Sunday evening as it's soon going to be the start of another week.

The thing is we live finite lives. Maybe there's a "life after death", and I think there is. But maybe I'm wrong and there isn't. But while we're healthy is it really a good idea to spend most of our daylight hours hoping that the evening and weekend will soon roll round?

There's making friends and the general camaraderie with work colleagues. And there's the issue that we all need to have money! But the point I'd like to make is that there seems to be something fundamentally wrong and unsatisfactory about this whole arrangement. Something fundamentally wrong about the way modern society works. Unsatisfactory and unfulfilling and ultimately dispiriting to our yearning souls.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Arguing with people

It's an extremely common tendency to try and justify one's position on any topic by seeking out those opponents who advance the most naive, the weakest and most ridiculous arguments. Or, when arguing with more thoughtful opponents, to attribute to them a more naive or simplistic position than the one they actually hold and attack that.

In addition, it seems that people often appear to deliberately avoid clarity and revel in being abstruse. My suspicion is they do this in order to give the impression of winning the argument. In reality though their words convey little, or indeed, any meaning.

It is admittedly very tempting to simply attack your weakest opponents. Or attack the weakest arguments against your position. Or to employ other underhanded strategies in order to "win". It's easy, requires little thought, makes you feel superior, and of course most importantly of all it garners support and admiration from those who share your sentiments and beliefs in the matter in hand.

These tactics might rally those who subscribe to your view, but do precious little . . nay . . nothing to justify your own position. If we're sincerely interested in the truth, then what is needed is to seek out those opponents who provide the most challenging and sophisticated arguments, and to address those specific arguments. If you can outargue them and even make them appear to be foolish, then you'll have some confidence that your position might possibly be correct.

Often it's extremely hard to decide what is the rational thing to believe.

It's extraordinarily difficult for most of us to decide what the truth is on many contentious issues. Will we witness catastrophic clima...

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