The Final Question

Essay Published 27 Jun, 2019 · 1418 Words

If life is meaningless then why should we even continue to live it? The question of existence is a question that many of whom who have had a period of emotional turmoil, depression or a very uncontrollable mind have very much likely asked. These types of questions are not only present for the melodramatic but for the intensely curious as well. First of all, we all know from within that we exist, but is it really true that we exist, how can we ever precisely know that we exist? Or what if our senses are deceiving us? The doubt of existence has been a prevailing suspension of belief by many intellectuals of both the past and the present. Since the day we started to question the validity of our senses, this existential question has been a power horse in the existential crisis. As our senses are very easily fooled, and the information gathered is very easily interpreted by our brain in the uttermost imaginative ways at times where there is a lack of data to conclude with, it is not surprising that we can be easily deceived by fragments and fantasies conjured by our natural imagination. Humans determine existence from the feelings we feel and from the fact that we can feel. Our senses are the gateway to the outside world, it is through them that we could even comprehend the existence of an exterior world other than the interior consciousness. It is on the validity of such senses that the world is based and it is because of their inaccuracies that science now resorts to math and mechanical instruments for many detailed measurements. As Rene Descartes once said, “Cogito ergo sum - I think, therefore I exist”, he discovered the only thing that he cannot ever doubt. What he cannot doubt is that he is doubting. Essentially, I exist if I doubt that I exist. My doubt that I exist proves that I exist, for I must exist to be able to doubt. Therefore, I cannot doubt that I exist. However, the question that arises when one is definite ‘I exist’, is, “why do ‘I’ exist?”. The primal purpose of both non-intelligent and intelligent life (even if there is a difference or not) is to reproduce and spread. This is the reason why we nurture and produce offspring. Biological reproduction is the ultimate goal of life from a biological perspective of the world. Animals have very different traits that ensure the production of offspring: for example, survival, we survive so that we could exist until we can spread and contribute to our gene pool. But for what reason? If this is the ultimate purpose, then why did life evolve intelligence? – as it is evident that even non-intelligent life is perfectly able to survive for vast amounts of time and still be able to dominate without building kingdoms and inventing materialistic objects. This finally leads to the existential question, of why life even exists in the first place. Because from our present knowledge about the world, there is no cosmic reason for why life should exist at all because how can a reason exist if all its purpose is to reproduce and propagate? Simply there is no reason for it to have existed for a reason as to why it should exist further. Because, even if life existed, what is its purpose of it? There is no cosmic good or bad to contribute to, there is no hidden reason as to why we should reproduce and nurture children, hell if we go further, there is no reason to let life exist into the future as well. No matter what the question is one must accept that life does indeed exist (though for no reason at all) and will continue to exist (also for no reason at all). Cultures, religions, and society will continue to blindly promote existence as some Godly incarnation of fortune and blessing, but that does not in any way change the fact that such promotions are just delusions in themselves while in comparison to the reality of the universe we inhabit; if there is no reason for life to exist why should it even be considered worthwhile. As this essay continuously surfaces, the philosophical perspective drawn upon here is of the school of nihilism (nihil in Latin means nothing at all, and nihilism is an extreme form of scepticism), which understands that both life and the vast cosmic monstrosity we call the universe has no meaning and even the fact that nothing has no meaning, has no meaning. If nothing matters then, even the realization that nothing matters doesn’t matter; the point is that there is no point. When we think about the meaning of everything by technically stripping off all the human emotional tendencies and biases (the absurdities) which guide us in ways that our primal instincts force us to follow, which is the path of least resistance - and questioning the purposelessness of life in a biological sense is highly resistive against the naturalist fundamentals that govern our ways of life. One of which is the instinct of survival. We, humans, have developed a great many techniques that account for our survival. And that’s aided by a constant strive for self-comfort and power. Power is the fundamental drive for control over the behaviour of both humanity and the natural and artificial surroundings. thrive for the order of their desire. To have the upper hand. To be the alpha. All the while on the other hand it is the brain’s reward system that is responsible for all the positive, dopamine-filled pleasure reactions we react to. The primal purpose of the pleasure system is to reward the body for doing actions that our brain thinks are good for us by making a decision based on our sensory input. And the conscious mind is drawn to that subconscious cue cos of the pleasure it comes with. It is the best organism control method in the world. Not controlled by fear or pain but pleasure itself. In Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World, he crafted a totalitarian regime made of pure pleasure, and the citizens are fully influenced by it. Because of it, the state can control the people like Muppets cos what’s there to stop it? No opposition is willing to give up pleasure for hardship. The result is quite obvious a totalitarian government with total domination by an illusion of happiness based upon a false abstraction of happiness. Humans crave pleasure which is why we even do the things we do in the first place. So once we get a taste of it we never want to go out of it again. Even in the knowledge of pleasure is imminent and only disillusionment, almost no one listened as we are hogging dopamine addicts. When tasting the full flavour of the pleasure system one can never assume a way out into a world of pain and hardship. Nevertheless, we find that there is no meaning that exists to be found even though the utter human yearning for meaning still exists. No matter how much was convinced of the lack of it, yet we continue to search for it, hoping we’ll find something in return. This simply is a paradox; the complex paradox of absurdism. The great human delusion is not some conspiracy run by the Catholic church or by a corrupted government or the Illuminati per se. But a limitation that has been inbuilt into the human condition throughout millions of years of evolution. This suspension of mind from the reality is one of the key factors in keeping us sane. From a biological perspective, the thought of meaninglessness developing in the mind of the animal is a counter to even the basic fundamentals that the human animal is built for. Reproduction. One who understands the inevitability of life understands the reasons for the cravings and fantasies of the mind. Realise that even love, the fundamental quality that deeply binds the infinite bond that ties humans too is just an illusion that exists for a purely biological necessity. Coming to such a purely rational conclusion is quite harmful for the regeneration of a particular species, therefore we have inbuilt subconscious mechanisms which ensure the elimination (or thinning) of a possibility of ending up as a critique of the meaning of life itself. Some of these mechanisms are built right into the social systems we inhabit - as the social paradigms we live upon were not created by some ancient extraterrestrial civilization but by the familiar mere mortals for themselves.

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