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Joseph Kaminski

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September 24, 2017

The Meaning of Life’s Existential Dilemma


What is meaning of life? That is the question that has haunting humanity since the very first primitive man developed a large scale frontal lobe. We as a species don’t like non-specified answers.

We don’t like being left in the dark, yet we’ll turn around and say ignorance is bliss. Our minds are hardwired to question everything; yet it seems as if our “souls” are hardwired to be stubborn, hesitant towards change or information that might discredit our own personal philosophy or god complex.

Many early men and women turned to religion. From animalistic spiritualism to dominant monotheistic cultures, theology managed to captivate the minds of intellectual thinkers towards the foundation of social creation.

The Theological Age, as its commonly referred to by the positivist thinkers, set the stage for prosperity through attempts to answer the world’s questions. That’s what religion is, if you think about it: mere attempts by man to credit all of man’s questions to a deity or supernatural, external force.

That’s why I, personally, don’t believe in religion. The institution of religion focuses too heavily on spreading concern for an afterlife or forcing socialized culture upon those of difference, rather than focusing on tweaking answers as our species becomes more and more intact with the world surrounding us.

We don’t understand life; thus we put imaginary answers to a question that plagues our information-seeking mind. And when we find ourselves mentally evolving with time, the stubbornness within us keep us from progression in a “spiritual sense”.

Let me briefly mention that I have absolutely no qualms with those who practice any religion. I have qualms with those who force religion down the throats of “non-believers” or “infidels” in a sense of self-accomplishment. I firmly believe in something rather just: religion is like a dick. You have one, that’s great! Now don’t whip it out in public and try to cram it down everyone’s throat as you move about on your daily life.

I mean, think of it. When you’re leaving the public library only to be yelled at by a man wearing a t-shirt that says “accept God or go to HELL”, you quickly realize the difference between freedom of speech and the overall socialized acceptance towards HATE speech.

Those door-to-door religious trespassers do no horrific wrong; or at least they try not to. They (for the most part) are simply following institutional orders: spread the faith to the names of men and women who have no part of it. Those radicalized extremists (from racist and homophobic Christians of KKK radicalism to jihadist ‘terrorists’ of Islamic fundamentalism to extremely Orthodox Jews that use violence to speak their words) are what push religion to the trashcan to me.

I personally don’t believe in a God. I don’t believe in a God just as I don’t believe in mythological creatures of Greek or Roman descent. I don’t believe in a God just as I don’t believe in haunted pictures or ancient aliens. The hypocritical and contradicting mindsets within fundamental religion itself turns me off.

I don’t believe that a universe was created by the hands of some external, supernatural, enlightened being or deity. I don’t necessarily believe in the scientific theories that flutter around, either. These theories have more evidence than a God-spoken, man-written tale; yet I don’t see reason to completely and 100% accept said theories as permanent truth when we gain more information with each passing day.

But why must we question the universe’s beginning? Why must we assume that there was a beginning to anything? Why can’t something, rather simply, have existed forever? Society seems eternally obsessed with beginning and end. I mean, every human has a birth and a death, so we subconsciously place this birth and death to the universe itself as well? Quantum equations predict that the universe had no beginning, but of course we must take all these with a grain of salt. Our interest with life, the creation of the universe we call home, and the meaning of everything goes so far to blind our perception of individualism. Why must there be a meaning to anything?

This form of nihilism is the idea that all meaning, and all values that come from said meaning, are without foundational merit. It is, by definition, the overall rejection of religious and moral principles; and with that comes the concept that life is meaningless. Questioning life itself and the universe that provides it is no matter of contemplative and theoretical thought, it’s the consequence of engagement and commitment to philosophical thought and reality.

Life and Nihilism
Nihilism can also take different forms. The belief that “knowledge is not possible” can perhaps be considered a flaw within the “theory to deny all theories”. It’s just interesting to consider this.

A man is born, and thus lives through his life. While living, the man meets other men – encountering himself over and over in different forms. That is our subconscious definition of social interaction, if you will. Being human is humanity’s major flaw: this situation of living mixes with our evolved sense of spirituality and wonder. We create an outlook on life in a rather pathetic and desperate attempt to discover the meaning of life. We, on both sides of this argument, attach ourselves to 3,000-year-old desert books or scientific theories in attempt to prove that our existence means something.

Why must our existence mean something? Religious thought dies with the preacher, lowered into the grave alongside him. What is meaning of life? That is the question that has haunting humanity since the very first primitive man developed a large scale frontal lobe. We as a species don’t like non-specified answers.

What capitalistic ventures follow us after our demise? The so-called Gods Among Men known as the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt merely lay with the treasures that they collected throughout their lives.

What purpose do we serve when we die? Think of all the other members of the animal kingdom – what good is a dead member of a herd? We don’t like that question very much.

We’d like to think of our dead and dying as “moving on” from something we cannot prove. We use it as an attempt to cope! Not only with the fact that we cannot prove the meaning of what we are, but also because we cannot prove what happens when we’re gone.

A single human is an atom within a grain of sand on an infinite beach. The entirety of mankind is a mere grain of sand. We, individually, craft our personal philosophy – how we perceive reality and what meaning we create for ourselves. Until we are united with theological thought, we remain isolated from the invented meanings of life and the universe itself. That’s why theology is rather geographical. The thoughts can only spread so far, thanks to the individuals within the institution itself.

I pose one final question to end my discussion on the existence of life.

Think of a world where every Sunday, the men and women of a society would get together to speak of science and history. If we would simply get together to have debates and discussions that were relevant to problems that worry us today. A world where different “factions” of this weekly get-together didn’t fight and argue with each other.

A world where the Dark Ages didn’t happen. A world where theology didn’t share a pedestal with science. One where history was used for recording and retelling our story for the whole world to understand.

Imagine if this weekly tradition happened for over a millennium. What could we have gotten done?

Just how much better would the world probably be if we did that rather than argue about 3,000-year-old traditions that were merely a foothold in the overall (and rather irrelevant) questioning of life?

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