Today I was pondering the nature of existence. No biggie. Mostly because I woke up and shit and had to deal with it. What can I say? Being alive one more day is outside (mostly) of my direct control. And I’m too damn lazy to do anything differently. Like expend actual effort.
I decided to tackle this problem logically and treat it like a “proof” in the geometrical sense. Although I haven’t official “solved” anything yet, this is what I came up with so far…
Assumption: I exist.
I’m pretty convinced this one is true. If not, the pondering ends here because, frankly, if I don’t exist then I’m not likely to give a flying crap if you do, either. But I’m pretty sure I can do things like manipulate electrons in the physical universe, have thoughts, etc. I find that evidence to be compelling.
Assumption: You exist.
I’m sold on this idea, too, but perhaps not quite to the same degree of certainty. But I find it more logical that you actually exist rather than everything I’ve ever experienced is some kind of whopper of an illusion. To believe something that extreme I’d need an extra-large tinfoil hat. This is a case decided by Occam’s Razor.
Assumption: I feel pain.
Oh yeah. Hella. Been there, done that. There are many kinds of pain. There’s the daily omnipresent dull throb that never goes away that you simply get used to like background noise. But there is also the intense focused pain that can make you almost immediately bang your head against a wall and beg to be killed. I’m more than satisfied this pain shit is real.
Assumption: You feel pain.
On this I can only take your word for it. I’m not inside your head so I’ll never really know for sure. Can one person ever really know the thoughts of another? No. But I do know this: If you are real, there are times you can sure act like you’re in pain. In the shortage of a better theory, I really have no reason to believe otherwise.
Now things get a little dicey. What do I do with these truths? All kinds of people have come up with all kinds of different responses. And I’m not here to say which is right, which is wrong, and which of them suck more than others.
What I do believe is pretty simple. I exist and I don’t like pain. I make an assumption that other things that exist more often than not have a similar attitude towards pain. (The exact amount is unknown to me. Some people appear to get off on it.)
My response takes the truths and shapes them into a desire to not feel pain and, as much as possible, not be responsible for causing it in others.
After that there are way too many variables for my tiny brain to juggle. Believe in a god? Not believe in a god? Tell other people what they can and can’t do? Say I know with certainty what is best for beings besides myself? To me that seems pretty dang arrogant when dealing with higher level truths that humans can’t prove.
Of course, my conclusions could all be faulty. Or any or all of the four things above that I decided were true could be false. It might even be that no such thing as truth even exists. Maybe truth is sitting around right now deciding if it can feel pain or if I really exist? It could happen.
I’ll keep at this and let you know if I figure anything else out.
P.S. No drug use was involved in the creation of this post.