View Single Post
Old 2008-01-14, 08:14   Link #7
Feeling comfy
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 43
Originally Posted by Bornsatin
Does the human life carry any essential value?
I agree with Vexx, an interesting thread. You've approached a classically existentialist question in a rather unusual way. I can't quite tell what inspired your particular chain of "metaphysical" ideas, but I strongly suggest that you read up on existentialist philosophy to help shape your thoughts.

To answer your first question directly, I'll first assume that you're essentially agnostic. In the first place, no self-respecting theist would have suggested the premises you have proposed. To be sure, your ideas sound rather heretical from an existentialist viewpoint as well.

From there, I'll tell you quite simply what I believe: essence precedes meaning. We are hurled into existence (Kierkegaard), not out of any prior choice nor with any accompanying instructions. And for as long as we live, we'll never really know why we came into existence in the first place.

Meaning comes later, as an act of Will. Through our will, we impose meaning on our surroundings (Schopenhaur). We detect patterns, interpret signs, in the vain-glorious hope of making some sense out of our transient existence. That's one reason why artistic experession is the noblest form of human endeavour - it is a conscious act of human will, to impose order on our lives, and to create beauty in the process (Schopenhaur, and to a certain extent, Nietzsche). Beauty makes our otherwise miserable existence tolerable.

I have no idea where you derived your "metaphysical relativity" from. It sounds a bit like a very confused interpretation of Taoist dualism. Without a clear understanding of your context, it's rather difficult to comment further on what you've suggested. If you ask me, it sounds like a sure recipe for suicidal depression.

Very simply, life matters, because this is the only one existence you'll ever have. No second chances. No after-life to look forward to. You die, that's it. You become nothing.

What remains are the memories that people have of you. You don't have to be famous, unless you want to. All it takes is for at least one person who cares to remember you. The Great Gatsby had at least one true friend to see him off at his funeral. It was a pathetic way to go, but at least he wasn't completely forgotten.

So, in this sense, at least one part of your ideas sound reasonable. Yes, it's true that part of the value of a human life is made up of the relationships he forms.

But you can't ignore the idea that all human lives have intrinsic value. It's utterly depressing to think it doesn't. I mean, if that were so, what's stopping you from jumping off a cliff right now?

So, yeah, live long and prosper. Don't think too hard.
TinyRedLeaf is offline   Reply With Quote