My perspective on the world is ever-changing; this truth-seeking philosophy itself seems to be at odds with my fellow man.
I consistently feel frustrated or just bored with the philosophy I find in those around me. I’m on the lookout for new circles, or new cities, or just new friends who share a love of truth and philosophy, and who generally avoid savoring those pop-memes, naive as they are, of the reigning culture of the moment. I don’t feel smarter, or better – actually, often the opposite, which just enhances my annoyance. I merely think, “Why’s that?” and “How am I wrong?” when most people seem content just believing they are small demi-gods in a loving world. How utterly boring and untrue!
I have been wrong about most of my deeply-help philosophies. In fact most philosophies are wrong. Nature is complex and strange – humans are new on the scene, and trying to make sense of it all. It is good to change points of view, to think, to wonder. I’m looking for people who think for themselves, and desperately want to know: what is all this? what’s going on? how do I deal with my own impending asplosion?
Subject to change, but these are a few philosophies I currently hold to be true, and which I’m lately very “sure” about…
Atheist. I believe all holy superhuman entities of any kind, or indeed any purported non-human, non-animal intelligence to have been invented by man. I believe that nature and reality has created itself through evolution, and likely other processes humans are just barely starting to understand. I don’t completely discount the idea of a creator (some super-intelligent alien race from a previous universe or something) but I find it unlikely, somewhat unsatisfactory (in that it merely changes the question ‘where did the world come from?’ into ‘where did the world and its creator come from?’) and boring (the idea of a universe which creates itself through a layered evolution of physics is supremely interesting and beautiful. It would be hard to go back to this idea of an all-knowing overseer planning things out for us for….. some reason.)
Politically independent. I see modern politics approaching the intellectual realm of religion. It creates group-think, it dehumanizes those who disagree, and it creates a large sweeping mental lock-in: you must subscribe not only to one special issue, but a plethora of issues which are claimed to be related in one specific way, but, on pondering, are related in many diverse ways, or unrelated. I prefer to think for myself. I change my opinions on difficult issues often. I feel that some issues are often purported to be much more cut-and-dry than nature would ever dictate. Politics turns otherwise thinking, educated, secular people right back into self-righteous, cynical haters, soaking with group-think. We need more love in this world – the Beatles kind of love. Optimism for humanity. Affirmation and respect to people with different opinions. I see little of that in party politics.
Pro-human. I like humans – at least, the concept of human thought, rational intellect, philosophy, civilization, science, art, culture. I love human emotions, scars and flaws included. These things are the real source of truth and progress. I don’t subscribe to popular ideas of the sinful human, or the fall of man. I do not believe the earth is ‘overpopulated’ by human beings. I welcome each and every creative being who pops his or her goofy, giant head up. Humans are not anti-nature – they are part of nature, and so far in our region of space, the most interesting beings from nature’s canvas ever created. I loathe any harm to Earth’s incredible biology, but humans and human progress is still important. I do not think there is any impending doom in human progress – cultures and myths have always predicted this, and yet, things only get better. We fear Armageddon, instinctively, and yet, we tend to solve problems coming at us slowly but surely. I have faith in human beings to understand nature, to progress technologically and ethically. We have just come down from the trees. Give it a moment! A few thousand years…. we will solve environmental issues as we progress, find deep truths about nature, invent worthy and striking works of art and civilization which will only continue to astound. I also believe that optimism, in the Karl Popper sense, is the only rational outlook for humanity.
Anti-group-think. As much as I love people, I equally loathe them in tribes. Horrid, dark things happen when people joust for social order. Our chimpstincts kick back in. The political, the cool, the sexy gain power. The rest cling on to the philosophy of the tribe, hoping to fit in enough to survive. As animals, we need a general life philosophy for survival, as we need food for survival – but instead of the tasty meats roaming the far-reaches of the mountains, most people are content with the berries and droppings they find scattered closest to the cave in which they were born.
I am a “Nature Realist”. I do not see Mother Nature as peaceful, warm, and all-knowing, a chubby and rose-cheeked caretaker cradling her creatures in a garden of eden, but rather, as strange, humongous, hostile, bizarre, and profoundly, darkly beautiful, an insane, skinny, blind artist, torturing her plethora of magical creations until they do new tricks for her. I obsess over reading biology and physics. I love astronomy and quantum physics. I tire of everyone’s insistence of treating nature as entitled and magical, and humans as dirty and destructive. I get criticized often for being anti-nature for merely reporting the truth of the situation. We exist because of millions of years of death on a rare blue planet, in an uncaring universe which is here from a billion-year explosion, still taking place, possibly over trillions of years of physical evolution. The universe is mostly strange, dark and freezing, or violent and incredible, but always mind-blowing. I don’t need to invent stories or fake narratives – nature has already provided me with the deepest mysteries, the most profound beauty, the most interesting reality I could ever hope to be a part of. Amazing….
Pro-science. I dread a world where we give science back to the political, which is happening often, always. Beware any philosophy which treats skeptics of that philosophy as less than human, or stupid. Skeptics of any true science are welcomed, even applauded. Religions and political groups are the only ones which must defend against scrutiny. Science, the art of figuring out what the hell is going on around here, is the only reliable telescope with which to peer into the space of reality. I am specifically a naturalist – I believe in a reality outside of human thought, a real reality. Yes, I just said a real reality…. and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Pro-art. I see art as important and transcendental. I feel it has great value to the human race. I hope this value will be mirrored in resources as humans progress their awkward civilizations. I see music as objectively important and beautiful, although, meaning itself is a philosophical obstacle. Which brings me to:
I deny “good” and “evil”. I see ethics, aesthetics, and meaning as human-made, but nonetheless super important and valid and even objective in a certain sense. I do not believe in some intrinsic, universal right and wrong. For example, nature invented and perfected murder, but humans have decided to make it wrong in an ethical sense. That’s good, and logical. It works with progress, and keeps sentient, rare creatures alive and happier. These are all objectively good things, and its ok for humans to invent new modes of ethics, new laws and rules. We just need to avoid treating these things as universal, or somehow woven into the fabric of reality itself. This is not accurate, and leads to dehumanizing. Humans make right and wrong, and we invent meaning as we go, and this is amazing and precious. We should keep going, and try to find modes of philosophy which are congruent with reality and nature. But to call someone “evil” for killing, or similar, is stupid, backwards thinking. It goes contrary to instinct, but I believe that nature has absolutely no moral compass, aside from one simple philosophy: survive. This single philosophy has dictated each and every planet, sun, galaxy, flower and animal in our observable universe, with one notable exception: man (who follows this as well, but has also invented new ethical modes.)
Did you read this? I just kind of wrote it.
I’m suffering from Lyme. Its brutal. I’m “better”, but at this point…. I’m so paralyzed, so darkened and foggy, so exhausted, all the time that “better” isn’t exactly the term I’d use. The worst part is that the IDSA and CDC are spreading this nonsense about Lyme being auto-immune, or very rare, or the nonsense of hysterics, etc etc. Lyme is real, its brutal and life-changing, it destroys the central nervous system, and science has a long way to go. But its caused by pathogens. They aren’t so easy to kill as everyone wants to believe. Nature…… survives.