We as a species tend to think of ourselves as pretty special. We have mental abilities that far surpass those of any other creature on earth, and we have social structures that we can maintain without constant infighting or always resorting to violence and territorial squabbles. We have a natural tendency toward togetherness and community where each of us can be included as a part, and we have created governments and infrastructures to make our lives easier and more comfortable. We have the ability to think beyond the now, to plan ahead and to fit these plans into our concepts of what we want our futures to be. We also have a very acute sense of self, a consciousness of our own identities and the ability to extrapolate that sense of self onto others via empathy.
This really does make us unique in our world. No other animal on earth has these abilities to the degree that humans do.
But with this uniqueness comes the misguided belief that we, unlike any other animal on earth, are more deserving of our place in this universe, and are so special in fact that once we have shuffled off this mortal coil, that there is more out there for us, that our lives somehow are a precursor for the "main event" and that we are here on earth as a test to see if we are fit to continue onwards. We also have the tendency to think that there must be more to a human life than just being born, living and dying. This tendency to place ourselves above all else in the universe as not only unique, but as special, brings with it the audacity to selfishly think that each one of us is so important that there must be more than just one life. If humans as individuals are so important, then surely just one lifetime is not enough for us. There must be more.
I think one of the most pointless questions people have ever asked is the question of "What is the meaning of life?" or "What is the meaning of the universe?" These questions presuppose a few things:
1.Â Â That our existences as individuals are part of a "divine plan", that what we do here on earth is just a cog in a bigger wheel which strives toward some predetermined destiny.
2.Â Â That we as individuals are so important that our actions have been mapped out for us.
3.Â Â The idea of fate, and that no matter what we as individuals do, the outcome is always going to be what was intended by an unseen timeline of events.
4.Â Â Without the idea of "meaning" life is not worth living.
5.Â Â It implies that the universe is deterministic.
6.Â Â In order for there to be a "divine plan", there must be a "divine planner".
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