Thursday, 19 July 2012
The great Scheme of Things "Courtesy of Atrocity"
What are the consequences if human life as a whole, and yours in particular, has no discernable aim?
Does this mean that, since we would have no clue as to any end-point to which we should be working, we are therefore unable to judge which of our actions are right or wrong?
One solution, of course, is God, which supposes an overarching will and some human knowledge of it. The problem we have with that solution is that God seems only to make His revelations known through human intermediaries, and that's a very appealing open door to would-be practitioners of fraud.
So what else could be a guide? "Do whatever you think is best according to your own ideas." That is a possible solution, but I foresee a wake of blood with that because of the many psychopaths and sociopaths whose ideas regarding how to do what they consider best tend to lack community spirit.
How about: "Do what you will so long as it harms no one else."
Better, but wouldn't a community of pure individualists be no community at all? Wouldn't such a society lack the dimension of charity, and possibly even group endeavor, since most group endeavors require sacrifice? (Think of armed defense for example.)
Moral philosophy is, as far as I can see, the field within philosophy that shows the greatest promise, but it has at its heart, rather as mathematics has, a nasty, empty black hole. Consider this: if everything proceeds by cause and effect, and if we accept chaos theory's notion that small perturbations may end up adjusting the world at large in big ways, then every action that has taken place contributes to the future.
Now think about the world wars. They adjusted the world into what it is today. Moreover, they changed the very people who populate the world - my mother would never have met my father at exactly the right time to create me had not every last detail of the world wars taken place exactly as they did. This is as true for you as it is for me - whoever you are.
So you and I, and everyone else born after 1945, are only here courtesy of atrocity.