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A ramble regarding philosophy...

Updated on April 13, 2011

What happens next?

Whilst walking around earlier, I thought to myself that science has a series of laws that stop certain actions, and that prevent certain things from happening. I cannot, for example, jump off a sky-scraper and expect to live. This is a fact, and has been backed up by evidence and examples.
The reason as to why they would be killed, is in scientific terms, due to gravity, and the G-Forces as a result of the gravity pulling the person towards the ground. Not to be too graphic.
Some people of certain religious backgrounds believe it is because it is their time to continue to the afterlife, and this is the method of the god's choosing. And some people believe that this happens due to fate.

A great man once said, "Nothing is certain, apart from death." and another also said, "The good die young."
What happens after though? When a person has passed away, what happens then? Some people believe that they go on to an eternal after-life in bliss or agony. And science says, well. Nothing.
But that can't be. How can it? How can, after this life has been fulfilled, nothing happen? An eternity of black darkness? Surely something will happen after.

I should mention at this point, I am at no point religious, etc. But I am contemplative about our fate, not just as humans, but as a species. 
I do believe science, but in reality it's ideology for the future is bleak, not only does it say as human individuals we're condemned to an eternal darkness when we go south, the human race itself is set to be obliterated by the sun. In fact the entire universe will eventually become a barren expanse of nothing!

What is real, and what is unreal?

On GTA IV, I can steal a car, rob a shop, kill a street vender, buy then murder a prostitute and have an epic shoot-out with the police, all before breakfast. Of course, this is not real, however it is science that allows us to do this. By some form of logic, this makes it real.
Yet in the real world, we don't steal, kill or use prostitutes, etc. This behaviour is wrong. We know this, and as a result we don't commit it. Yet doing this on an electronic medium is okay, because we perceive the difference between what is real, and what is unreal, and know that in reality, our actions will not have consequences as it's just a video game.
All other forms of logic tell us this is unreal. It doesn't exist in a world we call reality.

However, an apple or a chair for example are real, and these do exist by all forms of logic in our minds. If I throw the chair, it will have consequences, and it will cause damage. 

Take the film The Matrix for a case in point. In this film, our reality is nothing more than a computer programme. And everything is largely make-believe, just like the GTA IV game. However we live within the programme. Everything around us is the programme. To us it is real, but it is actually fake. If I throw the chair, in my mind it'll have consequences, but in reality it will not. It'd be like living life as a Sim.
Now, I'm not suggesting that our existence is the make-up of a computer programme, however if it was would we know? What evidence would suggest that it's not? If the answer is lots, what's the evidence to state that this 'evidence' isn't created to stop us from finding out?
Maybe the reality isn't a computer programme, but a higher power, or fate.

In the end, you can't prove what is real by just kicking it and seeing what happens. In an age where we can re-create sex, and create clones of animals, the line between what is real, and unreal may be becoming more blurred.

Do we have a fate?

What about fate? Is our life determined entirely by our choices and decisions, and chance. Or is it set out to run in a course pre-set before we are born? If that is the case, all the numbers in the lottery would be pre-set, and every spontaneous decision you make, every random occurrence, every anomaly was going to happen, no matter what, and there is no way to stop it. You'd be living a life which isn't your own.

If life is based entirely upon chance, well, what's the certainty in anything? Not even death would be entirely certain. "Aha!" You may think, "But death comes to us all!", but does it? Scientists have found so many cures for so many diseases in the past, someone is bound to find a cure for death in the end, unlikely as it may seem. 
And the whole "Finding a cure for dying of natural causes" isn't something I've just made up either, it's on the internet, seriously.
So far, our lives have been entirely based upon chance; apparently. We, by chance, became the first sperm to reach the egg. We, by chance, survived birth, and by chance we were born into countries where access to the internet is easy.

If I flip a coin, chance tells me, it could land either side. Fate says, the outcome was always going to happen.

Do we perhaps have a fate where every decision we make is final, although how we get there is up to us? We choose the direction of the journey and fate chooses the destination?
If that is the case and I decided not to flip the coin, I'd drop it, and it's outcome will have been reached through no fault of my own.

What is our purpose?

As I've already stated, science is telling us that the world will one day be destroyed by the very thing that gives us life, the sun. It also tells us that the universe will one day be uninhabited by all means of life, and that'll be the end. Of the universe. Of everything.
One other thing science tells us, is that as humans, we're animals, and our role on this planet is to reproduce, and insure the longevity of our species, and to prevent us from going extinct.

Now, we're doing well on the reproduction side, seeing as we have nearly 7 billion inhabitants of this earth, but what's this all for? Are we one day going to become heat resistant to avoid the destruction from the sun? Or are we doomed. If so, what's the point in carrying on? It might seem a little dark, but really, what is it?
Perhaps our purpose is to ensure the survival of our species in other forms, i.e. technological advancements, and once again, if so how? There's no known material as of yet that can guard against the sun's extreme heat.

If you asked any random person what the purpose of life was, they would most likely tell you that it was to be happy, do what we want, and have lots of fun. Perhaps this is the actual answer? Our purpose is to be happy, make others happy, have a nice life, own a house, etc.
If there is a god, is our purpose to devote our lives to him? People have been doing this for thousands of years. Some have died for their "God." But were their deaths in vein? Hopefully not. But unfortunately we will never know the answer, and unfortunately we can't ask anyone what it is either, because they're, well, dead.

Is there a higher purpose?

Referring back to my previous statement, "The good die young.", I have to ask a question. Why?

Around the world you will see corruption. You will see people profiting from other peoples losses. You will see atrocities much like the holocaust, and cases of extreme violence. As a species, we are notoriously disloyal, and extremely greedy.
Do the good die young to stop them from becoming corrupt, and blinded by greed?
Do they go on to an eternal afterlife? Are they reincarnated to a fortunate position, like Bill Gates grandson, or Harrison Ford's next door neighbour, (Wouldn't that be cool?).
Does this supposed "God" take them to heaven, for an eternal bliss? Religion gives hope to millions, and perhaps the millions would be happy in thinking that the "good" have a blissful afterlife.

Or is it an unfortunate coincidence? Do the good die young? Or do we just remember the good dying young more so than the bad?
If indeed the good do die young, and the bad live longer, why aren't we all criminals? Or becoming Hugh Hefner? Perhaps we should teach this in schools?

This leads back to my original question, what happens next? As I've already explained, there is no way to find out. Not through science, not through religion. It's merely a waiting game.

If there is a god and a higher purpose, I can imagine billions of people are kicking themselves, wishing they'd been better people.
But what about reincarnation? When I die, will I become a fish? Or an Antelope? And what if Science is correct? What will I be when the universe is baron, and empty? Is this actually going to happen? Or as I said earlier, is this fate just made to keep us in line?

Who's to say that there isn't a god, and science is simply a means to keep people from rising to the heavenly ranks of the Lord Almighty himself? And to test the beliefs and morals of people before they are admitted to heaven? Or to check what they deserve to become in the next life (Assuming that reincarnation is a real thing.)

Or do we control what we do and what happens? What is possible and what is not possible? Does every individual have their own little universe? We cannot see through other peoples eyes, and we cannot definitely assume that reality is what is around us. If this is true, and we make our own destiny, are the parameters of science what we perceive to be logical? Can they be bent by our own minds?
If this was the case and I jumped from an aeroplane without a parachute, would I survive? It's certainly possible. People have done before, Vesna Vulvic for one. But I wouldn't really want to risk it.

In the end...

In the end, no-one knows. Nobody can be certain of the fate of us on an individual level, and as a species. But, if science is to be believed, we only have one life, so live it!
As I once heard somewhere; "It's best not to be too moral. You cheat yourself out of too much fun."

(And just a side note, I'm not religious in any form. Whilst open the concept I'm not convinced by it, and this hub was not written to offend anyone in any way, shape or form. If it has I deeply apologise as it was not the intention.)


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    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 6 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      Quite possibly! then again, maybe not

    • Scarlett My Dear profile image

      Scarlett My Dear 6 years ago from Missouri

      ...between the cushions...dinner out...and The Bluebird with Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda and Ava Gardner,(1974 "I am the light that makes men see the radiance in reality.") Perhaps the message is deeper than the silly dance routines.


    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 6 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      That did make me laugh! We all need an answer to that question from time to time! Along with, "Where is the TV remote?" "What's for dinner tonight?" and most importantly, "When will there be a decent programme on TV?!"

    • Scarlett My Dear profile image

      Scarlett My Dear 6 years ago from Missouri

      You are absolutely right about that! Except, of course, to the question, "Where are my keys?" I would like the answer to that when I am A)In a hurry... B)Feeling low when I can't make my brain work anymore and 3)... Because I want to go places.

    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 6 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      Hi Scarlett, thanks for commenting firstly! I'm glad you've taken time to read my hub and it's been a good read for you :) Secondly, you're absolutely right about life being a journey of questions, I suppose though the answers aren't important...I can imagine if anyone actually discovered the answers, it'd be a bleak existence, not really worth living for, after all you would have discovered everything you need to know!

      But as humans, we must question etc :)

      thanks again!

    • Scarlett My Dear profile image

      Scarlett My Dear 6 years ago from Missouri

      Enjoyed this immensely, Ryan.

      Life is in the journey. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" can only be a force for good, unless of course, one needs to feel pain of the body, mind or spirit in order to feel. In the end, does it matter if that force is defined by science or religion?

      We try to live our lives and teach our children one simple lesson ~ Question, and when you think you have the answers, question some more. Those who arrive at their version of the answer first are not necessarily the Winners.

      The Winners are those who devote their lives to learning, always thinking for themselves and those who do not condemn others who do not share the path they've chosen ~ whether it be science or religion... or both.

      Awesome display of learning here! Thanks for that.


    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 6 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      Thanks for commenting, and thanks for your take on the idea! :) I will definately give it a think over! I'm not so sure on the idea of a God, whilst open to the idea I'm not entirely convinced by it, but I do love to hear everyones opinions and think about them very thoroughly and carefully :)

    • izettl profile image

      Lizett 6 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Wonderfully thought-provoking hub. So here's my take on faith and God- it can't be found through logic, the brain, it can't be found with your feelings, but it can be found with your spirit, your soul- many people do believe this exists. If not just for hte purpose of why we wonder who we are and other philosophical thoughts. Most people who don't believe in a religion at least believe in a spiritual realm or soul,etc.

      I thought for many years I had to go to church and belong to a religion to believe in God. I didn't like church so I gave up on God too. But certain circumstance in my life made me realize the truth (for me).

      In the Bible it states there is a body mind and spirit- even medical doctors are recognizing these type of connections. So it is not in the body and mind that we find God, it is in the spirit. Hope some of that makes sense, but you like philosophy so maybe you'll toss it around a while.

    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 6 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      Thanks Lobonorth! I'm glad you've enjoyed it, and it's nice to see many different 'artists' have also explored the realms of our existence!

      Thanks for commenting!

    • lobonorth profile image

      lobonorth 6 years ago

      I voted "up" since I really enjoyed your very thoughtful piece where you seem to bring up a lot of the big questions. It seems that you've decided that there probably isn't a god so you don't have to be too moral.

      There are many who have decided that there isn't a god but have a standard of ethics and morals that would put most good Christians, Jews, Hindus or any other religious person to shame. I've written a hub about one of them - Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers.

      As you say, the preponderance of evidence suggests that there are neither gods or afterlives but that does not remove our responsibilities towards our fellow humans, other species and the planet itself. You are as the gods and have the ability to make existential choices - you get to decide.

      The meaninglessness that some experience when they recognize there is no god is wonderfully captured by playwrights such as Pinter and Becket - "Waiting for Godot" being one of the more well known. I still think the play quite brilliant and it says much about our condition.

      This has turned into a bit of a rant too - I just meant to let you know I enjoyed the piece.

    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 6 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      Thanks! Its great to see your views! :)

      I suppose there is no way to determine, in a way I hope life doesn't come to an abrupt end, but really no one knows. Evidence itself points us in that direction anyway.

      Thanks for commenting :)

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      A very good hub, and in my mind you can’t have offended anybody with this. We must all have our freedom to think:)

      You have many good points here and it is questions that I think many people are asking.

      I see human life as a part of a chain called evolution and I do not think there is anything more or special about us! This might be considered sad and a waste with great intellect and marvellous life but that is how nature is. The strongest survive and have their "great" time. Now it is human’s great time. We think we are the rulers on this planet but we are just passengers, riding along for a short time seen in Earths time and it will not last forever!

      I think we have problems with that thought because we see us as so fantastic and invincible and it is hard to imagine that it isn’t going to be anything more than a life each. And we are fantastic!

      But, this is it. Life is no rehearsal, it is for real and it has an end.

      Great and thought provoking hub! Tina