Why? — 1

Abhishek Paul
2 min readJan 17, 2019

There’s a danger of sounding pretentious when raising the question. But that doesn’t matter if the search is genuine.

There’s a need for humility, after all the greatest philosophers have wrestled with the question for millenia (that’s the plural form right?). But their struggle becomes irrelevant (admittedly a poor choice of words) if I still remain unconvinced (no fault of theirs — I take full responsibility for my dense head).

So this series is more to sort through my thinking — all muddled up and clumsy. You can get on and off this ride anytime (I would recommend getting off right now).

If naturalism / materialism / atheism is true, then everything is ultimately meaningless. Subjective meaning can be assigned but that’s just …..well, meaningless. Your meaning is my tomato (mixed metaphors but you get it).

Then are we just in the survival game — a conscious version of the one the dinosaurs lost? Some call it flourishing and place it as the pinnacle of human progress. Ah, the things one can do with words, but ultimately ……meaningless. I can remember another (much wiser) man writing something similar 2500 years ago.

To paraphrase him — so much of our lives seems to be a chasing after the wind, it (whatever it is) always seems to elude us. So we begin to see ourselves living out a much more mundane / depressing version of the “Circle of Life” (damn you Disney!). Worse, the questions raised are how to make the circle better / longer / exciting (YOLO baby!)— no one questions why the circle! I guess it’s just easier to laugh it away, focus all our energies on those damn politicians, those brilliant musicians / actors, the supremely talented sportsmen… ……maybe I should just stick to a rerun of Friends!

What is choice / free will — it’s a rigged game right? I am typing this only because some neurons happen to fire and activate certain parts of my brain. I am told that though I do not have free will, I have the illusion of it — take what you can get and be grateful (or mindful or …..something else that usually ends up being full of BS). My affection for my wife and daughter is no more than an evolutionary adaptation to ensure I pass on my genes — so my genes and their flourishing is why I am programmed to love my family. I might not get this but the neurons firing away are on the job — so not to worry!

PS: I will pick this thread up again, soon or not — let the neurons decide.

Soundtrack: This series is best read while listening to Ozzy’s “Crazy Train