Seven Big Questions

I’m a philosopher.  It doesn’t pay well – it doesn’t pay at all – but, for me anyway, it’s a very satisfying pursuit.  If you’ve ever been curious about “the big questions,” have a look at these.  I guarantee that, if nothing else, you’ll know within thirty seconds of starting a conversation with any of these questions whether people admire or despise you – there will be NO in between …

Why is there something rather than nothing?  Ordinarily we take our everyday existence for granted — but every once in a while we’re jostled out of that into a profound state of existential awareness.  Why is there all this stuff in the universe, and why is it governed by such exquisitely precise laws?  Why should anything exist at all?

Is the universe real?  Alternative:  how do we know that what we see around us is real, and not the grand illusion of an unseen force?  (Think of Descartes’s dream and evil demon arguments.)

Do we have free will?  Are our actions controlled by a causal chain of preceding events (a.k.a. determinism), or do we make free choices that make differences in the world?

Does God exist?  From a purely logical / definitional point of view, whether you’re a believer or an atheist, you’re wrong.  The agnostic, who maintains the question is unanswerable in principle, gets it.

Is there life after death?  There’s more than a few of us who are psychologically comforted by the notion that life need not end with death.  Unfortunately, we don’t have any concrete evidence to support this claim – and we’re left wondering what happens next.

Can you really experience anything objectively?  Is there ever any real sense in which we can know things independently how we experience them?  As embodied minds, we connect with the world by way of sensation and thought.

What is morality?  What makes an action “right” or “wrong”?  Isn’t life just too complicated for there to be anything like a universal morality or an absolutist ethics?  History is strewn with answers to this question.

A Huge Lone Wolf Success

I’m on the train to St. Louis en route to my annual Missouri Ozark extravaganza vacation. My friends will collect me from the station in St. Louis – which will save a huge amount of time.

I was dumped on Tuesday (man, I really liked that woman) and totally dissed on Saturday (nice tits do not trump rudeness). At the beginning of the trip out of Chicago a pretty girl was looking for a seat. I hoped she would sit next to me, but she sat next to the guy across the aisle from me, saying “you look normal” as she took her seat. I was just beaten and broken enough to take her to mean that I didn’t look normal.

I was asked to move from my seat to let a granddad and granddaughter sit together. I ended up sitting next to a very pretty woman, easily thirty years younger than me. And, not to be a dick about it, much more attractive than my earlier desire. This girl was downright gorgeous: thick shoulder length strawberry red hair, slender build, and a face to make men weak in the knees.

God, karma, or whatever is running the show (if anything IS running the show) sure seems to be taking great pleasure in my tortured sexual frustration. Of course, that’s a bit egotistical – what reason do I have to think the universe gives a rat’s ass about me?

I won’t wallow in self-pity. I’ve worked hard at being by myself for so long that I now realize I’ve accomplished that goal summa cum laude. I’m a huge lone wolf success. New goal: work on yourself so that someone somewhere WANTS you. How hard can it be? BWAAAAHHH …