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Discussion 2 to Meditation 422
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da

by: JT

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I had expected that the author of Meditation 422 would answer the questions posed by Shaie. As he has not four years later, I will try to answer - in the spirit of the original article. I would respond somewhat differently to the question if I did not have to take Meditation 422 into account.

By the way, I do not agree with the pessimistic conclusion of the article; the author is unduly concerned with perception and the mind. This is an issue which I think philosophy has successfully addressed. In any event, how can the mind possibly be aware of the rest of the world without perception?

But getting back to Shaie's questions:

If we live in this state of mind why keep living?

I presume this refers to Donald Fiore's "we fall into a very depressing and apathetic state where there is no real conclusion."

But Fiore opened with "humanity is based in biology." In other words, we are alive. Being alive does not require a reason. All things being equal, we just go on living. Life does not relinquish itself easily. Regardless of anecdotal claims, simply losing the will to go on living does not result in death for healthy organisms. And the vast majority of living organisms live on without any will to live. (Or a will for anything, for that matter.)

As humans, where will does matter to a degree, there is for most of us a large gap between the depressing state where we have no will to go on living, and the even more depressing state where we have a will to act and end life. It's not a case of "I have no will to live, so I'll just stop living," but a case of "I have reasons to die which outweigh any reason I might have for living, so I will act to end my life." And fortunately for most of us, those two states of mind are a long way apart.

Simply, we keep living because we are biology; we are part of life; and the default option for life is to keep on living. Our common ancestor from some four billion years ago can be said to be still alive - through countless cell divisions, that original organism is alive today in every cell of every living thing on earth.

In the words of Jimmy Scott-Emuakpor[1], a Nigerian conga player and an acquaintance of Paul McCartney in the 1960s:

"ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra"

The first question is the one I consider the most significant, the other two are relatively minor.

Why do we question if there is a God?

Do you think we have some longing inside to explain all of this or are we just bored to death with what we see and think?

We question if there is a God because some people claim there is one. We don't find their claims convincing, so we question whether or not such an entity exists.

It is human nature to look for answers. One of the earliest questions a child asks is "Why?" Some of us never lose the ability to ask that question. Others seem to lose it early in life and blindly accept what they are told. And I have to ask "Why?"


  1. Wikipedia