A moral issue?

This issue goes to the heart of our individual place in the world and in society. When we are born we have no choice where to be born, or what kind of society we are born into. Lady luck plays the card and we live with it. For us in the West that’s most often okay – for someone in South Sudan (for eg) it’s a bummer.

However the issue is the same – who owns our body? The ownership of our mind is not a complex issue – mankind’s most inner secrets are found within our minds – enemies can torture our bodies but cannot alter our mind. They can make us acquiesce to their will but they can never even begin to know what we really think. So this discussion is only about our bodies.

Lets take the case of someone in a state of terminal illness – racked with pain, dignity gone. They decide that they have ‘had enough’ and wish to go with some peace and dignity for their own sakes and for the sakes of the ones who love them. Suicide used to be illegal in Australia, no longer so. However it is still illegal to assist someone to end their life. As most people who wish to end their life are not capable of doing so because of infirmity and lack of bodily control this poses an interesting dimension to the ‘voluntary euthanasia’ debate. The loved one who wishes to assist their dearest one to die peacefully is turned into a criminal if he/she does so.

So what happens to the concept of freedom and free will. Clearly people cannot be free to ‘kill’, but we all surely should be free to ask to be assisted to die? If ‘society’ can say that we are not entitled to say when we end our lives then ‘society’ is assuming an arrogant and bullying role of ruling us which in my view is insidious. Which brings on another question – what, or who, is ‘society’. Does it exist? Can we question it? challenge it? or are we merely stuck with it because it actually doesn’t seem to exist. maybe the answer to getting real freedom is to buy a deserted island and create our own society! A flippant suggestion maybe – but exasperation can lead to flippancy.
I believe we would be living in a more advanced society if our wishes to ‘end things’ were respected, end actually officially medically assisted to ensure the required peace and solice.

Waste – such a shame.

As we live in an age of youth adoration and elder dismissal this question becomes key to our attitudes and their worth, at least in our western civilization. I think youth have always had an arrogance and a headstrong view of life which in days gone by occasionally got them into trouble. Usually they learned from experience, and from the eventual acceptance of the advice given to them by their old fashioned and out of touch parents (youth’s view).

As age grew into maturity, a phenomenon linked to responsibility, things generally righted themselves. The young learned the value of work – as it provided food and shelter – and the value of hard work and ambition – as that provided increased wealth, self esteem, and choices in life. The links were clear, the choices were clear. Work hard and you get on, don’t and you won’t.

This whole equation has been turned an its head by the new found late 20th century addiction to the adoration of youth. 30+? … sorry mate, you’re past it. 40+? on the way down old son. 50+? should be planning your retirement, we don’t employ geriatrics here. 60+? load up your caravan and travel whilst you can. 70+ you are a burden on society for which the young are going to have to pay, damn it! Never mind that you fought wars to keep our society free, never mind that you built the wealth that we now enjoy, never mind that you let us live (free of cost) at home whilst we earned big money so we could buy our first property. You are old and we are young, we are the future, you are the past so roll over and let us get on with it.

The media emphasizes this, the TV obsession with young and pretty faces emphasizes this, the view of ‘age care’ as the biggest financial threat to our society emphasizes this.

The young do have energy, enthusiasm,optimism, ( as we all did) …… but they do not have wisdom, experience, and the knowledge of a life lived.

We oldies have the knowledge and the understanding of ourselves to know what is right for us, to know how we want to live life, to know what we need to do to make things wonderful. The problem is we don’t have the energy, nor the time left. If only we could start again how fabulous would the world be because we oldies would not get it wrong twice.

…….. and there you have it.

Really, there you have it. My last post says it all. I have continued to scour my brain to find an alternative answer to this question, but to no avail. There is, therefore, only one conclusion – that there is no purpose in life that we humans can comprehend. Scientists can tell all kinds of interesting stuff about the universe and our Earthly origins, but the big question – WHY? – is never answered. That’s why religion took off in the first place, of course. Folk were trying to answer the question why, and some clever character came up with the notion that if we tell everyone there is a higher power which we must all obey or be dispatched to hell on our demise, then we have a great and unchallengeable system of social control. Then if those who control the game can pretend to have a hot line to this power  they have all the privileges because they have all the knowledge and the rights. ….. and if folk follow them then all will be well. This is what all priest type people – Imams, vicars, rabbi’s, monks, shamans etc etc have in common. They are all in the control game. Hot line to god (or gods) gives power over those who are mere followers. makes no difference that it is all a sham and a con, that there is no credibility to the belief in a ‘higher power’. The system works and has worked for thousands of years, and look what it has done for mankind – wars and poverty, exploitation and argument. “My god is better than yours – so there”.

There is no point to life on Earth so enjoy what you want to because sooner than you think you will be dust in the wind.

What’s it all about?

(with deference to Mike Harding, poet/songwriter)

“So there I was lying in bed, my mind full of deep philosophical thoughts when I had the sudden urge to leap out of bed, go the window and fling back the curtains. Looking up I saw a clear sky and millions of bright, twinkling pinpricks of light, myriad distant worlds and stars stretching to infinity, seemingly speaking to us earthly mortals.

In astonishment and amazement I gazed in wonderment for what seemed like an eternity, humbled by the sheer magnitude and magnificence of these endless night skies.

Finally I said to myself  ‘what is this incredible sight? what is it’s meaning? what is it all about?

…….. and then I thought “it’s got bugger all to do with me and I went back to bed!”

Further comment

So what happens when we realise that life is essentially pointless?
This is a complex one, because the obvious answer is ‘top yourself’. However the bleeding heart do-gooders in our pathetic society tell us that we cannot do this easily, nor in some cases legally. (Not that it matters when you are dead!)
So – what to do? Seek out a better life? Have a really extensive bucket list? Try everything one can to change the circumstances of living? Do drugs?
Maybe through going off the rails we might find a reason for life, maybe not. Either way it’s hard work – and is it worth it?
……… so we plod on in this rather boring pointless existence seeking answers. No wonder we drink too much.