Monday, February 12, 2007

Impossible void


I am part existentialist. What a silly thing to say. I can say that I am part feminist, part socialist, part capitalist, part left-winged, part right-winged, part female...
Well, perhaps I cannot say the latter, but I can make vast generalizations about myself, and one way to do so is to say I am only half or "part" something. This makes backing out easy in any argument, as you can always state that you are not completely in agreeance with something or you are not completely for a particular motion or opinion. You are only part. You escape blame because you can always duck out by saying that you aren't responsible. People live with a fear of responsibility. Cowards.

Now, let us continue on the path of cowardice, shall we?

One thing I am adamant in is the void of human nature. I do not believe that human beings have a specific "nature" that they are naturally abiding by. At one time in human history, it was "natural" for women to be non-persons, and it was "natural" for men to enslave others deemed below him. Human nature is constantly in evolution; however, saying that human nature is changing contradicts the very idea of human nature. Thus, I don't believe human nature exists.

In North America, especially, we are forced to acknowledge that our actions continually affect someone else. Whatever we buy, the things we do, all of the actions we take indirectly AND directly affect someone else. As much as buying Nike or something which has a "Made in Taiwan" tag crockedly stitched on, it doesn't only affect people in third world countries, but people in our very own towns, who have to deal with our messes, our schedules, and our errant activities.

So, in some ways, we are doomed to be free. We are doomed to continuously harm or make others pay for our actions. But, honestly, what can you do about it? And, if one were to continuously think such thoughts, then one would surely drop into the wilted and decaying pool of dark depression. Especially if one has a heart. If you do not have a heart, and you are happy to think such thoughts about harming others, then you are not an existentialist, you suffer from an extreme case of neverending Schadenfreude. To cure: buy ice cream and take long baths. If this still doesn't make you a better person, at least you will be fat and always wrinkly and less likely to go out of your way to hurt others.

However, if you are not on the path of psychopathy, nor ever will be, the only answer is not to think about it. It isn't ignorance; it's life. Forget about the larger scheme of things. Go on, indulge in talking about that annoying co-worker, that poor mark, your broken nail...
And while you're at it, take pleasure in that annoying co-worker's failures.


Sarah said...

I attended a lecture last week by Prof. Jerome Barkow: "How Will Old Brains Design New Bodies and New Societies?" Part of his argument (at the risk of bastardizing what he said) surrounds human evolved psychology which identifies certain basic trans-human tendencies and motivations...primarily, competition. What is competed for is socially determined but the need to compete is fundamentally present in all cultures. I forget my point now but it's something to think about.

Zaza said...

That is interesting. It's always neat to see how much importance people give to nature, nurture, or society.

What that prof says makes sense; our brains are programmed to do certain things and to be inclined a certain way.
Society does, however, do a mighty good job of polishing it up just the right way.