Does free will exist?
Most of us are free to set short and long duration goals for ourselves and try to achieve them to the best of our ability. We make choices on a daily basis and proceed to follow through with actions. So it seems that we are free to lead the life that we choose or have free will.
Unfortunately we have physical and moral boundaries to the choices that we make in life and we have been brought up with certain opinions and beliefs which limit the free choices which we make. We are a product of our environment which also shapes our approach to life so free will is not that free after all. We are “programmed” throughout life which affects the choices which we make impulsively and otherwise.
We usually are not free to rape, pillage, and murder so we choose alternate lifestyles that are socially acceptable. You could say that we have free will to choose to do things but that the things that we choose to do have limits or boundaries to them both mental and physical.
You have the free will to become a serial killer or mass shooter if you chose but the probability that you will actually do so if you are mentally healthy is miniscule or almost zero.
What is the meaning of life and how does it differ from animals?
For animals it is survival of the fittest and reproduction or survival for those who can best adapt to environmental circumstances and for those who can reproduce. For humans those who best adapt to environmental and social circumstances usually reproduce and their genes survive into future generations.
You could say that eating, drinking, sleeping, setting goals, achieving goals, and conservatively reproducing along the way is the meaning of life. I say conservatively reproduce because overpopulation if not reduced can mean the end of humanity as we know it.
Yes, you can further elaborate and include sacrifice, smart hard work, a useful education, a moral personality, integrity, love, creativity, etc. in your description of human characteristics and activities which give meaning to life in greater detail. So the meaning of life can be simply or generally summarized by describing what humans think and do in the world. What you think and do is the personal meaning of your life no matter how shitty or tragic it may sometimes seem or be.
What should be the goal of humanity?
You can describe many goals of humanity but probably the main goal of humanity is to survive maybe even beyond the death of the sun and survive with the conservation and even expansion of the wilderness with its plant and animal abundance. It is my belief that humanity will perish or become extinct much sooner if it destroys or poisons the environment and that includes wilderness and wildlife.
Will religion ever become obsolete?
Historically religion has been used to tame the human aggressive beast into a moral human who can relatively peacefully interact with members of his or her own tribe. Science is also a kind of religion or belief system which is a powerful tool to use in solving and often creating new problems. Science will never prove experimentally the need of morality for humans but it can be useful in pointing out the exceptions to any absolutist moral code or morality.
Morality will never become obsolete but it should be transformed into a modern secular moral code such as- in nonemergency situations- don’t destroy biodiversity, don’t lie, don’t be inefficient, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery if married, and don’t murder. This secular morality has worldwide application and if accepted as a standard worldwide it could facilitate more peaceful interactions amongst nations.
Religion someday may be close to obsolescence but some sort of morality or ethical principles will continue to exist as long as humans populate the earth.
Is suffering a necessary part of the human condition?
Suffering is really a punishment for doing something wrong or having the wrong beliefs and opinions. Suffering can vary from culture to culture but it is punishment for living an unhealthy, uneducated, financially irresponsible, disobedient, and irresponsible life in general. Break the rules of society and you usually suffer or get punished for breaking the rules in some way.
Destroy or poison the environment and you will also suffer or get punished with bad health and even death.
Yes, suffering for many is inevitable as a fact of living in a changing society always trying to avoid chaos in a relatively chaos prone world. A world where the new generation always challenges the old generations ways of thinking and doing.
Is it more important to help yourself, help your family, help your society, or help the world?
All four are important but of primary importance is yourself because only when you land a good paying job or start a successful business can you hope to support a family and contribute money towards social causes and world causes such as wilderness protection or even expansion.
Of course you can also set aside time to participate in social organizations promoting certain causes which may at minimum only be a political party. So help yourself first and then you can better help a family, society, and the world.
Can you become anything which you want to become?
Yes, you can set rather mighty goals in your life but we are all born unequal with different looks, abilities, and social and financial status. While the handicaps of average looks and low social and financial status can sometimes be overcome with a lot of smart hard work your average mental and physical abilities may handicap you if you are hoping to become exceptional in complex professions or high leadership positions.
It often requires an exceptional memory or superb physical strength or coordination to reach the top and excel in science, politics, and national and international sports. You will often become a frustrated, disappointed, and miserable human if you aim too high and your natural abilities are just not good enough to reach your lofty goal(s). So unless you are gifted at birth, you often can’t become what you want to become in life, especially if your goals exceed your natural ability.
How good your genes are often determines what your optimal potential is in life. Yes, you can have good genes and waste away opportunities by being lazy and not learning much of significance. There is a saying that talent without working smart and hard is wasted.
Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?
Yes, human power not limited by morality and just laws is impulsive, coercive, destructive, corrupt behavior. Historically caesers, emperors, pharaohs, and tyrants with absolute power became very corrupt, especially if they were corrupt to begin with. Yes, there were some great leaders in history but most of them were relatively moral and lawful with their own flock and imposed relatively just laws on those that they conquered or expected tribute of some kind from the conquered.
In an age of powerful monopolies and monied international big banks, international big corporations, big international organizations, and big government, the temptation to be corrupt is great.
What would you genetically change about humans to make them a better species?
Healthier humans free of most debilitating diseases, humans with more efficient brains or better memory and processing ability, and finally and least important, better looking humans which is a very subjective choice.
Some may feel that making humans less genetically aggressive or violent and making them more compassionate or empathetic is the way human genetics should be modified. All that I think this would do is make a nation of obedient sheep with the more aggressive ones at the top anyway.
Still others feel that humans should be made genetically less emotional but I think this can best be done with a logical language which has less emphasis on emotional words. An example of a more logical language is LOGICAL ENGLISH DICTIONARY which I authored.
Since humans remember intense emotional experiences longer than other experiences I think that reducing emotions genetically will adversely affect human memory so I am not for reducing human emotions genetically.
What should you know about yourself?
You should realize how good – your memory is, your coordination skills, your conversation skills, your math and verbal skills, and your social skills or emotional intelligence? Those are the keys to knowing thyself rather well.
You can improve your coordination skills by learning to use tools and participating in sports, you can improve your conversation and social skills by interacting more with others, especially those with diverse backgrounds, and you can improve your math and verbal skills with practice and reading.
You can slightly improve your memory with word association skills or mnemonics which will make it easier to remember certain things. What you probably can’t improve much is your brain efficiency or how fast you think and how much you remember over a long period of time.
There is truth to the saying that practice makes perfect. Keep in mind or realize that if you are practicing a new complex skill 5 or 10 times more than someone else your age practicing a new complex skill then chances are that you will probably not excel in that complex skill at the highest levels. Yes, you will acquire many complex skills with practice but you will probably never reach celebrity status or world renown in that complex skill.
Your parents are a fairly good example of the skills which you may excel in if there are any at a high level. Whatever the situation do the best that you can at any skill but realize that you may just be handicapped, average, or above average in most skills and not exceptional. Choose your life’s profession accordingly so you don’t suffer from premature burnout or trying to do the impossible. Choose your role models and professions wisely so that they better fit your natural or inborn abilities.
Was the universe created or has it always been around and always will be?
The problem with a creator is that you can always ask who created the creator and nobody knows the answer to this question. You can also ask what created the universe and try to answer infinite energy located at a point in space but this still doesn’t answer what existed before the infinite energy creation.
I like to think of the universe as something which always has existed and always will exist. Sure, galaxies, suns, and planets are created and then die or are reformed into other galaxies, suns, and planets but the universe in its entirety still exists on into an infinity of time and through an infinity of space.
Will humans ever know everything there is to know?
Probably not because we still have not invented accurate tools to explain the very very small and the very very big. Both extremes are still a mystery and probably will be until humans and machines evolve with greater sensing ability. Our best tools so far are light or electromagnetic radiation and gravity which we still don’t entirely understand.
How do we perceive reality?
Our senses and scientific instruments perceive reality which is spread from human to human through words and mathematics. Most thinking is done verbally, visually, and with audio.
Yes, thinking can be delusional and based on false opinions, false beliefs, and fictitious concepts or fiction and fantasy but perception of the reality is mostly through our senses such as eyes, ears, smell, touch, etc.
Is philosophy dead or has morality or ethics and science replaced it?
Science is an experimentally proven philosophy of words, mathematics, and facts about nature. The only real philosophical realm left to historical philosophy is morality or ethics. Morality and ethics can’t be proven mathematically so it is subject to some biased subjectivity which is a philosophical approach.
Morality or ethical principles vary from culture to culture and if you were to consider a modern universal secular morality applicable across most cultures then one would be- in nonemergency situations- don’t destroy biodiversity, don’t lie, don’t be inefficient, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery if married, and don’t murder.
To what extent is government philosophical?
The ideal government should reward its moral law abiding citizens and punish the immoral or criminal humans or at least reduce criminality to tolerable levels. Government is the eternal struggle of its moral citizens against its immoral ones which unfortunately often includes the leadership or politicians.
What is the ideal government?
The reality besides a moral or philosophical question is to what extent should there be individual rights, minority rights, and collective or majority rights? Since an individual is the smallest minority how should the individual be protected against the oppressive tyranny of the majority and the government itself?
This is a governmental question with pure communism at one extreme and pure capitalism at the other extreme. My opinion is that there should be a bill of rights for the individual with mostly capitalism for the working class and socialism for the destitute and also unemployed. Call it Capsocialism if you want.
Yes, a governmental constitution of laws is necessary which often keeps evolving with time into more and more of a monopolistic and tyrannical structure from an original democratic republic of many relatively small economic units or businesses.
What an ideal government should also try to do is make sure is that humans have somewhat of an equal opportunity to succeed in society despite the fact that there will always be the very rich and the very poor at the other extreme. Since everyone is born unequal with differing natural abilities and looks, the ideal government should provide the possibility of advancement in the social structure and professions based mostly on merit rather than purely on ideology, nepotism or social status of parents.
What is the best protection against a tyrannical government? The right of every moral law abiding citizen to have guns or deadly weapons as part of a written constitution as well as free moral speech, right to assemble peacefully, and other legal defensive rights to avoid becoming the victim of oppressive acts by the government and immoral individuals and groups.
Should there be a limit on what science and technology can create?
Probably creating high frequency wireless cellphones and computers is not a smart thing to do because it can have bad effects on human health and brain health specifically. Altering human DNA is probably also not a smart thing to do because these resultant mutations might not be beneficial to human health in the long duration.
That is why we should be very careful with new science and technology creations because they can potentially have long duration bad effects on human, animal, and plant health and survival.
Artificial chemicals and drugs are already badly affecting human health and creating more toxic chemicals will just exacerbate the situation.
Finally, all philosophical answers with the exception of proven scientific facts are biased and subjective and there can be more than one answer which is deemed acceptable. If your philosophical answers are different then while free moral speech is still protected you have a right to your own opinion, belief, or answer. Best wishes. Peace!
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