If you were offered a reset button to your life, would you take it? If such a thing existed, would you believe it to be real, or believe it to be a twisted experiment created by a creature manipulative and heartless in nature? Or perhaps you would wonder if this second chance, this escape route was an opportunity bestowed uniquely to you? And would you press it, if all you friends, all of society took this road?
Over the past week in our Philosophy class, we have questioned and answered and discussed and debated various ideas that revolve around the idea of human nature and human perspective. Up till now, we have all presented our own take on “What is Philosophy?” and now continue to shape our personal philosophies. I had written a story to briefly begin my idea of what philosophy was at the start. As the week progressed, we reached the question of “Why is learning hard?”, which soon led to much more. “Is it considered learning if it has no value?” “Why do we want to learn?” “What is it that we can learn?” “Do we have the answers to all our questions, or does it gravitate on a whole other unreachable level?”
Ignorance is bliss. The amount of truth that rests within that short phrase is enough to make me wonder whether all this questioning is worth it or not. It seems so endless; one statement is easily proved false by another, which is then just as quickly doubted. Why do we continue to search for an answer? Born from unease that grows into change, humans look for the unattainable, constantly placing ourselves in a state of dissatisfaction and discomfort. This constant search counters our undeniable desire for happiness. Our self-driven mission to be content is ever-present, and brings out the best and worst of humans. So it brings about this paradox – as humans, we continue to attempt to solve unanswerable questions, bringing about more pain and discontent unto ourselves, while desperately trying to be happy. And do we choose this? I think so.
But perhaps it has nothing to do with us. We are mere beings of the human species, created to carry on the genetic code, nothing more than highly developed nervous shocks that react to our surroundings. Perhaps we share a common essence that in itself may be good or evil, altruistic or egotistic. Our existence is easy to question; if there is no truth in the world then how can anything be real? Our eyes, ears, and physical bodies only tell us so much, and can be so easily fooled. It is even easier to question whether we truly have any power over our futures, or whether free will actually exists. And yet, if the reset button is slid once again before you, what do you think about? You can press the button for yourself, to give yourself a second chance. You can press others, to forfeit a future that may have been tragic. You can take is give it to someone else, out of love, or out of vengeance. The truth of human kind can be boiled down to this one moment.
So it is a choice. Whether we trust our reality as how we sense it, or believe it to be something else entirely, it is but an individual choice that drives our paths into the future. Philosophy is simply a choice: to think, or not to think.