December 21, 2006
Topic: Human beings-more than the sum of our parts.
Here is a little more of my personal philosophy on life and the importance of human existence...
The thing that I find really amazing about humanity and what I believe makes us truly special in the universe is that we are so much more than the bodies we are physically constructed with—we are so much more than the sum of our parts. In fact, our bodies just give us a means to have the opportunity to experience the human perspective on existence. And thus they provide us with an opportunity to make a beneficial difference in the world we live in, rather than just try to substantiate the status-quo.
Existence itself is not reliant on conscious self reflective awareness (To use the infamous Tree-Falling riddle as an example: “If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” I say: “yes”, because the sound is not contingent on it being heard), but without conscious self-reflective awareness there may not be any relevance to existence. And yes that is presupposing that there must be a point to existence in the first place, and there isn't any grounds for assuming that there be a point to existence; except one: I think there must be a willful force involved for there to be a 'potential' for something like our universe, or anything for that matter, to be able to exist—this is in fact the proof I believe is all I need to know there must be a God). To me it's not about why would the universe exist; it's about why could the universe exist. The particular scientific mechanics behind the formation of the universe are not important, it is that there is even a possibility for there to be mechanics behind the formation of the universe that convinces me there must be a willful and ultimately responsible force behind all of existence. I am willing to take a leap of faith and assume, regardless of the scientific mechanics of how humanity was begotten (evolution, etc.), that the characteristics of having self-reflective awareness and being given the ability to be compassionate were intentional, because human self-reflective awareness alone is not why I think humanity is truly special in the universe, but rather it is the human capacity for compassion that makes me personally have reason to believe that within humanity lies what is most sacred in all of existence -- our capability to be empathetic and to love each other. This I believe is perhaps the reason for existence, a reason why a willful creative force established the potential for the universe to exist in the first place, which is what I believe led to the creation of the universe, and the evolution of humanity.
Part of human experience is that we are also the animal beings that consists of our bodies and our minds, and all the chemical reactions that ensue. Our primal urges are just as relevant to our experience as any intelligent pursuits, and should be celebrated as such. All this makes me wonder one particular question: Are humans more important than any other species? My gut reaction is: Yes—obviously. I think it should be obvious that the individual human is more important than an individual chipmunk for instance, or maybe even a whole forest of chipmunks, but in the grand scheme (a.k.a. the big picture) humanity is not necessarily more important than any other species because all life is interrelated. I read or heard somewhere that if you count up the cells in the confines of your body, there are more bacteria combined than the cells than the cells with your dna that make up your body. That's a very fascinating thought to me—and it demonstrates the idea that we are interdependent on other species that constitute the biosphere.
I think if more people understood that their body is a means to experience a human perspective on existence they would less obsessed with things like exterior beauty and commercialized trivial matters and more willing to do something constructive with their human experience. material things and exterior beauty are transitory; the virtues of demonstrating compassion and being empathetic are part of the inherent beauty of existence. As a free citizen I have the right to approve of urges that are the product of human instinct, but I am also free to reject the manipulation of human instincts by elements of society such as commercialism.
I guess the main point I'm attempting to make is that the sanctity (And I don't mean 'sanctity' necessarily in connotation with any particular religious sense) of humankind is in itself justification for the possibility of existence. We are so much more than the flesh and blood we are made with -- we carry within us all the potential for love and being compassionate for each other, which gives purpose and meaning to everything.