where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain

i have been reading quite a few philosophy books recently and have been mainly concentrating on belief systems like modernism, postmodernism, anarchism and structuralism. through reading all these, one thing strikes me as an interesting patter, not one of these have one definite definition or central belief. this moves me to try and find a belief system that i run my life by and that i believe in. i have sort of created my own perception of the world, and although i’m no expert and i’m sure it’s quite a naive system of thought, i thought i’d share it.

Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler offer the following definition of postmodernism: “A worldview characterized by the belief that truth doesn’t exist in any objective sense but is created rather than discovered.” Truth is “created by the specific culture and exists only in that culture. Therefore, any system or statement that tries to communicate truth is a power play, an effort to dominate other cultures.” This is something that really hits home with me as it defines the powerful systems and their role in the world. I believe that this statement, this “power play” is central to the causes of conflict in the world. I am a person who has no connection to religion, in fact i flat out refuse to believe there is any higher power or god that exists in any form. This brings me to the first point that makes up my central belief system, the view i have on religion. i can honestly say that i really despise christianity as a belief system but also as the institution of which it is. to me, christianity is nothing but a power hungry, system of lies, that almost forces the “believer” into submission. Now i have no problem with the values of christianity, the central beliefs that it goes by, but what annoys me is the utter disregard of these values in the real world. i have no problem with people believing in god, that is their decision, and if it helps people live a better life then go for it. where i believe religion goes wrong is where it is used as a reason to kill or destroy. at the core of most religions is the precious value of human life, yet most conflict is driven by the reason to “protect” a religion. now here is where you might think, hmmm this guy is pretty naive making such broad statements, but as i said before, im no expert this is just what i have seen and understand to be an accurate representation of human interaction.

This leads me to the second part of my thoughts about life as a whole. i have been interested in the beliefs of anarchism, but again there is no one solid idea that holds this philosophy together. i think it is stupid to argue that people would be better off with no central power, or no system of power and control, but i hate how the world, mainly the western world, is operated by the few and the impacts are felt by the many. the recent financial collapse has drawn many socialist, marxist and anarchist beliefs out of hiding and into a broader reflection of how the world is being run. it is insane to believe a system almost completely controlled by one country would not collapse at some stage. the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently stated that it was a “failure of the democratic system, that the folly of the few, impacted worst upon the many.” this is very true a very real statement on how fragile the capitalist system is at the moment. yet i believe that if a country is ruled by a dictator, a coalition or a one-party democratic system there will always be conflict and there will always be suffering.

This here is my belief on human society and human relationships.

I suggest that every action we as humans commit, even the smallest thing, has consequences and impacts someone else. this is what i call the “victim to victim” relationship. everything you do as a person will impact someone else, therefore making them the victim of your actions. now this might sound stupid but let’s just review this in real life scenarios. I don’t claim that the victim is worse off or is affected in a severe way, but it is not foolish to say that everything you do impacts upon someone else. Quite simply, if you park your car at the shops, you have hampered someone’s chances of gaining a parking spot. now this applies to everything we do, whether you are affecting them immediately or in one hundred years, everything you do will have a victim. Even the simple action of breathing can be viewed as taking someone’s own oxygen. who are we to know that in 100 or 1000 years that the world will run out of oxygen. you might not have taken it all, but you played a role in taking some of it. This is the reality of living on this earth, everything we do, has a victim. You buy a drink from a store, eventually the store will run out of drinks and someone will not be able to buy one. you did not buy the last drink but you took part in the reduction of the drink numbers.

Now this is why there will always be conflict, this ties back to the central belief of McDowell & Hostetler, that each culture holds its own systems of justice and beliefs, and the effort to change or influence this system is a dangerous “power play.” We as humans must accept that everything we do leads to a victim, it is not the fact that there is a victim which is the danger, that is a fact of life, how we can improve is by reflecting on the impact upon the victim. we as humans must manage our actions so that the influence we have is minimal and non-destructive. there will always bre wars, fights and peace can only be found by facing the truth that we all impact on eachother. there are no sides, we must put religion and culture behind the fact that we all impact the world and eachother. there is no good no evil, just people who impact their victims worse than others.

this is what i believe, or at least a draft of the ideas i find interesting. i think it is important to always be questioning our surroundings and the way we live, for this is the path to improvement and how we will find an effective way of being. i hope that these ideas have expanded your thinking, whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant, just the fact that you are now thinking about your role in the world is important. we as humans cannot become complacent, we cannot just sit back and claim that someone else will fix the problems of the world. in no way am i saying that we all should become fighters against repressive systems, i just ask that we open our minds to all strains of thought and accept every idea and every culture as a system “where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain,” Vaclav Havel.

Thank You


2 Responses to “where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain”

  1. 1 Bridget
    November 20, 2009 at 12:31 am

    you are just my favourite person.

  2. 2 The Prof
    December 21, 2009 at 7:33 am

    What a pile of steaming, teenage, undergrad crap!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

November 2009
« Oct   Dec »

%d bloggers like this: