Actions and consequences
My brother and I recently came across this fantastic video on YouTube by Kurzgesagt who previously made some really interesting works. In this new one, they discussed “Optimistic Nihilism”. Without going very much into the details, here is what it optimistic nihilism meant.
The view that, once one accepts that life lacks any intrinsic meaning or value, one can find joy and contentment by attributing their own sense of meaning or value to existence.
It’s an interesting theory that’s gaining a lot of popularity recently for obvious reasons. And it is only understandable that people are looking something to fill the vacuum left by religion where everything is about us. But once we realize that we are not any more special than that rock there, then we see how unimportant and overrated we are. And science is not doing a great job at taking us out of this any sooner.
The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within.
— Mahatma Gandhi
‘Optimistic Nihilism’ doesn’t mean staying away from doing any work nor does it encourage people to do what they are expected to do. It just asks people to have fun while they are living it and to do whatever makes them feel good. The only thing that should stop your actions should be the consequences of that. And if you are willing to face them then the philosophy encourages you do it by all means. If we look back into history, all the great deeds are done by people who did what they wanted to do not what they are expected to do.
If this is our one shot at life, there is no reason not to have fun and live as happy as possible. Bonus points if you made the life of other people better.More bonus points if you help build a galactic human empire. Do the things that make you feel good. You get to decide whatever this means for you.
Though this philosophy looks very simple and elegant, it is far from being perfect. It can open a box of new problems of accountability of actions. Who or what would the keeper of the checks and balances now? How does this effect existing laws of co-existence? How do we accommodate opposing views peacefully? If you are interested to find out more, there are a lot of interesting debates around this. You can dig around to find more.
I’m a lover of my own liberty, and so I would do nothing to restrict yours. -Mahatma Gandhi
But, if this is not what you are looking for, then there are plenty of other ways to find your way around here. Sometimes it is easy to stick to your guns and believe in doing whatever you want. Sometimes it can get tricky when you are bogged down with your day to day nuances. We tend to give into our emotions and do things that defy logic every now and then. We are not logical creatures after all.
I don’t practice this philosophy and firmly believe that I have my own purpose to achieve. But I would love to get there on my own terms. My actions and the consequences that I would face.
A wise judge recently said that, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life..”.
I find my solace in those words and march on.
Ciao for now