There is no truth, no fact either

December 19, 2007

None whatsoever.  There is no absolute truth. There is no fact.  Fact is “the quality of being actual : actuality <a question of fact hinges on evidence>.”   Show me evidence that may not be disproved sometime in the future.  Even science could be completely wrong.  Truth is an illusion that we keep in order to make ourselves feel safe in certain things.  But here’s my question, why can’t we feel safe without having fact?  Why do we need affirmation of our existence and of our beliefs with “fact”?

Last quarter, I took an Organic Chemistry class complete with lab.  As I carried out various experiments, I always knew what the expected result would be based on lecture notes, common sense and lab preparation.  But as I went to lab week after week and as I listened to my Professor explain the workings of the world around us through reactions and mechanisms, I couldn’t help wondering if it was all coincidence.  And I’m sure that if I ask any chemist in the world, they couldn’t disprove that theory. 

We know nothing.  Not even what we see.  The labels that we have given everything that we can experience through our five discovered senses is only labeled within our own perception.  Everything is based on faith.  Faith that science isn’t just an astounding combination of coincidences as random and rare as planet Earth is in the universe. 

 So how can people claim to know the truth.  How can any of us claim Jesus saves, God is not here, we are made of molecules and he is bad man when we know nothing as fact?  We don’t need it to live, we don’t need it to survive.  We get so caught up in trying to prove and trying to find the facts that we miss the life.  We miss the experience.  We lose trust in ourselves and look for the “truth” in “fact” that doesn’t exist. 

Everything that we call fact or truth is based on imperfect human perception.  How do we know the red isn’t actually blue, or that pants aren’t actually shirts or that ugly is not actually beautiful?  It sounds abstract, ridiculous even, but ask yourself these questions.  Who says these things are fact.  Who says that I have written and not said?  The creator of the word “red” could have easily said blue instead.  It isn’t fact, it is perception and we have faith that that perception is right.  What do you know for sure that may not be disproven in death?  What Christian has died and knows that he will go somewhere else and not just dead?  What atheist knows that she will not die and see God? 

What does it matter if our perception is right?  It only matters that at the end of our lives we have experienced.  It only matters that we have fought the great fights.  Coming out of it with defeat of victory is trivial, as long as we have lived, what does it matter (absent of our reputation, of other people, of our families and our perception) what is fact and truth? Why do we concern ourselves with what we cannot know?  Of course we want to find out what is real and what is not, but why not create ourselves so that we do not need it?  Why not form ourselves so that we do not desire “fact” to affirm our existence and our faith? 

Think about a life that is absent of the desire for truth and fact.  A carefree existence with the complete ability to live without distraction.  To experience, love and connect only as experience.  Imagine life just as life.  Imagine loving your friends and family without wondering about anything else.  To take life as it is and respect as it is.  Yes, the fun of philosophizing and theorizing would be absent, but only at those moments, without the human need to question, would we know truth.  When we wouldn’t care.  When truth wouldn’t matter.  When we are satisfied with our destination.  We when realize that certain things have no answers, that life is out of our control, the we are in control of only ourselves and that we will die inevitably, but not in vain.  That’s when we know truth.  When living is only about living and we accept what others say at face value.  When we can look each other in the eye and say “This is you.  This is me.  This is us at face value.”    This is when fact/truth is obtained.  When we know truth is nothing.


Talkin’ Bout My Generation

December 17, 2007

Andrew: My God, are we gonna be like our parents?
Claire: Not me…ever.
Allison: It’s unavoidable, it just happens.
Claire: What happens?
Allison: When you grow up, your heart dies.  

This is dialogue from The Breakfast Club.  I used to like this movie because I thought it was fun and entertaining.  Not until recently did it actually mean something to me.  It summarized the themes of conversations around my university dinner table.  That’s right, the college kid is in town. 

I am in the 15-25 year range.  Our 3rd leading cause of death is suicide.  There is 1 suicide for every 100-200 attempts.  In 2005, 16.9% of high school students had considered suicide in the 12 months prior to the survey.  Our problem?   It hurts too much to go on.  The problems never seem to end and nobody seems to really listen or ask the right questions.  It’s less about dying and more about escape.

If we make it through: 79% of us (13-25) wants to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society.  More than ever, college graduates are taking a gap year to work for non-profit organizations.  Our motivation?  To not be what we watch, what we play and what we listen to.  And in the end, it’s about making sure that the problems we see are eliminated.  We are only as strong as our weakest member.

I used relish in the idea of being an adult.  I would have complete control of my life.  Then I realized that being young is the most freedom I will ever have… if I become the adult America wants me to be.  Allison (the “freak”) says that our hearts die when we become adults.  My generation does not want to be adults because we are afraid.  We do not want our hearts to die. We do not want our passion to diminish.  It seems a little ironic that we don’t want our hearts to die, yet so many of us attempt or at least think about suicide.  It happens because we are passionate and every detail in our lives is blown up.  Our hearts are very alive and we take everything magnifyed compared to adults.  So we escape through getaways and some can’t find one, so they decide to leave.  At the root of it all, the adventure in life that we seek is too appealing to let go for the tainted adulthood that awaits us.  Whoever said it gets better when you get older was lying.  It only gets better when you make it happen, at any age.  That’s the part left out of the education system.  As a young adult, though, sometimes we only have tunnel vision.  We know we’ll need to grow up, but the pressure can be too much.  It may be pressure different from past generations, but it is still very real.

For those of us who find the strength to make it through the misunderstanding and the pressure, we seek to change the world and make it easier for future generations.  The public activism of older generations has been transformed into personal activism within our specific lives.  Still, we are reluctant to enter the “real world.”  We were told immaturity, peer pressure and all the “teen” issues stopped at adulthood.  The truth is that they only become more passive aggressive and more institutionalized.  I’m sure any adult in the workplace can testify. 

Adulthood:   

  • Discovery of new things becomes limited
  • Freedom – only within the reigns of what is accepted by society; you make choice based on how you think you will be percieved
  • Honesty happens less – desparate housewives is based on a true story
  • It’s harder to apologize
  • You lose touch with your children’s generation 
  • The workplace is horrible (see “The Office” but in real life)
  • It’s harder to change (adults rarely evaluate their beliefs when questioned)
  • The illusion of being “too old” – you are never “too” old, why does this thought happen

The 15-25 Getaway:

  • Alcohol and drug abuse (more than just use) – instant relief from reality
  •  Music.  It expresses us.  It listened before we talked.
  •  Art.  It says without having to bother with words.  It is a translation.
  • Sex (abuse).  Somebody needs to love us, this is the easiest way to get it.
  • The internet.  What we write, what we read, it’s ours.  Nobody else has to interfere.
  • Video Games.  Fun.  Not schoolwork, news, parents, pressure. It stimulates.
  • Books and Magazines.  Something else.  Someone else.  Something more.  Something better.  

These getaways shouldn’t be necessary.  It’s not just our problem.  18-25 years and younger is not enough time to evaluate and then screw up.  The growing up process needs help from society.  It takes a village to raise a child.  The movies, games, music and television aren’t the only problems.  In the words of John Wooden, “Young people need models, not critics.”

The Point: 
This isn’t only for adults; this is a point for my peers too.  What you see on the surface of 18-25 yr olds is not what lies beneath.  The truth is never shown at first glance.  It is always put at a deeper position so that it can be earned.  If you’re a parent, stop talking, believe me, they know where you stand and they’ve taken from you what they think they need.  There’s so much you do not know despite how much they tell you.  If you’re a “child expert”, you don’t know the half of it.  If you’re just an adult, re-evaluate what you think.  If your one of us, screw it and just do what you need to do, this is your only chance to make sure that when you grow up, “you’re heart doesn’t die.”  The power to change the world is already in our hands.  We don’t have to do it like our parents; we can be the change, not protest for it.  Change what adulthood means.  Make it about discovery, learning, maturing and acceptance.  

Most importantly, never let your heart die. (too you adults, get it back and poppin’)

Stats and Facts (evaluate your views):

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/suicide/
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-12-12-emerging-adults_N.htm?csp=34&POE=click-refer
http://www.marcandangel.com/2007/08/17/what-is-adulthood-20-defining-characteristics-of-a-true-adult/
Business Today Magazine. Fall 2007. Volume 44, Issue 2. – put out by Princeton (not my college. nope.)  It’s a good read for young aspiring adults and adults who want a refreshing perpective.


One True Religion

December 15, 2007

Is one of these religions right?  Is God really on a side?  Is there a God?  Is there anything?  Have we just missed the point all together?

Human beings have been fighting over religion since our ancestors decided to have relgion.  There are billions of people who have very different beliefs and most of them are sure that they are right.  And at least one of them says that he is infallible.  Now I don’t know about that, but in this world, someone has to be wrong.  There either is a God or there isn’t.  There is salvation or there isn’t.  Right? 

Here’s where I am now:  If there is one true religion, then it isn’t here yet.  None of the religions on this planet are “true” in every sense of the word.  Religion brings people together (at least the people in it anyway).  If there is no religion on the Earth that brings everyone together, then there is no one true religion.  Going on, all of the religions on this earth will contribute to the one true religion (if there is one) because in every religion that I have educated myself on, there are extremely valid points about life and perspective.  Even more, most of them have the same themes, they just express them differently.  So they all have a little piece of the puzzle, we just haven’t gotten all the way yet.  Or maybe there isn’t a way to get to.

So here’s the question.  Tell me what you think.  Is there one true religion?