My Philosophy of the Universe
by Eric Hunter
RULE NUMBER ONE: Nothing really matters. Scientists have discovered that if you spin two protons in a circle at near-light speed and then crash them together you get a "little bang", an explosion that results in the creation of hundreds of exotic little particles that spread out in all directions, then blink out of existence in a fraction of a second. Obviously our universe is the same thing on a grander scale. Everything
is relative, but eventually our universe is going to blink out of existence the same way those exotic particles do, and any alternate universes or whatever else exists outside our universe will probably be unaffected. When viewed from this perspective, it can be said that nothing we do has any real effect on anything outside of our universe, if any permanently stable bodies reside in such an area. Of course, our own lives and those of others around us are affected by our actions; however, one has to wonder, what difference does it make? What does it matter, in the long run, if one person lives or dies? Or for that matter, if ten thousand people live or die? Or ten trillion? This question shall go unanswered until the answer to that other question, "What is the purpose of life?" is found, which will probably be never. So until we find this out, we must be responsible for our own actions, since they will determine the lives that we lead, which are of more immediate interest than the fate of the universe. However, this "bigger-scheme" theory sure helps to put a bad day into perspective.
RULE NUMBER TWO: Religion is a crock. People are weak, life is hard. Many humans would cease to exist without some form of comfort, which they find in prayer and worship of non-existent gods. (I assume, though by no means do I state as a truth, that no gods exist because there is no physical evidence of them. In addition, I have yet to see a miracle; perhaps when - and if - I do I will change my views on religion. But until then, I listen only to what my eyes tell me.) Some of the less lucky or less motivated people find comfort in blaming almighty beings for their misfortunes. These people are frequently condemned to live lives of misery, as one must take control of his or her life in order to be successful. It is impossible to live a happy, fruitful life surfing on the accomplishments and donations of other people. However, many people either do not realize this or refuse to acknowledge it, and so they blame problems induced by their own laziness and lack of motivation on intangibles.
RULE NUMBER THREE: Human life is overrated. First thing's first: this planet is WAY overpopulated. Six billion people? Is there any other animal life form that even comes close to having this many members? Sure, lots of microscopic organisms exist in the billions, but they don't have the far-reaching effects on their environments that we do. They aren't frying the planet by depleting the ozone layer or piling up nuclear waste or dumping millions of tons of garbage into the ocean every day. They aren't causing the untimely deaths of millions of other animals and plants on account of their ridiculously enormous rate of consumption, food-related and otherwise. Don't get me wrong; though I may sound like an environmentalist, I'm actually not at all. I just think people are real arrogant for thinking they can do whatever they want with the planet just because they're a higher life form. And I think it's even worse still that people in this country make such a big deal out of people dying and that the justice system is so anti-capital punishment when the world would be much better off without us. My attitude is this: all criminals convicted of felonies should be put to death instead of being incarcerated. Why waste $30,000 a year per inmate keeping him fed and clothed when you could just kill him and be done with it? Sure, you'd get an innocent person once in a while, but hey, nobody said life was fair. And I'm sure more guilty people get off the way things are currently than innocent people would be killed in my world, and in my opinion that's far worse, because if you kill one innocent person, that's all that happens, but if you let a murderer loose he can kill any number of innocents before he's caught. Plus, it has been statistically proven that Middle Eastern countries and others that employ "eye for an eye" and "guilty until proven innocent" rules have much lower crime rates than countries with democratic justice systems. So less people would have to be killed than one might expect at first.
Another thing that bothers me is when someone dies in a car accident or something similar in nature and everyone thinks it's a great tragedy because of all the good that person could have done if they stayed alive. First of all, there's no guarantee that they would have done more good than bad. Secondly, until we know what the purpose of life is (refer to rule number one), how can we really know what is good and what is bad? We can go by what others tell us, but how do they know? We can go by what we feel is right, but very often our gut instincts are based upon things other people told us when we were very young. So that doesn't get us anywhere. Thirdly, I believe that fate would have caused the accident to happen no matter what you did to intervene, so there's no point in moping around and wishing you could have done something to prevent what was bound to happen anyway. I realize that this "fate" argument is rather weak, and I don't have any actual evidence that it exists; but have you ever felt that your
life was one great story and that your every day was just another page in the book? Careful examination of people's lives frequently shows that the events of their lives seem to have been carefully constructed so as to create a moving plot with climaxes and resolutions. Sounds crazy, but it's true. I believe that fate, as I call it, has a hand in everything that one does. That's one of the reasons why people who live in the past never get anywhere in life; you can never hope to change what has already happened. All you can do is learn from past experiences and use them to prepare for the future.
This was written by Eric, who… well, I won’t get into personal crap here. He’s also a senior at Greenwich High and an admitted Quake and Playstation addict who has no intention of recovering. I don’t know who he’s going to copy his work from in college when I’m not there… Anyway, if you have any comments on this piece o’ writing, please email Eric and tell him what you think.