“What is the point of it all?” It’s kind of an ironic question, it’s a foolish question.
Herbert Fingarette (20 January 1921 – 2 November 2018) was an American philosopher and emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara who once argued that there was no reason to fear death. At 97, his own mortality began to haunt him, and he had to rethink everything.
We have invented so many things like the big G, like those pursuit of happiness as nothing can fill the void this question creates. This is where the utility of belief in afterlife comes into action, because all of a sudden, if you believe in a rewarding or punishing after life, then a believer’s meaning of life is to optimize his or her chance of getting reward instead of getting punishment. Suddenly life has a goal! What a great invention! What a great utility of fictions!
But I guess we make a mistake when we connect these two notions: “(a) There’s no point of life if I am eventually going to die” to —> “(b) Then there’s no point of doing anything to enjoy my moments and try to make my future moments”.
Yes, “You are going to die if you jump off that bridge”. Yes, “you are going to lose your mind a bit after you finish that whiskey or do drugs”. Yes, “you are going to piss off your mom or your friends if you become the same annoying and judgmental you are.”
So, the next moments do depend on what you do in this moment. Therefore, it is possible to ensure your next moments to be pleasurable or insufferable.
But yet, if we look back, we realize we made most of our moments to be insufferable. We acknowledge most of it seem to be outside of our hands.
But should that be the reason to give up, ay?
And is striving to live life better and challenging your own self and realigning therefore the pursuit?
Of course, there are many points in experiencing and creating our moments like getting that first job, falling in love, reminiscing that last goodbye, sending letters of love, protesting against injustice.
But most of points are ultimately only valid for yourself, not for anyone or anything else. Only you can value your moment after all. You are the only judge of yourself after all.
Death lets you identify the value of life. Life is the day and death is the night, in the long run. We are just a fly in the ocean of time and you only live in the NOW, not an waking moment before, not an waking moment later. But you can create a heaven or a hell with the way you think about your moments.