Friday 7 June 2024

Is this mortal life basically OK?

"Is this mortal life basically OK?"

I sometimes think that this question (or something like it) is the root of philosophy. 

"Is this mortal life basically OK?" seems to be something that - although in theory it need not be asked (and maybe there are animals, and perhaps some humans, that never ask it); in practice it seems to be something that demands and gets an answer (even if we aren't aware of this answer).  

Because, even to ask whether mortal life is OK, is already to have acknowledged that it is not OK - or, at least not sufficiently so.  

Although there seem always to have been plenty of those who argue that life is perfect just-as-it-is; these have always needed to add "if only people would realize it!" - which modification then (in practice) leads to all kinds of attempts at psychological-spiritual training, discipline, meditation etc. in order that people can be made to realize this-life (as-is) is OK, or even utterly wonderful. 

That need to be made to realize that life really-is OK, even the need to explain that it is OK (properly regarded); is in itself, evidence of something being wrong with this mortal life - and to invite the question of why it is wrong.  

In other words; while anybody can answer "Yes!" to the question; for this Yes! to be more than empty words, more than optimistic day-dreaming (or, indeed, cynical attempts at manipulation or careerism) - immediately entails an acknowledgement that the very fact the question has-been-asked, means that life as-is, is actually not OK. 

Therefore; if we are rigorous about it; we already know that this mortal life is basically not OK. 

And that something is therefore demanded of us - even if that something is "merely" an acknowledgement of the intractable insufficiency of life.  

Since life is not OK - what then? 

Probably the most prevalent and deeply believed answer in the world - at least in the Western world - is the Leftist Answer: the implicit answer that motivates attitudes and behaviours in vast numbers of people. 

To the question "Is this mortal life basically OK?"; the Leftist Answer is (approximately): "No, not at present - but it could be made so."

The Leftist answer implies that, unless life is accepted to be insufficient when it could be OK; the world needs to embark upon a purposive transformation of this mortal life

Leftism embarks upon this transformation of life; makes some change, makes indeed several changes; but it turns-out that life is still Not-OK. 

It turns-out that (apparently) if life is to be transformed such that becomes OK, this needs many changes - many radical (deep) changes. 

Thus the Leftist strategy turns-out to be open-endedly expansile.

Leftism entails, indeed demands, ever more and more changes - yet life still is not OK... 

The conclusion is that nothing less than a Total transformation of life is required - change must be universal - it must therefore be imposed and enforced. 

Hence Leftism is totalitarian - if the assumption is that this-world can be make OK by transforming it - and when it is assumed that there is nothing-but this-world; and when anything less that total transformation always fails... 

Then totalitarian power to impose total change, is not just an unfortunate necessity but a moral imperative. 

No matter how often and how badly the Leftist project to transform this world and make it OK has failed in the past; since it is (by assumption) Mankind's only hope, then There Is No Alternative but to aim at an ever more-totalitarian, more-universal, and more-coercively-mandatory transformation: a New World Order. 

The Christian answer is that this mortal life is indeed not OK when considered as a separate entity; and what makes mortal-life Not-OK are ineradicable by human action. Because these include evil, degenerative change ("entropy"), and death; all of which constitute part-of everybody, and of all beings. 

Evil, entropy and (especially) death are built-into this mortal world: therefore this world is Not-OK.   

But (fortunately) mortal life is not necessarily the whole story; and mortal life is OK when regarded as an "educational" phase that leads to Heaven. 

For Christians; mortal life in isolation is not OK; but with Heaven to follow it and lived with that expectation, mortal life is OK. 

No comments: