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Philosophy (a Foundation)


Introduction

The first step in coming up with a philosophy of life is to decide on a meaning of life. Although we may be able to have fun in life without knowing its meaning, I feel that true happiness comes from fulfilling our purpose, which can be derived from the meaning of life. As we have seen, the ultimate meaning of life appears to be the survival of life’s genetic codes. Although this may or may not be the only meaning of life, it is a place from which we can start.

For some individuals, just passing on their genetic code to the next generation may be enough to make them happy. On the other hand, many people will want more out of life. Likewise, I do not believe that this ultimate meaning of life is enough to build a philosophy of life on. I feel that we, as a species and as individuals, must also take on a higher purpose. That is, we must take on the responsibility to protect and to safeguard the survival of all life and all its genetic codes. If done correctly, this higher purpose fits nicely with our ultimate meaning of life.

Many people may also say that we must include the afterlife as part of our meaning of life. I would say that the afterlife, if it exists, might be more of a reward for fulfilling our purpose in life, or a punishment for not fulfilling our purpose. Of course, if there is an afterlife, I hope that it also has some meaning beyond just being a reward or a punishment. Nevertheless, if we live a good life wherein we fulfill our purpose in life, then we should be pretty well prepared for any afterlife, if it exists.

Many people, including myself, may still want more meaning out of life. I think it should be up to each of us to find our own special meaning or purpose in life beyond the meaning and purpose that all of us ultimately have. It is this extra meaning and purpose that people have that gives life that extra spice that we humans seem to crave.

My philosophy of life embraces and builds off of this ultimate meaning of life, our higher purpose and our desire for more. Therefore, my philosophy begins with our need to take on the responsibility to protect and to safeguard our environment, so that our descendents and the descendents of all other species will be able to survive and can continue to pass on their genetic code.

I even believe that, as a species, we must embrace this as our mission and we must use our knowledge and our understanding of our universe to that end. This would also mean that it would be our responsibility to explore and to learn about everything that can help us in this mission and to support this mission in whatever way we are best able. To date, I do not believe that we humans have lived up very well to this higher purpose.

Principles

Based on this philosophy of protecting and safeguarding all life, and giving each of our lives its own meaning and purpose, I have come up with two principles that I believe we must observe in order to build a solid foundation for a better future.

The first principle calls for us to respect and to protect the right of all living things to try to live their lives according to their nature while we protect our own right to live our lives as we want. The second principle calls for us to respect and to protect the balance that must exist between all living and nonliving things in order for our world to maintain and to improve its ability to support life for as long as possible.

In essence, every living thing has the right to decide how it wants to live, and the responsibility to accept the consequences. For most living things, this is built into their very nature, since they live mostly by instinct and have a very limited ability to prevent other living things from living their lives by their nature. Even a predator like a fox is not preventing a rabbit from living how it wants, since it is in the very nature of being a rabbit that it is the fox’s prey. Every species has make trade offs during its evolution in order to find a niche where it can survive in balance with its environment. If a species is unable to find its balance then it may perish or cause the destruction of other species.

Other than certain natural disasters, it is only us humans who have any real ability to throw nature out of balance. Our large brains have allowed us to go beyond our instincts and to create powerful tools that we can use to reshape our environment. With this power comes responsibility. Just because we have the ability to do something does not mean that we should. The true sign of intelligence and maturity is to know the right thing to do and to have the courage to do it.

Of course, there may be many different ways in which to do the right thing and there may be many different possible lifestyles that we can conceive of that will not throw things out of balance. Within these possible lifestyles, we must each decide on how we can best live our lives and then try to create that lifestyle for ourselves.

In keeping with these principles, no one should be allowed to impose his or her beliefs or lifestyle on anyone else. This also means that nobody has the right to a lifestyle that unduly harms other living things or our world. For instance, people should not have the right to steal from others in order to earn a living. In addition, even when someone has earned the money honestly, it should not give them the right to use it to waste or to destroy our world’s resources.

Everyone needs to adjust the way they live their lives based on the limitations imposed by our world and the existence of its other inhabitants. To be a great civilization, we need to protect the life and the property of all our world’s inhabitants, human or not, from anyone who does not respect the right of others to live their lives. In a truly great civilization, it should even be considered an obligation to do so.

We also need our world to be able to continue to sustain life, at the very least, until we have found someplace else where we can all go. This means that we should not deplete our resources nor deprive other living things of their appropriate share. If a balance is to be maintained, then all current and future generations of living things must have an equal right to share in the world’s natural resources. No individual should have the right to deprive others of a good life by wasting our resources. We must remember that for life on this planet to be truly successful, it is not the success of an individual life that is important, but the continued survival and success of all the various species that live on our planet today and in the future.

Acceptance

Given the large number of people in the world and their great diversity, I doubt that any single philosophy could ever be fully accepted by everyone. On the other hand, since these philosophical principles actually embrace this diversity, only people who feel a need to meddle in or to dictate other people’s lives should find fault with them. The key is for each one of us to not only protect our own lifestyles, but for everyone to protect and to defend the right of everyone and every other living thing to live their chosen lifestyles.

If a solid majority of people followed these philosophical principles of respect and balance, then everyone would have the freedom to live their lives in a way that they believed was best for them. That is, as long as we do not cause undo harm to others, we could be assured that even our most unusual lifestyle choices, even ones that others may not necessarily approve of or understand, would receive protection. On the other hand, if we do not follow these principles, then we risk having lifestyle choices imposed upon us by others. In fact, throughout the world today, to varying degrees, people are being forced to live their lives in ways that are not of their own choosing.

What about those people who do try to prevent other people from living their lives as they choose or who do try to impose a lifestyle on others? The simple answer is that we need to respect their right to believe that people can interfere with other people’s lives. Of course, in respecting their belief, we would in no way be giving them the right to force their will on others. However, by respecting their beliefs, society would earn from them the same right to control their lives, and only their lives, just as they would have done with others, and in doing so, prevent them from harming others.

Even when people’s actions do give society the right to control their lives, our first step should be to confront these people in order to make sure that they understood what they were doing, and what the consequences of their actions would be. If these people understood and changed their ways, then all would be good. Otherwise, we could take the right that they would have given us and use it to control their lives and to take the appropriate corrective actions that would set things right.

Unfortunately, some people, for some strange reason, may still want to meddle in the lives of other people or to live lifestyles that are destructive to others. These people may not like the changes that would result from following these philosophical principles, but we cannot let them ruin things for the rest of us. In order to have more rights and freedoms, we all must take on the responsibility to do what is needed to protect those rights and freedoms.

By applying these philosophical principles to the rebuilding of our civilization, our lives would gain more possibilities and the world would be a better place for us and all living things. Each one of us would be able to decide on an appropriate lifestyle that would make us happy and give our life meaning while still balancing things like freedoms, rights, responsibilities, complexity, and safety.

Goals

Now that we have come up with the philosophical principles of respect and balance, we need to use them to set some basic goals. We will use these basic goals as guideposts when mapping out the steps that we can use on our path to a better and brighter future. A central theme of these goals is finding ways to protect our rights and the rights of all living things while we take on the additional responsibilities needed to protect these rights.

From our basic philosophical principle of respect springs the goal of creating a world where all living things are given the chance to live their lives according to their nature while respecting the rights of other living things to live their lives. To accomplish this goal, there are many problems that we will need to solve, including, but not limited to, discrimination, hate, pollution, overpopulation, crime, and corruption.

From our basic philosophical principle of balance springs the goal of creating a world where the environment and human civilization are sustainable into the foreseeable future. To accomplish this goal, we will need to solve problems like pollution, deforestation, diminishing natural resources, crumbling infrastructure, war, terror, and poverty.

In order to fulfill these goals, we need to set another goal. We need to reshape our civilization so that our global society can progress to the point where we do not continually create new problems for ourselves. We want to be able to concentrate all our efforts on finding solutions to natural problems such as floods, draughts, disease, earthquakes, and asteroids, and not on problems that we create for ourselves. This will require that the basic laws for every person and business in the world be standardized based on our principles of respect and balance. Then everyone, based on their abilities, would have the same freedoms, responsibilities and opportunities to try to create a life of their choosing.

Guidelines

With these goals and the latest scientific information, I put together a list of some useful guidelines that I believe are very important to consider when looking for solutions to the problems that stand in the way of our path to a better future. Ignoring these guidelines would make it much more difficult, if not impossible, to create a truly great future and could even bring about the endangerment and extinction of many more species, including our own.

The following are some of the more important guidelines.

  • Respect the right of all living things to live their lives.
  • Allow each and every species to have a large enough habitat to support a population sufficiently large enough for them to maintain a healthy genetic diversity.
  • Protect and support a diverse and complete array of habitats where a wide variety of species can live.
  • Prevent pollution and keep habitats as clean and pristine as possible.
  • Do not waste nor destroy our resources.
  • Allow all living things to share in the natural resources that they need.
  • Preserve nonrenewable resources as much as possible and only use them when we have no other choice.
  • Reduce the problems, conflicts and complexities in our lives that prevent us from living our lives to the fullest and from working on our mission.
  • Allow everyone the opportunity to live a life of their own choosing as long as it does not cause undue harm to other living things.
  • Do whatever else is needed to ensure that the Earth can sustain life for as long as possible.
  • Explore the universe in order to find a future home for life.

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Finding a Path - A starting point for Finding Our Future Path.

Last Updated:
Thursday, December 28, 2017
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