Life, it’s supposed to be fulfilling, but for many people it isn’t. I know too many people who can’t seem to find fulfillment in life, no matter where they look. The problem is not them. The problem is our culture. Dire Straits called upon us to “do the walk of life.” How many of us actually do? Or do we do “the sprint of life?” I think most people do the latter. Is it any wonder, then, that they can’t find fulfillment? They go from one high to the next. Whether the high is psychoactive, intellectual, physical, emotional, or spiritual is irrelevant. The point is that we can’t find enough time to do what we need to do, or want to do for that matter, because we are too busy chasing down the next high. If people slowed down the pace of their lives and chose to do the “walk of life,” they might actually find lasting fulfillment, not just temporary fulfillment that wears off when the next issue of People or National Enquirer (or any tabloid for that matter) comes off the press. We refuse to live our lives to the fullest. Why? Because we feel that it’s too much work to do so. It’s hard. It takes effort and commitment (“those words are archaic” is what I’m hearing now, wait, that should be “those words are too old-fashioned”). We have lost ourselves to culture, and we could care less.
This scares me. The reason is because I want my future wife to be someone who is genuine. Someone who could care less about who is cheating on whom in Hollywood. Someone who reads literature that has depth to it and enjoys it. I know too few people who fit that ideal. And that is not even getting into the quality of character and morals that I look for. Life is short, but shouldn’t we pursue a genuine life? It doesn’t matter if you live 5 years or 105 years, if you didn’t live your life in a genuine manner, it was wasted. You can’t live a genuine life if you let the media do your political thinking for you. You definitely can’t live a genuine life if you let society determine your morals and ethics for you, because you can expect them to change every month. Objective morals do exist. There may be no such thing as absolute morals, but no self-respecting philosopher will make a case for their existence. They simply are not there. “Thou shall not kill” is not an absolute moral. There are times when it is necessary to kill, those times may be few and far in between, but they are there. Had the Valkyrie plot succeeded in killing Hitler, those men who stood up to the Nazi regime would have been celebrated for ending one of the most abhorrent chapters of history.
How many people know what the Trolley Problem is? If you don’t, I’m not going to explain it; you need to look it up yourself. Do the ends justify the means? Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. It all depends. Here is where objective morals can be useful, but absolute morals fall flat. In our decidophobic culture, we brush this dilemma off, but we need to answer the question, should you or should you not take action? And because society tells us to be ergophobic when it comes to our intellectual lives, we don’t want to examine the implications for our worldview.