Personal Philosophy of Life

I do not believe in a certain god or superior being. But this does not mean that I am atheistic. To be an atheist means that you believe in no god. For me, I think that it’s best to say that I’m agnostic. I just don’t know what’s out there. Maybe there is a superior being or beings out there watching over mankind. Maybe there isn’t. I don’t know. And until I’m definitely sure, I choose not to have a specific religion.

I have been told by some rather wise men that religion is simply a psychological crutch that man uses. When he hits rock bottom and needs some sort of support to keep him going, he approaches a higher being and asks for help. When he is content and fortunate, he either praises and thanks that being or ignores him altogether because he is so wrapped up in his joy. Man needs someone to rely on and to even blame sometimes.

But there are some questions that religion answers, like the existence of good and evil and the sort. One of the major questions is, “Where did we come from? Who made us?” To that I have no answer. I don’t have that much free time to ponder on such matters. But I can pretty much say that man just is. We are here, now, and we will be here for a pretty long time. We just are. The idea of a superior being just doesn’t fit into the whole shebang. To have someone in charge and controlling everything sounds a little out of place. If there is a superior being, where did he come from?

Good and evil is another big question. I think the best way to answer that is that good is something that seems to be pleasant and appealing to the senses. Good benefits almost everyone and causes little harm - from a certain point of view. Evil is the opposite. Whatever is painful, miserable, and threatening to others is pretty evil. The limits of good and evil are not fixed, since people have different perspectives about these things. And, contrary to the Christian belief, good and evil can coexist. After all, the measures by which we determine good and evil are based on our own perspectives. Usually the limits are roughly the same, though. For example, almost everyone agrees that murder is evil. But some of us may disagree when we talk about the murder of the Denver Broncos for winning the Super Bowl XXXII instead of the Green Bay Packers.

Life and death is actually simple. Life is the beginning of someone’s experience on this planet. They are born, and they are to make their mark (no matter how small and insignificant it might be) and pass on. Man has a turn to walk the surface of the earth. It’s like going to a hockey game. You get your ticket, you go in, watch the game, have a good time, and when the game is over, you go out of the stadium and you go home. In between, you have snacks and food, fights with the guy who’s blocking your view, comments about how lousy the visiting team plays, visits to the bathroom, and of course, the national anthem. You root, cheer, woof, and hiss. You leave your mark, and you go on. Same thing with life. You have milestones in between.

But to answer the question of what is life itself is too difficult. Even great thinkers like Socrates, Aristotle and some Renaissance wise guys spent their lives trying to figure it out. My answer is in the paragraph above.

How to live a good life. Hmm. To live a good life is to be satisfied with who you are and what you’ve done. You’re happy with your seats in the stadium. You like your food. You may have (excuse me) bitched about a couple of things, but you enjoyed the game. Once in a while you liked to see a few players get bashed into the glass wall. It’s fun. It’s gruesome. And it’s not happening to you. Life is great! Of course, the kind of people who prefer golf and polo may beg to differ. But you like your hockey game. It’s your thing. And when the game is over and you go home, you don’t regret the past. You liked the game. That is what makes it a good game to you.

NOTE: You do as you please. Of course. But some things that you enjoy (say, serial killing) may conflict with the lives of others. That’s why you can’t really do everything you want. Other people are there to enjoy the game, too. Including the big guy in front of you (even though it seems that his sole purpose in being there is to block your view and ignore you). So don’t rest your feet on his head. It may not turn out very pretty.

A small tidbit, call it food for thought if you like, that I happen to like very much. I found part of it in an excerpt from Robert Fulghum’s latest book (although I forgot the title) and added some things to it.

To err is to be human.
To be human is to be curious.
To be curious is to search.
To search is to discover.
To discover is to learn.
To learn is to enjoy.
To enjoy is to err, then look back and laugh.

. . .

Copyright (c) 1998 by Gemma Truman
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Philosophy, which I took in my junior year, was one of the best classes I ever had. It flows freely and without rules or restrictions, it encourages you to think, the teacher is great and humorous (although at times a bit abrasive...such is a wrestler), and the content is meaningful. One of the assignments I had to turn in was about my own philosophy of life, which I imagine my teacher enjoyed reading. After all, it's got sports in it.