Random Stuff #023: The dilemma of existence

I exist. You exist. We exist. But how do we exist? What is existence? What does it mean to exist? To me, existence is being self aware. Knowing that you are because you exist.

French existential philosopher René Descartes posits in his famous Discourse On Method that by virtue of our ability to think, we exist because how would you think if you didn’t exist. The phrase cogito ergo sum translates to ‘I think therefore I am’. Our ability to think about our existence, whether in acknowledgment or denial of it, is sufficient proof that we exist. 
So what if we being self aware of existence is just a design flaw in our code? What if all we have been thinking is after all an illusion? What if its an evolutionary trait that aids self aware individuals to survive? 

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Random Stuff #022: Back to the WordPress

I’ve been off for a while but I’m coming on in a big way. Too many articles about many interesting subjects to write. Existentialism, psychology, cosmology, enlightenment philosophy, reality, rationalism, fringe science, artificial intelligence, pantheism, dogmatism, Freudian theories, morality, ethics, meaning of life, religion, media and et cetera are some of the issues on my agenda. I’ve turned a little more philosophic of late. I’m questioning everything I see in a new light. One of the eye openers I read recently is René Descartes’s Discourse on Method which has made me question my reality in a way I’ve not done before. I’m reading Baruch Spinoza next, then I’ll embark on Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses which I heard earned him a fatwa from the Iranian president in the late 80s. Its frankly ridiculous to me. A religion that can’t take any kind of criticism is fruitful grounds for extremist violence and terrorist mindsets. Terrorists will exist with religion or not. But some religions, especially ones built on military ideologies instead of peace and nonviolence, will continue to encourage and breed extremist behaviour. Anyway enough on that. There is no basis, whether religious, ideological or political, under which a sane human being should put a price on another person’s head. I don’t care if your religion condones it or not. 

Back to philosophy. I’ve also been reading about many enlightenment age philosophers and other great characters like René Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Giordano Bruno, Voltaire, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Johannes Kepler, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel, Albert Einstein, Francisco Goya, George Orwell, Karl Marx, Albert Camus, and Immanuel Kant. The list is long, I know. In a way their ideas have collectively influenced the articles I’ll be posting. I don’t agree with all of them but at least I learnt something new from each of them. With every philosopher I read, I got more enlightened.