Answering “big talk” questions!

A week ago I published a blog post about why I hate small talk and why we should “big talk”. I gave you all a list of questions and some of you answered them which was really great and I enjoyed looking at it from a different perspective. Here I will be sharing my own answers in response to the questions so you can learn a bit more about me in return 🙂

1. Do you believe in life after death? How would you want to live on in the afterlife? How do you think you’ll live on?

To be honest, I’m unsure of whether there’s a life after death. I’m the kind of person who needs proof to completely believe in something and so I have no real conclusion about it. However, it does scare me to think that when we leave this world there is a void of nothingness, so I like to think that there is some sort of purpose. Ideally, I think it would be cool to be reincarnated and live again in another body. I find it quite hard to comprehend at times – the idea of not remembering a past life is a confusing thought – but I still like to think that it will happen, just so that I have some sort of purpose or that I can come back and change things I would have liked to have done before.

2. Do you think there is an alternate reality and if so, how does it correspond to this world?

Again, there is no proof of an alternate reality so I am neither a believer nor non-believer, but I love thinking about the concept of one. Sometimes we all have days where we feel happy or down for no reason and perhaps that corresponds to an alternate reality where we feel the opposite of our other self. The idea of there being another version of me is pretty weird, but also kind of exciting. I don’t know. Maybe it exists or maybe it doesn’t. But maybe someday we’ll find out!

3. Do you believe in soulmates or having more than one?

I’m not sure I really believe in soulmates, however I do believe that there are some people you have an instant connection with – whether that is as friends or as a relationship. Some people you easily click with and others you don’t. Some people you become closer too quicker than others who you may have known for ages. It’s unpredictable. Therefore I think if you considered these connections as “soulmates” of some sort, you can have more than one, yes.

4. Is anything in this world real?

To be honest, it isn’t guaranteed that it is. This is all we’ve known so how we would know otherwise? We could be part of a video game. We could be a made up dream inside someone’s head. Maybe I’m the only person who exists in this world and everything else, including all of you guys, is a figment of my imagination. But either way, to prevent myself going insane, I have to pretend that it is all real. And after all, it is real enough. If we haven’t known any different, it has to be considered our reality.

5. Is evil born within someone or does it grow with age?

I don’t think that anyone was born evil; I’m pretty sure we were all born somewhat pure. Society and other people’s influences on our lives is what shapes us into a good or evil person. Everyone has the potential for goodness and everyone has the potential to be evil. Some are just unlucky in the path of life they’ve taken and things have caused them to become a worse off person than they could have been. However I do think that some people are more susceptible to becoming evil than others, depending on their personality. This is not something that can be helped and so really the person themselves cannot be blamed, but there are certain traits and attributes which might make someone more vulnerable to aspects of life, and thus lash out in different ways. Considering this, I therefore believe that no one is actually born evil, but some people are born with a higher susceptibility to become it.

6. Does true freewill exist?

Again, this is something that is pretty debatable because there is really no way of knowing whether we have actual freewill. We like to think that we do. When we make decisions we are pretty sure they are coming from our own brain. But really, how can we prove that they are? Perhaps our future actions are already determined and there is a higher being that knows exactly what route we will take – has chosen what route we will take. It’s inevitably impossible to know how free we really are.

7. What is considered art?

This is a difficult one because in some sense, everything is art. When I think of the concept of art I see it as something that I can extract a meaning or story from. It expresses an emotion or an experience in perhaps an abstract way. Holistically, anything can do this. You can take a meaning out of anything in this world and give it a life if you choose to. However I think what makes true art is something that someone has created from within the realms of their head, rather than something that is natural. It goes against the laws of nature and becomes a mind-process rather than a physical process. This of course rules out nature, but for those who believe in God, nature may be believed to be designed by Him so surely that is art too? Even a bottle of hand soap, for instance, was designed by someone so isn’t that art too? This makes it quite complicated to draw a line between what is or what is not art. Therefore I think it is conclusively a subjective concept. What you think expresses meaning is meaningful enough to be art for you. It may not be art to someone else but it is still art. Really, there is no way of proving otherwise.

8. Does complete happiness exist or is it just an unobtainable concept?

Without trying to sound completely cynical, I don’t think complete happiness can ever really be achieved. I think happiness as a concept exists – of course it does – and there are many things in this world that make people smile and cause a sense of enjoyment. However the fact that the opposite of these things exist too – that we are also weighed down by sadness and stress and tragedies – means that there is no way to completely clear our head of what is “bad”. And without clearing our head of what is “bad”, how can we be completely happy? We can become close, but we can never actually reach it.

9. Is there ever a right or wrong? Is anything really objective?

There are lots of things in this world that are seemingly objective – government laws and educational grades – however when you really think about it, these aren’t really objective at all. If they were initially created by people, they were initially created by an individual thought which in itself is a matter of opinion. Not everyone has the same opinion – it is impossible to – and so really the creation of laws were a matter of subjectivity. We have been forced to follow them objectively despite their roots and have become accustomed to not do otherwise. We can even think about language itself – it is objective as in there is a right and wrong way to use it, however it was once created by people just like us who made it up out of nowhere. It was merely a sense of imaginative thinking. Everything that exists today originated from a sense of subjective thinking and so can anything really be considered right or wrong if it all stems from human intuition?

10. Can we really believe anything anyone says when we have only experienced our own conscious reality?

This last question kind of links to the previous one in that it questions the strength of a sense of duty in this world, however it also mentions our own conscious reality and how we see things. I find it really interesting how we can never really see anything from someone else’s perspective, no matter how hard we try. We can come close to it, but it will never be the same because, as the question says, we have only ever experienced our own conscious reality. This makes it difficult for us to believe in what people say because ultimately we can’t really trust anything when we have no complete proof. However I think that we have to trust to some extent because that is the only way to move forward in our lives. We may not ever understand the reality of others but we can get to know them from an outsiders perspective and for some, this is enough. Whilst I often wish I could delve into the lives of others to know what it’s really like, I know it’s not possible (or not yet, anyway) and so we must make do with how things are. Maybe some people are not genuine but that’s just how life is.

So overall, this post turned out a lot longer than I expected. I’m sure most of you won’t have read through all of that but I am going to post it anyway as I think it’ll be nice to look back on this in a few years time to see if any of my views have changed.

I hope summer is going well for you all and I wish anyone who is getting A level results on Thursday a lot of luck! I hope you all get the grades you deserve! 🙂

10 thoughts on “Answering “big talk” questions!

  1. It was so interesting to read your answers! Since you enjoy thinking about that kind of thing, I highly recommend C.S. Lewis’s “The Abolition of Man”– it considers many of these questions from a secular point of view. Ultimately he proves the existence of objective morality– it’s one of my favorite books! 🙂 This was a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is really interesting. I saw this thing about how all free will is “determined” by what we’re programmed into doing, and I think I kinda believe it. I also believe that some people are born psychopaths but that there’s a trigger; some people can live their whole lives as psychopaths and will never commit any crimes, because they haven’t been “triggered”, as it were. So people can be born bad but, if they have the right upbringing (i.e. a loving home, but not spoilt, good discipline), then that can save people from becoming who they might have become.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! we learnt about that in ethics and it’s really interesting 🙂 and ooh that’s a cool idea – I think that kind of stems into the susceptibility thing so I believe it partially too I guess, that some can be triggered into becoming evil whilst others remain safe.

      Liked by 1 person

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