Thoughts from lunch

For there is no reason to be unhappy. Though strife abounds in the world, nothing has anything to do with you; or perhaps only distantly such that its effects strike you as may a ripple from a great tide strike the shore. Everything that is around you is well-disposed to your happiness. So why is it that you keep complaining about your being unhappy? And when your friends talk about how all the sociologists and philosophers are unhappy, you nod your head in agreement and reveal how deeply you can empathize with them.

Is it not noticeable that time and again, the things we do are all the same? I can almost imagine how exactly things will play out –  everything so ordered, the processions banal, the movements instructed, the rise, the fall, the choir of singing glands… Not that any of these should affect me in any way.

A philosopher says that the main aim of life is to become a superior person, that is to abide carefully and diligently by a set of virtues. Another philosopher objects that its preposterous to determine something as the main aim of life, as it were an end-in-itself, since there is no authority for determining it as such – one cannot naively derive the ought from the is. Then a theologian comes in and says that the main aim of life is to follow God’s commands.

You say that we ought to value life more than economic development, and all other material affairs. But what is it about life that we must value? Are not the conditions under which a life is brought up more important than the life itself? To say that life gives itself sufficient value is to permit a life brought up in the most heinous conditions, where from birth to death abounds pangs of pain.

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