I had a bunionectomy done today thanks to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs continuing to take care of me almost 9 years after I was honorably discharged from service with the U.S. Air Force. It would wonderfully well. Currently I am on some sort of pain-killer that is making me a little dizzy and drowsy, but my mental faculties seem to be doing okay (probably 85% depending on the topic). I would take a picture of the foot but it is tightly bandaged and has a bag of frozen broccoli florets sitting on it at the moment.
With the death of my dear friend and personal pastor four weeks ago, I have thought a lot about death, the purpose of mankind and individual purpose, and the value of human life here lately. Conclusions to these points that I have come to, and that will change as time goes on (some not even waiting until I am done with this blog post):
1. We will all die, even if mankind engineers a way for us to regenerate body parts electronically, through 3D printing, or genetic restructuring. At some point, we will all die. I simply do not believe there is any other way. For some very interesting takes on the future of mankind see the following movies but note the ratings and look up reviews first so you won’t blame me if you don’t like them:
a. In Time (2011)
b. Elysium (2013) My personal favorite of these with regards to the genetic restructuring and rebuilding capabilities.
c. Oblivion (2013) Although the cloning is done by aliens, the concept of
cloning while maintaining memory continuity might be possible
– however, we would still die.
2. The betterment and sustaining of human life, coupled with the well-being of man-kind does not work for me philosophically for having a purpose for mankind or my life. I just read another one that talked about engaging our curiosity of where we are and why it is we are here. I used to have a life purpose statement along those lines but I do not ‘feel’ it any more: My purpose in life is to engage and inspire others to use their time, talent, resources, skills, and mind to make the world a better place for all mankind. It sounds noble on the front end but it really does not matter. Death comes to us all. One day our planet will either run out of resources for us to pilfer for our existence, or at a minimum the giant star that we call the sun will wear out and die. The sun not working any longer is an eventual reality. But anything could happen in the meantime: nuclear war; an asteroid or group of asteroids crashing into us; a global cool down that sends us into a world-wide freeze over; the earth heating up to unbearable temperatures; etc…
3. From an individual standpoint observations are key to determining my given purpose. I have pro-created (had children). It is now my responsibility to take care of my children’s needs, and to educate them on life as a human. Based on what I observe around me as far as my culture, knowledge of other events in the world, personal religious beliefs, and inner desires I am going to say that this is my main purpose in life right now. That is debatable within Christian circles of which I am a part, but it is my belief, and it makes sense.
4. Every life does not carry the same value from a human perspective. Please do not hear me incorrectly. The key phrase here is “HUMAN PERSPECTIVE”. For example, we as a society would value a Pediatrician as more valuable than a public service bus driver. We see the Pediatrician as having the higher contributing value to our culture. Inherit in this thinking as that smart children are more valuable than children with learning disabilities or average performing children. Who will grow up to make the most positive impacts on society? When we see the homeless, cashiers at the grocery store, fast food workers who are middle-aged, etc… we have a tendency to look down on them or to envy them (depending on the value we place on ourselves). We, the people of earth as a whole, do this. We prove it by how much we pay people to do these jobs, by our food/housing government assistance programs, by our neglect for Third World countries who could benefit greatly from the abundance that we have and are able to supply from First World countries, and more.
Now with all this comes the Christian belief system that I have grown up with and experienced through the years. It runs counter to almost everything I have posted here today. What I am having trouble doing is reconciling my beliefs with the world I observe around me. I am reading a great book about God’s will right now by John Piper called, Does God Desire All to Be Saved? It is addressing some of my concerns. The second thing that I read recently that really challenged me and called me to give account of my flailing faith was a blog post regarding Charismatic Christianity. The basic challenge was whether my faith is based on a supernatural world view: “But church people that don’t really have a supernatural worldview are unable to discern divine power from demonic power, and so–out of a suspicious attitude–they just lump it all together, and miss out on experiencing the miraculous power of God in their lives.”
So I will continue taking my drugs and resting while chewing over whether I can handle a more supernatural worldview of God, then escaping from the world via sleep and possibly a movie later.