Thoughts, Opinions, Gripes, and Grievances


Kian Pfannenstiel, Writer

A friend of mine has shown me a website (link here) with 40 “thought-provoking” questions. I provided the link because, as much as I’d love to, I can’t answer all of them, and I wanted to make sure that if you want to look at these to identify your own answers, you are fully able. Besides, many of them are philosophical or theological. I don’t want to step on any of your toes, so I preface my article with the statement that all of my answers will be my best, logic-based guesses as to the answers or my own philosophical or theological beliefs unless I indicate otherwise.

So, without any further ado, let’s get down to it.

1: What lies beyond the observable universe?

There are many theories as to what is out there, most, if not all, are outlined in astrophysics. One of the common theories is that we live in an endless span of galaxies. Another is that we live in a large clump of galaxies with our own set of physics, while there is another large clump of galaxies with their own physics: another universe, and that these universes may be in a clump, and these clumps of increasing sizes go on endlessly. My own opinion is the latter.

2:Is there life after death?

Most religions cover this, usually with “yes”. For instance, the Judeo-Christian (as well as Islamic) religion states that there is a heaven and a hell, and that your destination is based on how you live your life. Buddhism preaches that you will reincarnate yourself until you reach enlightenment, at which point you will ascend into Nirvana (or Nibbana, depending on your translation). I have no set opinion on this, I don’t know, and I’ll never know until I do die. Personally, I hope that I just die and cease to be. I could definitely do with a long, long nap.

3: Does life exist in other galaxies?

Neil DeGrasse Tyson explained why he, as well as almost all scientists believe that there are, without a shadow of a doubt, life forms other than ours. The link to the explanation would be here if I could find it, but I recommend you google his name and something to do with aliens to see if you can find it yourself. Nevertheless, I will summarize his reasoning. Neil states that life as we know it is made from the most common elements in the universe, and it would be foolish to assume that we are the only planet with life on it. If life were made from less common elements, aliens may not be as likely.

4: Do you shape your own fate?

It is my belief that you neither do nor don’t change your own future. Your choices are specific to you, and no other you. I mentioned above that I believe that there are many other universes. I also believe that each time there is uncertainty, whenever there is more than one potential outcome to any given scenario, the universe splits and there is one universe for every possible outcome. Therefore, the you that decided to read this exists in that universe while the you that chose not to simultaneously exists in a different universe. Those two universes would be incredibly near each other, relatively. So you make every choice in your life you can make, and if you are stuck being the one that made all of the wrong choices, I’m dreadfully sorry for you. If it makes you feel better, you are also living the high-life having made all of the choices you wish you had made.

5: What is worse: Failing or not even trying in the first place?

To me, it depends. For instance, if the fact that you failed is the entirety of the repercussions for failing (for instance, you lost in a game of cards with no stakes), then not trying is worse, because you missed out on an opportunity for a good time. However, if it is something as serious as surgery, where it is life and death, not trying is the way to go between the two. If you aren’t confident in your abilities as a surgeon for a specific patient, pass the patient on to a more capable surgeon, you don’t need their life in your hands. Don’t try surgery if you can’t succeed. For all instances between, you’ll have to evaluate the stakes.

6: Does everyone have a purpose in life?

No. Only so many people make it into the history text books, and while it may seem you need to memorize a lot of people, that number compared to the number that you don’t have to memorize is less significant than almost any other insignificant number you have to deal with. Even so, I don’t think even they had a purpose in life. I believe no one has a calling, just something that you do. And maybe someone will remember, and maybe they won’t.

7: If you could live forever, what would you do?

I know me. I know exactly what I’d do. Nothing. I procrastinate with everything, so what if I had eternity to get around to something? “Maybe I should go get that psychology degree I wanted, I now have time to do it. Wait, I’ve got time to do it later, I’ll do it then.” I guarantee that would go through my mind with almost anything I wanted to do.

8: What makes people evil?

I’m not a philosopher. I’ve never studied the Problem of Evil (I’m not sure that’s even what it’s called, to be honest), but as best as I can tell, most evil people don’t know they’re evil. So, it is society that makes them evil, because society is the one that labels them evil, society is the basis for good and evil, so if someone is evil in the eyes of society, they are evil, despite their intentions.

I certainly hope that you enjoyed today’s article; some of these questions gave me a raging headache to answer. Nevertheless, I had fun answering them, and I sincerely hope that the you that chose to read this also enjoyed answering them for yourself.