This morning, on a Facebook philosophy page, I saw the following post: “The concept of Death makes the entire human existence meaningless.”
I believe our culture’s loss of life’s meaning comes from the Existence vs. Essence debate we have covered earlier, but I wanted to add another thought about our physical existence that might lift some spirits.
When one thinks of the odds of life happening for anyone it is truly amazing. From the size of the universe, the distance between the stars, the odds of a planet forming that can support life, the eons of evolution, the DNA that managed to form us out of countless combinations, and then surviving the birth process when so many pregnancies end in the womb. The odds against us existing at all are astronomical. Yet, here we are.
Life is always an extraordinary event in the Universe. Celebrate your life.
Culture is a catch-all word that encompasses a great many categories and ideas about how human beings live. On one level, culture is about what we do every day. For example, if we leave our homes to go to work our culture is about why we go to work, how we go to work, what we wear to work and what we do at work. Our behavior and attitudes towards work are part of our culture.
Another meaning of culture is the art and ideas that a group of people produce. To be cultured, means one is familiar with and understands what is considered the best of one’s culture.
On a more abstract level, culture explains who we are as well as our individual roles in society. A stable culture offers explanations of itself to us that are consistent and understandable. To do this effectively it must answer three fundamental questions about human life:
Who are we?
Where did we come from?
Where are we going?
An example of a cultural response to these questions is the Baltimore Catechism. It was the text used to teach young Catholics about their faith. As you can see, the first few questions from the very first chapter answers these questions in a clear and straightforward manner:
Continue reading “Culture: Where do We Go From Here?”