Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Internal Dialogue about the End of the World

"You have got to be kidding me."

"What did you expect the end of the world to be like?"

"Something more....more...."

"Dramatic? Dignified? Come on, this is the real world. Obviously, the end of the world is going to be utterly mundane, something that doesn't violate the laws of physics and is a perfectly natural result of human stupidity. If there was a big red end the world button, someone would press it just to see what happens. But in this case, the trigger for Armageddon isn't necessarily going to be something so obvious as pressing a button."

"But that button hasn't been pressed yet! There must be something we can do!"

"There is. It's probably not going to work though."

"So there's still a chance?"

"Yes. There's also still a chance you'll win the lottery. Good luck with that.

"It sounds like you've given up."

"Do you mean to tell me you don't have a nagging whispering doubt somewhere in the back of your mind that maybe what I'm saying is right and it really is too late? Because I'm pretty sure most sane people have that nagging whispering doubt."

"Most sane people also don't give up and wait for the end just because things seem hopeless."

"I'm pretty sure it doesn't just seem that way."

"But that's still how it seems to you. The map is not the territory, after all."

"True. But I have yet to see any evidence that we aren't as doomed as it seems to me like we are. Do you have any such evidence?"

Silence.

A sigh.

"Didn't think so."

"What should we do, then? Just curl up and die?"

"No. That is definitely crazy. If you don't want to die, if you feel despair over the end, then that is the most counterproductive thing you could possibly do."

"Then what should we do?"

"That's obvious, isn't it? Continue living. Continue this futile struggle. Who knows, maybe we will win the lottery. And maybe we'll get a nice perfect happily ever after, with easier choices that have lower stakes, where the challenges are designed to be solvable and the world's at peace and everything is more fair and more beautiful. I doubt it's going to happen, but there's no harm in trying. What have we got to lose?"

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