Many insights I’ve had into my self have been thanks to me asking myself some rather stupid (and sometimes insulting) questions. Like, how am I any better than a potty trained cow?
I think it is important to have an axiomatic view of life – even though it is probably impossible to justify our actions purely on logic, we should be able to do so by calling on some fundamental assumptions we make about our existence. For instance, one rather ubiquitous axiom goes “Realize God”. I don’t find that cogent, but you’re free to disagree.
Weirdly, (and sadly), for most people, the existence axiom says “Look around, and do what everyone else is doing. Be a potty trained cow.”. The less (or more, depending on how you look at it) sad part is that they are not aware of its existence.
I am more comfortable having an axiom that borders on being a tautology, since, in my opinion, that is as good as we can get. Specifically, I think “Do whatever that is required to increase the chances of us surviving as a species.” both succinct and meaningful (well, at least as meaningful these kind of things can be anyways). Since whatever you do loses all meaning with the extinction of our race, we might as well make the converse our aim.
The first corollary of the fundamental axiom implies disregard for all but those personal pleasures required to keep one’s productivity up. The second (also largely obvious) corollary involves polishing our art to the point where we can meaningfully contribute to the advancement of our species.
One can either choose to be the first monkey shot into space or a potty trained cow. There really is a choice.