The Futility of Futility

Much of what we do has neither point nor meaning. While we can ascribe points and meanings to events, much of that assignment is window dressing on randomness. Whether we live by accidental evolution (all things occur solely become of universal probability, with no forethought or intent) or by god (all things spring from the design of some higher intelligence), our most minute of daily events have neither great effect on universes micro or macro.

You’re born, you learn, you work, you live, you spawn, raise that spawn, have a career, retire, and die. All your efforts will disappear within a generation or two, or, if you’re lucky to produce some great art or philosophy, within a few centuries. Your great grandchildren won’t know your names and the soil in which you’re buried will one day be a parking lot.

In other words, there’s very little point to anything at all.

And yet, even in the face of pointlessness, there is reason to reject pointlessness, mostly because life, by its very nature, is biased in the subjective. That life exists at all is a subjective fact, for only life recognizes that life¬†exists. We are a self-sustaining, self-focused condition in a universe which possesses no other form of self-sustaining, self-focused anything. That uniqueness, alone, is reason to give pause to fatalism. It’s subjective in that only life and the products of life may recognize life. That which is not alive recognizes nothing, or rather, cannot recognize at all.

We not only exist, but we KNOW we exist. That is meaningful in and of itself, because we yet have encountered anything outside life that is self-aware. Even if we ascribed computers to be self-aware, it is because we made them to be so, making that self-awareness a product of life within non-life.

To then consider futility is to regard a condition of which we are not a part, for every act we commit is that of effectual purpose and, thus, not futile. While its effects might seem so minor as to be futile, to have exerted will at all is its own antonym to futility, for nothing can be more futile than non-life colliding with non-life.

We are alive. By every act we exert meaning, however miniscule, which may add to our lives or that of others around us. We as intelligent beings may consider the mighty or minutiae and find to our lives something added at every turn, be it a lesson in advancement or avoidance. Even in attempt to prove futility among the living, we produce an argument which may incite others to consider deeper the nature of their existence. Even in success of assigning futility to the assumptions of others, we engage faculties biased in the unique quality of self-awareness which only life has yet been ascribed.

To believe life is futile is to ignore the standout quality we possess against that of the entire known universe. There is no futility because to think outside our subjectivity is to act outside our nature — we are not the unknowing, unaware cosmos. We are the knowing and the aware, and even if one day our condition comes to naught, and all life be extinguished, our efforts would not have been in vain.

We have meaning, purpose and utility, if for no other reason than it is our fiber that, as self-aware beings, we are inborn to question and pursue meaning, purpose and utility. Living up to our positive, unique condition is, without effort, its own value, one we should never forget when attempting to compare ourselves to a universe which does not share our innate quality of life and self awareness.

We are alive, and, thus, have meaning and value. There is nothing less futile than that.


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