Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why Does The World Exist? My New Book

Why am I created? Is my existence a result of random chance or is there a reason behind it? Is our time on this earth the only time we're entitled to before we are extinguished forever, or is there more than just this short period of existence that we're getting?

Ever since young, I found myself asking these type of questions non-stop. I cannot help but feel weird though, because it seems as if that I'm the only one who is interested in asking these type of questions among my friends. Everytime I tried to bring these questions up, the standard response fluctuates between 'just trust in God', 'this is a stupid question to ask because there are more important questions like where are we gonna have fun' or 'we can never know so much anyway so why bother asking anyway'. 

But I just couldn't help it. Because somehow I felt that it is one of the most important questions that we need to ask in our life. It underscores our existence in this world. Before attempting to answer any other questions in this world, we need to answer questions pertaining to our existence first. If not, there's really no other reason for us to live the life that we are living currently. After all, if our existence is just a product of random chance, us being good or bad would ultimately have no effect other than some sort of illusionary feel good feeling that we somehow made a difference when it doesn't really matter.

I later learned that there is term for us people who ask this type of questions. Existentialists, that's what they call us. What a complicated name to call us who simply seek the truth. It's just a basic question anyway. But to be honest, sometimes I do wonder why there is only so few of us asking such an important and fundamental question. Maybe I guess it's because the question itself is too complicated to handle, which I guess is true, because I could never get around finding a suitable enough explanation for myself too other than some vague prediction.

It's been a almost 10 years now since the question about my existence popped into my mind and over the course of it, the answer kept changing without really taking a solid form. And even so I'm still searching. So it was just natural that my interest got piqued when I saw this book in Kinokuniya:




On the outside, the book Why Does The World Exist? by Jim Holt looks deceivingly normal, perhaps even one of the books where the author tries to offer some sort of funny answers like 'the universe lies within yourself' or 'aliens are the ones responsible for us' those type of shit. But it's not. It's way far from it.

I am only two or three chapters into the book but already I am loving the direction that the book is taking. For starters, I love how the book does not adopt a stand and even if it did, it's so subtle I am not seeing it. In discussing various hard hitting concepts such as whether the concept of whether Nothing truly exists, it adopts the viewpoint of every imaginable angle. From metaphysics to philosophy to mathematics, I love how the book takes into consideration the contribution of the various fields in trying to answer the question.

Of course, the book is not an easy read. To grasp what the book is trying to say at various points, you must have an idea of various terms such as space-time, the empty set and philosophical arguments that go round and round. You even have to know how mathematical equations work. That'show deep it is. But then again, this type a question could hardly be approached with a mere simplistic approach if you're depending on a empiricist approach.

I have not even reach the part where he starts explaining yet, but I expect it to be a fun ride. Provided that my brain does not explode in the end.


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