Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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FSM and the universe in a can-can

Film Score Monthly has announced that it is changing its name to Film Score Magazine and becoming a bi-monthly publication. The page count will increase approximately 20 pages per issue. I sincerely hope that the magazine doesn't disappear completely, or that they don't just become a record label (although their music releases are vital to film music fandom).

Movie Quote of the Week

Bill + Ted's Excellent Adventure


That's Socrates! Philosophize with him, man!

(picking up and letting go a handful of sand)

We are but dust, dude.

Socrates looks confused.
(repeating the gesture)

All we are is dust in the wind, dude.


Yes! Yes! Like the sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives!!!

Which somehow leads us to...

Rambling Philosophical Notes

All too often I am asked to answer what for too many people is a simple question: what are my religious beliefs? This question irks me because the questioner usually expects my answer to be a simple one or two word answer. For many people, it is. Jewish. Greek Orthodox. Baptist. Roman Catholic. Muslim. Buddhist. This kind of reduction pigeonholes people and makes my answer difficult.* When people ask me in search of an easy category to place me into, I tell them I'm a Zen Nihilist.

The philosophy behind it is pretty simple: I don't believe in any sort of grand design, no Creator behind the universe. I just don't see it, and it is a philosophical knot for many. There is no way around the fact that logic yields nihilism, but nihilism is the last thing most people want to face. This is something that friends of mine have agonized over. If people accept that they live in a universe ruled by chance, then they do not see meaning in their lives.

The rub is... I don't mind.

I just don't understand this anxiety. What is so important about having a specific purpose? We have our minds and the ability to make choices. We also have been gifted with the capacity to come up with our own ways of spending time, be they games, perusing or creating art, listening to or composing music, reading or writing, what have you. Others throw themselves into family life. There is purpose enough in these goals. Are they ultimately meaningless? Of course. But not to the individual, not in the moment, and not afterwards when you have the memories. Your world is made up of what you populate it with.

I do not deny that there are some things that exist in this world that are outside of normal personal experience. There are certain things I have experienced leading me to believe that human perception extends beyond the standard physical world. The extent to which this goes is a topic for another time.

Religion is just another way for people to divide themselves into "us" and "them" tribes anyway, like nationalism. It is one of those pieces of history that will inevitably repeat itself until our social reality evolves beyond it or we destroy ourselves. The latter is more likely, of course, another aspect of facing reality that, once again, doesn't bother me. We are just animals after all, a species whose function is to adapt its environment to its own (short term) needs and periodically purges its own numbers when population density gets too high (notice how the richer people get, the farther apart their living spaces are).

So... if I'm very blasé about all of that, why do I constantly rail about percieved injustices?


What yardstick am I using to judge? My own. Just because I don't believe in an invisible, omnipotent alpha male figure (Tim Minear's apt term is "sky bully") doesn't mean that I can't have a deeply ingrained moral compass. In fact, I would say that mine is more valid than any number of Evangelical Christians because its based in concepts such as equality, fairness and balance as opposed to a set of rules. Rules exist to codify social contract, and they must adapt to the realities of the age. Religion, which is dogmatic by its very nature, can not do that.

In the long run, our lives may be meaningless to the universe, but it is all that we will ever know. It is imperative that those of us who are not blinded by hatred and compartmental thinking are vocal about their point of view.

* Of course, I can easily make the case that if your answer is this simple, that you haven't really thought about it much...

* * *

Well, now, wasn't I just particularly reflective today?
Tags: movie moments, philosophy
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