Twenty Questions for Humanity: My Answers


Recently I came across J. Edward Neill's brain-tickling post titled 10 Questions for Humanity and the follow up post, 10 More Questions for Humanity. These are my answers.

(The original questions are in blue, my responses follow.)

Check out the original questions here:

10 Questions for Humanity and here:

10 More Questions for Humanity


1. A Moment of Omniscience

If you could ask ONE question of the universe and have it answered utterly and completely, what would it be?

I wanted to argue about being forced to narrow it down to just one. But I won't. I'll play along.

My question:

Why is there something rather than nothing?


2. This One’s Rhetorical

Why do so many people get so angry about politics?

I think this one's quite easy:

People get angry at other people's politics. Just like they do with other people's religion or customs or favorite sports team. In essence, these customs, religions, sports teams and political parties are actually more similar than they are different. So why do we fight about them? It isn't about anything so sophisticated as rhetoric, it is about tribes: Our tribe good, other tribes bad.


3. No Judgments, I Promise

From the following, choose the worst thing you could possibly be addicted to: Alcohol, Drugs, Sex, Gambling…or TV…

To be evil is to hurt other people intentionally. Thus to hurt many people intentionally is the worst thing you can do. So here I am going to beg to expand the options. (I use the fact that there are two ellipses as my leverage.) The worst thing you can possibly do is to become addicted to the notion that an idea has more value than a life.

Actually, being addicted to any notion or idea is the most dangerous thing.


4. UFC 666: Jesus versus Superman

If you could lock any two historical figures (dead or alive) in a cage for a fight to the death, which two would you pick?

Let's exploit this one:

Shakespeare vs Jesus. I would only be mildly surprised if no-one showed up. Or if one of them just waited around alone impatiently.

The smartest person alive vs the best looking person alive. Just for interest sake. To see who they are. Before they die. Tragically.

The person who came closest to revealing the biggest secret about life, the universe and everything vs the person who has done the most to advance humanity. (Let's presume they've already been dead some time and will not mind dying again. If they are still alive, let's put the whole thing off until they're terminal.)


5. That Song by The Clash

A fascinating new planet is discovered far from Earth. You can journey there safely and live out your life, but it’s a one-way ticket for you and whomever you take. Do you stay or go?

I'm already packing. I'm presuming we'll have electricity and I can raid Amazon and iTunes before we leave. Can we bring our cats?


6. Stepford Wives (And Husbands)

Let’s say science perfects an absolutely lifelike robot for use as a spouse. And let’s say this beautiful, intelligent, customized-to-you robot will do anything and everything you ask. You buying one?

I am.

And because she will do anything and everything I ask, I will ask her to reprogram herself to take care of all of the cooking, cleaning, shopping, home maintenance, tax returns, bill paying, putting off of telemarketers and other nitty-gritties.


7. Continuing the Shallow Theme

Perfect body? Perfect face? Or perfect intellect?

All three are equally terrifying.


8. Crimes Against Ourselves

Considering everything, does humanity deserve to exist?

I want to say no, but there are too many people I like, and too many who have done (and will do) great things. Perhaps we could focus on trying to eliminate the bad things humanity does rather than humanity itself.

Mosquitoes. Now there's a species we could do without.


9. In the Battle Between

Is there any such thing as absolute good or evil?


Saying there are no absolutes is itself an absolute and thus goes most of the way towards discrediting this point of view. Theoretically, absolute good is pure selflessness and absolute evil is pure selfishness. As to whether there have ever been any actual, real-life examples of either, I am less certain.


10. Back to the Future

You’ve built a time machine. It only goes one direction in time. Do you want to see how it all began? Or how it all will end?

I want to move forward in time. Not straight to the end, but in increments. And I want to see all of the endings. The end of humanity. The end of the solar system. The end of the universe. And then the end of the end.

Take my lifespan (we'll presume the machine knows how long that will be). Divide the length of time before the end of the end by the amount of half hours I have left to live and jump forward in time by those increments so that I live for thirty minutes in each increment.

Time is circular, methinks, so I'll actually end up being there for the beginning too.


11. Regarding Music Lyrics

Is there anything that hasn’t already been said? Any topic at all?

There's very little about science and math. And DIY and ironing. Not sexy enough, I suppose.


12. The Secrets of the Universe

If revealed to you, and if they challenged everything you thought you knew, could you discard all of your previous beliefs?

I think I could. I have before. I like to think so, anyway.

Except if one of the secrets is that you can never really discard your entrenched beliefs.

But I also think that if the all the secrets of the universe where made clear to me all at once I would be a quivering wreck shivering in a dark corner somewhere with bits of blown mind all over me.


13. In the Struggle Between Happiness and Meaningfulness

Is it better to participate in the grand human social machine or seek contentment alone?

I feel there has to be a middle ground here. If I had to chose I would go for being a hermit. No offence meant to the rest of you.


14. Immortality

If and when scientists perfect a method to extend life indefinitely, would you take the plunge?

No. I like my lives like I like my food: with an expiry date.

Although, knowing that I have the time to do all the things I want to do, travel where I want to travel, learn the things I want to learn would be wonderful. I do wonder, though, if not having a limit time to do these things in would reduce the impetus to do them.


15. In the Realm of Current Events

Beyond money, why do people choose to be Police Officers? Attorneys? Politicians?

Or sports referees? Or teachers? Or doctors? As horrible as we all think human beings are, we actually all only want to help. And make a difference. Except the politicians.


16. That Thing Called Love

Purely bio-chemical? A genuine spiritual event? Or a survival mechanism to overcome the perils of being utterly alone?

60% bio-chemical. 40% egotistical: We love because we want to be loved.


17. All About That Bass

Do boys really want a little more booty to hold at night?

A boy might tell. A gentleman never will.


18. Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

If, long from now, the world is completely mechanized, thus eliminating the need for most people to work, what will we do with our lives?

One of two things: think, learn, grow and acquire wisdom… Or degenerate into unfettered hedonism. Or maybe a mixture of the two.


19. Everyone Has One

Which one rules the roost: Opinions? Or facts?

Opinions unfortunately. It seems these days that facts can be ignored, reinterpreted and just plain denied if they don't suit people's beliefs and agendas. After all, it's a plain fact that we are all entitled our own opinions, right?



20. Think Hard on This One

Does every single human life…have value?


I will not say why.


Why not pop over to the links I posted at the beginning and post your own answers?





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