Despair Suicide Despair


June 13, 2010
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The good old dream argument. Zhuangzi used it already over 2000 years ago in his butterfly dream, Descartes used it and it was famously used in The Matrix. We can't know if the world we're living in now is actually the reality. Not even if something like a reality exists. We can't know if a thing really is what we think it is, if it is possible to make an absolute distinction between things.

We're constantly living in a world of illusions where attributes like good or evil are assigned to objects and living beings in an absolute manner. This approach in itself has to lead to a world of illusions. In our daily life the media, advertisements, politics, wars and so on are all creating a virtual reality that doesn't want to lose it's members. Maybe the gamers playing MMORPGs are the real heroes who managed to escape this misleading reality.

Who hasn't dreamed yet of becoming a superhero? You don't even have to dream it at night. Who hasn't been caught yet in an awkward situation where people asked you why are doing these weird movements while you were day-dreaming? It's a way to escape this feeling of powerlessness created by being squeezed into the system. Dreams may have an important influence on us, since they show us the way are deepest consciousness wants to go. And still they are just a guide, little signposts, no predictions, no fortune telling. Telling people that dreams come true if you believe hard enough in them, is nothing but a bedtime story for scared little children.

And then there's another thing mentioned in the strip. Loving dogfights, but knowing that it is wrong. The dilemma you're confronted with when something is just so fascinating, but still so inacceptable. It's like the programmer who is seduced by the thought of creating artificial intelligent life, but knowing that it is ethically intolerable. The superhero who loves spectacular fights, but fights for peace and non-violence.

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