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Allan's Philosophy Podcast

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 69 – The End

Ah the beloved number 69! This time I am going to talk about the end. I believe that there has to be some point that everything that exists today or has existed at some point came into being. I also believe that there may not always be an end. While an end provides contrast from the beginning by creating a definitive timeline from which things have existed, I don’t necessarily believe that everything has to have a definitive time. When it comes to organic things and in general most other objects in existence, the elements and compounds that make them up gradually wear down. The human body’s metabolism can only sustain life for a certain amount of time. As life progresses and medicine gets more advanced, we can prolong this duration but it still will eventually have to end. Inanimate objects also have an “expiration date” per say because at a chemical level, their matter will be transformed into something else. Whether it is an ice cube melting or burning a tree, matter goes through changes every day. While it may still exist (water will still be around even after the ice melts) it will exist in a different form with unique properties. In this sense things can last forever, just by continuously changing its form or combining with others. I also find it rather hard to determine how something lasts forever because we personally will not be around long enough to make that observation. While we may be able to look back into the past and determine how long something has already existed for, we still can’t make the determination that they will continue to exist for infinite time in the future. For this reason we are not able to undeniably state that something will last forever. They also don’t have to be physical at all. The relationships we form in life are ones that we hope to never have an end. In fact those relationships will definitely last far beyond our own ends. This is why people have funerals, remembrance, and memorial services, because our relationships continue on even after death. This is what I consider the legacy that you leave behind. Because you know you can’t take material things with you, you leave behind the memories that you have experienced with everyone who hasn’t met their end yet. People often fear the end because of all the uncertainty that is associated with it. We obviously have no idea what the end is like but it is important not to be scared of it. If you worry about the end then you will not be enjoying the time you have to spend on Earth and build meaningful relationships that help provide meaning in your life.

-Allan Nicholas

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