Thursday, March 24, 2011

Humor is uniquely human

The ability to make sense is not unique to humans. Rocks make sense. They are what they are, they conform to the law of identity. If things act upon them, they are affected in a predictable way. If they act upon something, they affect the other thing in a predictable way. This sensible nature is shared by everything in the universe, so really, everything in the universe makes sense. 

The only thing that isn't controlled by this overarching materialism is human consciousness. Our minds are free to roam. What should we do with this freedom? Should we conform our minds solely to consideration of the material world? Should we fill our heads with facts and figures and information and theories?  Should we use our freedom to turn ourselves into biological containers of the boundless information of the dead material of this universe? Our minds are free in their capability, but if we put them only in the service of the material world, with it's infinite facts and figures... we are not free. The details of the universe are endless... and pursuing them without limit will fill up every nook and cranny of our minds, pushing our humanity out. We will be slaves to the real.

The only escape from being not that much different from a rock, is to NOT deal with reality. Tell the universe that you don't give a shit. Laugh at reality. Humor is only possible to humans, because only humans can look at reality and NOT draw the reasonable conclusion. We choose to look the other way. We can draw unreasonable ones... unexpected ones... ones that make us laugh. Laughter is freedom, laughter is determinism leaving the body. 

Laughter reminds us that WE determine how to view the world, not the other way around. Laughter reminds us that there is irony in the human condition. We are so dependent on knowledge to survive, yet that survival is pointless without decisions that cannot be constructed from that knowledge. 

These decisions can only be made by free individuals.

Laughing at reality is not, ultimately, to disrespect it. If you need to achieve some materialistic goal in the universe, then by all means focus on the facts, as that is your only chance of success. Laughter doesn't serve the material requirements of survival, it serves the psychological needs of a human being. The need to feel free, to be reminded that our existence is not entirely rooted naked facts.

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