On suffering


In philosophy there is a term for the idea that experience is unique to the individual, it is termed qualia. Which is a fancy way of saying, your experience of life cannot and will not be mine. For example, how do we know that what you perceive as red, is the same as I perceive?

It would not be a stretch to suggest that the victims of the holocaust suffered a great deal So then did the soldiers who liberated them, knowing nothing of the suffering other than what they saw, did they not suffer just seeing the atrocity?

Suffering is unique to the individual. It doesn’t always need to be in the form of pain or anguish. It can be as simple as seeing a fellow human hurting and the realization that you are helpless in the face of the overwhelming grief that comes with it.

Life in a certain light, is all about suffering. The idea that you need to carry a weight around with you or else you are a bad person. In the wake of pain, especially when it involves someone else showing remorse for the situation is what makes us human and one way that people cope with the inevitable pain that life brings with it.

I am not religious, I don’t need a deity in the sky to make me feel safe. My world is based on science, facts and observation. If I can hold it, I can take it apart, rebuild it, and make it better. A very engineering minded perspective I know, but it makes my world as interesting and wondrous as any religious persons world.

Lately I’ve been thankful for this view of the world, seeing needless suffering for no other reason than a bad luck of the genetic draw has done nothing but helped solidify my resolve in this matter.

It doesn’t mean that I am immune though, to the hope that there is more magic in the universe than a person can explain away in a set of math equations. Or that, at the least, those equations offer some semblance of hope for mankind in general.

There have been exactly two times, outside of a combat situation that I have ever silently prayed for some divine intervention that never came. Once for my Uncle, a rather large source of suffering, that for whatever reason I find myself carrying. The other is for my sister, whom, much like my Uncle does not deserve the life they were saddled with.

However, just as quickly as the words come out in my head. I am annoyed that I even bother to waste my time and once again I delve back into my research, digging in books or though the vast knowledge of the internet to help point me in the right direction.

Disney changed its wish upon a star formula for a reason. Hard work trumps magic every time. Sometimes though… you wish that a wish was worth more than just the time it took to make it.

I think buttersafe summed up exactly how simple I wish life worked, especially with the loss of my Uncle.


Despite everything, I still make wishes for my sister, even if they are just a waste of time.

One response to “On suffering

  1. Pingback: Qualia | The Voice Of My Conscience...·

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