Why are we here? What is our purpose? Where the flip did I leave my keys? All these questions and more will be answered in the next 400 words.
The word ‘philosophy’ comes from the Greek ΦιΛοσοφια meaning ‘ask a silly question’. Rene Descartes famously declared ‘I think, therefore I am’. This statement, seen at the time to be the foundation of all philosophy, was recently debunked when it was discovered the literal translation of his Latin words was, ‘please can I have a hug?’
There are certain questions all philosophers are hung up on: what happens when we die? Is there a God? How do you throw away a pin? Questions surrounding the existence of god have persisted since the Middle Ages. However in a World Exclusive I can reveal the answer to the question of whether God exists or not: he might do.
One of the principle issues concerning philosophers is that of your basic ‘why are we here?’ variety. No one knows the answer, though ‘because it’s warm and they serve Guinness’ is the best I’ve heard this morning. Other suggestions include to help others, to help ourselves, to serve God and to get on the telly.
Carpe diem, literally ‘seize the carp’, is the philosophy of capturing the moment, living each instant (or ‘carp’) as if it were our last. This has been popularised by many modern-day philosophers including Pete Docherty, Amy Winehouse and Boris Yeltsin. Generally, though, when cornered, these instants or moments tend to dart between our legs like the chickens during the Rocky training montage. Better instead to aspire towards the background hum of contentment than seek out the diminishing returns of back-to-back thrills. If you don’t believe me, why, then, is the hundredth one night stand always less exciting than the fiftieth?
My friend Sharp Bob is something of a part-time philosopher. Occasionally we like to engage in a little philosophical debate. Last Thursday he raised the bar:
“How do I know if I am awake?” he asked. “I could be asleep and dreaming that your nose is that big.”
In return I came up with a water-tight philosophical response:
“Why don’t you shoot yourself? Since it is widely understood that we do not die in our dreams, if you find that you cannot shoot yourself, you will know that you are dreaming. If you die, then you were awake after all.”
Sharp Bob is now on a life-support machine at the Tumbledown Hospital, North London. He remains in a somewhat sluggish state befitting someone with no head, but it is this sort of dedication to the pursuit of the truth that separates the serious philosopher from the armchair academic. I for one cannot wait for his recovery.