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Some days ago Harmonia Philosophica posted an article about how a Truth Puzzle filled in by a child was amazingly enough indicating something that could be of importance for philosophy (check the “There is no Death! (A child, a brain map and a coincidence?) article”).

Now a new twist was added to the plot.

Some days after the Truth Puzzle was filled in the way it was (missing ‘Death’ as one can read in the above-mentioned article) the same child struck again.

During a discussion about life and what life means, the child simply asked the obvious…

‘How do you know you are alive?’

(silence)

‘But I can eat!’ I answered back.

‘So? You are not alive!” said the child and giggled.

(laughter)

To cut the long story short, to whatever I said the child continued to answer back that there is no proof I am alive. And this discussion brought into my mind the previous Truth Puzzle instance and the lessons learned from that. For the same lesson should be learned from this story as well.

Of course the child was playing. Yet, within that funny game of denying the obvious (that I am alive), it showed something very serious and important: Why should we take for granted anything? Our knowledge about metaphysical questions regarding existence and being is zero. We do not know what the cosmos is, we do not even know what our consciousness is, if such thing even exists. The greatest philosophers and scientists have tried to answer such questions regarding the nature of our life and failed miserably.

So who are we to claim that we are alive?

Is it because we feel something? But what does that mean and how can we interpret it with zero knowledge about the meaning of all this ‘something’ that we feel? How can we even know what we see and sense is real without any objective definition of the the infamous ‘Reality’ to begin with? How can we say that someone ‘is’ alive if we have not even reached a consensus on what ‘Is’ is?

It reminds me of the story with the captive Vietnam general who once told his American interrogator that the Vietnamese did not believe they would win the war. The Americans were so much leased with the answer that did not even bother to check out the rest of the interrogation transcript. Because if they did they would see that the same general, when asked if he thought the Americans could win the war, he also answered No…

Question the obvious we must.

And the most obvious thing is our self.

Are alive?

Are we dead?

(Does it matter?)

All I can hear…

Is laughter…