On the nature of problems

Does the universe have problems? We have them, but are our problems a problem for the universe itself? Will it matter to the universe if we lose our job or destroy the planet? Not really.

A problem isn’t an intrinsic flaw in reality, it’s just an obstacle that gets in the way of achieving one or more of our goals.

This doesn’t make problems less real, it just makes them more personal. A problem for me isn’t necessary a problem for you. However if we both face the same obstacle towards a common goal we should work together to find a solution. Problems are our responsibility to solve.

If we turn the earth into an inhabitable mess it would be a problem for life itself since it gets in the way of its objective to survive. If I lose my source of income it’s a problem because it gets in the way of my goals of affording to pay my rent and buy food so I can survive. If I get sick it’s a problem because it inhibits my ability to achieve a bunch of other goals.

No goals no problems. But at the same time; no goals no purpose, no meaning (our goals provide us with a purpose and make our lives meaningful).

We’ll just have to accept the problems we face as part of the price to pay in order to live a fulfilling life. Let’s just face them head on and see them for what they are: Challenges to overcome in order to achieve our goals. Nothing more, nothing less.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Why I’m an existentialist | Adriaan Diepeveen

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