Old Jules, no one chooses his or her country of birth, so isn’t it foolish to be proud of it?
Yeah. It’s crazy. Incomprehensible.
Old Jules, what is the difference between a dead man and a live man ?
Not much if you didn’t know either of them personally. When you read a book or article do you care whether the writer is alive or dead? When you listen to music, particularly older music, there’s an excellent chance the songwriter and performer as well as the backup musicians are all dead. Does it matter? Does it change anything?
Old Jules, in which way does life lead you to be better?
Life tends to run in stages. If you live long enough you’ll probably do it all, and all of it will contribute to the person you are at any given moment. The noble cause and helping others is one phase, but eventually you’ll have done it and discover it’s just one of the balloons you blow up in life, then release into the sky to go on to other things. The same is true of most of the rest of it. Life truly is an adventure and you don’t have to stay in lockstep with something you were a decade ago, or a quarter-century ago. That was then, this is now, and all of it counts.
Old Jules, would you care whether or not humanity survives beyond your own lifetime?
Not in the least. For that matter I don’t care if we all die together before my lifetime ends. Humans die. I don’t see an advantage to all those alive today dying over 100 years as opposed to all dying in a single day. They’ll have all lived and all died, same as every human before them. They all had their individual shots at living their lives. Whether any human being walks the face of the planet at any given time being something of value seems to me to be a humanocentric concern, which I don’t share.
Old Jules, what is the healthiest philosophical perspective on our own individual importance in this world?
The healthiest perspective would probably be that we aren’t at all important in this world except to the people who know us personally and care about what happens to us, and to ourselves. We’ve got to earn our self-respect and if we don’t nobody else is going to respect us [which is unimportant except by implication].