In the beginning, there was nothing. Or so they say. A natural intuition of how all things began is that perhaps it started off with nothing being there, because to assume anything was there would itself have a lack of a reason for being there. If you were to say the universe started with nothing *except*, you then have to make a positive case for the thing you're drawing an exception for. So let's just start with nothing, no added fluff.
But what do I mean by nothing? Well I can't mean anything by it, no time, no space, not even universal laws or principles. It's not even a void, voids at least can be defined by spacetime in three dimensions. Neither dimensions nor dimensional constraints existed. The only way to imagine nothing, is to not imagine.
But because nothing existed, universal laws, logic, and consistency didn't exist either. But if universal laws and logic didn't exist, then what logical or universal rule would stop anything from existing? Because causality didn't exist, nothing would've needed a reason to spring into existence.
Thus, nothingness produced it's conceptual opposite, everythingness. A lack of rules constraining existence from existing is essentially what caused existence to exist. You can think of it as if nothing and everything coexisted as a result of nothing implying no self-consistency, but everything existing just kind of overrides nothing existing.
Thus we can change our starting axiom of "nothing existing", and make it "everything existing", as it is implied due to a lack of self-consistency within the concept of "nothing".
All things exclude the existence of some other things by nature of the thing, even if the thing excluded is just it's own conceptual absence. But because of this fact, "everything" ends up being a bunch of separate and mutually exclusive things, not one single thing.
A bunch of separate and mutually exclusive things ends up being different isolated compartments of information. These isolated compartments are known as "universes". Some universes are extremely simple, with almost no utilizable information and therefore no life. Some universes are very complex and also may have too much information for life to form. And other universes have just the right amount of information fine tuned to the right settings, in order for life to possibly form.
Now to make sure you don't think I'm logically cheating here by jumping from "a bunch of separate mutually exclusive things" to "universes," I do want to point out that by definition, universes are mutually exclusive things (two universes are not connected, as that would be one universe), and not all mutually exclusive things categorized as a universe have all the complexities that characterize ours (such as having time, spacial dimensions, complex forces, etc...). So even if a "universe" just amounts to some single encapsulated concept unable to produce mass or energy, I'm still calling that a "universe", as it's an event that happens exclusive to other events.
It is also possible that universes may reside within a greater array of multiverses, and universes themselves may be within other universes, however, this extends beyond *our* definition of universe, and moreso would apply to a scientist's definition of universe. For the sake of our argument here, let's say that every absolutely isolated and mutually exclusive compartment of information is a universe, and the existence of "everythingness" is the multiverse.
Whether or not our particular universe is deterministic is beyond the scope of my argument, but rather, the multiverse as a whole is what lacks determinism. Determinism is the existence of a single, inevitable possible timeline given information, and non-determinism is the possibility that many different timelines could happen, randomly and unpredictably.
Why does the multiverse lack determinism? Ultimately, determinism is an impossibility when separate mutually exclusive things have no predetermined priority over one another. "Nothing" did not give the multiverse any predispositions. Therefore "randomness" is fundamental to existence.
But what if the multiverse started with the least amount of information, and deterministically progressed to higher information as it went? There could be determinism in this model, but there would still be a problem. Since the universe has existed for all eternity, we would be an infinite distance away from the least amount of information possible. Which isn't really logically possible, because we can always think of a more information-dense version of a life-capable universe. Also, this would imply that information needs to compound in every universe, which seems to not be the case as time goes on, due to entropy resulting in information breaking down, paradoxically forbidding universes with decreasing information (like ours) from existing.
Regardless of whether or not our individual universe is fundamentally deterministic or nondeterministic, there is a shadow of non-determinism in all things. For example, imagine that we are at a point on our universe where we cannot deduce (by analyzing the position of all matter and their energy) whether or not the universe was originally caused by Starting Point A or Starting Point B. Let me draw an example. You own a blue and a yellow shirt, on January 1st you wore a blue or a yellow shirt. 10 years pass, and nobody has any memory of whether you wore a blue or yellow shirt, and let's say both shirts were accidentally burned in a tragic house fire, and the distribution of the smoke particles reached an equilibrium where it is logically indiscernible to tell the locations of the two shirts before being burned. At this point in the universe, there is no information remaining as to whether you wore a blue or a yellow shirt, so either and both would become "equally true".
Likewise, as information is lost in the universe and multiverse, the certainty of our origin is slowly obfuscated, in the same way that the certainty of our future is more obfuscated the farther into the future we try to predict. Time itself is (potentially) equally blurry in both the past and future directions, as only the present has absolute certainty. This implies that it's impossible to predict or know what or how you existed too many reincarnations ago, or too many reincarnations into the future.
Time is like a dream, evolving slowly, changing itself fundamentally as it goes along. The only thing that exists is "here" and "now", everything else simply belongs to the set of all possible existences. The only difference between a possible existence and an actual existence is present-time bias, also known as philosophical consciousness or subjective existence.
The most fundamental aspect of all existence in the multiverse is that of the consciousness. I don't mean a physical process being undergone by your brain, but moreso the philosophical realization of your own arbitrarily unique perception and position in the universe. In fact, in strict terms, your consciousness is the only thing that actually exists, matter is just an informationally consistent substrate to exist on, and other people are just a small fraction of the variations of the possible subjective existences you could theoretically have in the future, or could have theoretically had in the past. Instead of thinking of matter as real and consciousness as an illusion, we should think of consciousness as real and matter as an illusion.
The reason that consciousness is the only thing that truly exists, is because something can't be argued or imagined to exist without someone to argue for or imagine it. Without imagination, concepts cannot exist. Everything in existence is a concept, so if concepts can't exist, then nothing can exist. And imagination cannot exist without consciousness.
One also can't argue that a thing is not a concept (in imagination), because if it's not a concept, then it can't be talked about or imagined, and to us would not exist.
Without consciousness, what separates out falsehoods from reality? For example, we all know that Hitler committed the Holocaust, in our version of reality. But that's in only one version of reality. What if there's a near-infinite versions of reality where Hitler didn't commit the Holocaust, how would we know which timeline is objectively correct? There wouldn't be objective reality or correctness, it would just be a bunch of equally valid possibilities. Thus, consciousness exists to inhabit an arbitrary timeline, so that this arbitrary timeline can become temporarily real. Without it, nothing would exist (but nothing can't stop anything from existing).
If you do not comprehend the philosophical concept of consciousness, then you might refer to the following thought experiment. "You" exist as "insert your name", however "you" could be "insert any name", and it is completely imaginable that you can switch "your" body with "insert any name" body in order to have a completely different worldview as being a different person. Therefore, a person is not synonymous with their body, and these are two separate concepts. The concept out of the two that is not the body, is called philosophical consciousness or subjective existence, and describes your identity as an arbitrary individual person.
Another thought experiment, is imagine you have a clone. Their genetics is 100% identical to yours, and let's say that this clone also has 100% of your exact memories and everything. Would your clone be you, or the same person as you? If they stub their toe, do you say "ouch"? If they die, are you dead or afraid of being so? Of course not, and even if we create an identical copy of yourself, you would still be you, and the copy would be someone else. The reason you are only you, is because you have consciousness, and are aware that you are a specific person that excludes all other people.
"Consciousness" in the philosophical sense refers to subjective existence, also defined as Actualized or Realized existence, and the lack of consciousness renders any existence a mere Possible or Unrealized existence. The difference between whether or not George Washington was the first U.S. president is dependent on the fact that our consciousness exists in the arbitrary version of reality with this arbitrary timeline.
You only experience existence from the perspective of your own mind, and never from another's perspective. You therefore cannot know with empirical certainty that other people truly exist on the subjective level like you, and you can only aknowledge it as a mere possibility, only knowable through a priori means.
The question then becomes apparent, do other minds exist, or are other people just a sophisticated illusion to cater to a necessarily logical but personalized reality?
Well it seems that from your perspective, the consciousness of others is completely irrelevant, as you seem to never experience life through their perspectives. And through the perspective of the universe itself, the only thing making reality "real" is the existence of consciousness. This would lead us to a solipsistic kind of conclusion, where perhaps you are the only entity to exist and all others are illusions, but there's more information to consider.
It can be argued that the past and future versions of yourself do not exist, because you aren't currently conscious of those states. But surely this is silly, because you remember being conscious of them, right? It *could* be that your memory is a lie, and that you're a temporary energetic discharge in existential static or a fluctuating quantum field, however for reasons I will explain later, this is highly unlikely. If your memories are not a lie though, then it holds true by definition of the terms that you were conscious of your past states, it's just lost its current relevance.
Extending this idea, that past versions of yourself are legitimately conscious, just at a different point in time, we could argue that perhaps at one point we were the different people that are around us. Perhaps all consciousness in the universe is one consciousness, and exists on one timeline, weaving through all the different possible people in existence.
However there are limitations to this idea. If information in the universe is finite, then surely *eventually* you'll be every single person, even an infinite number of times, and even if it takes a length of time too long to even write or conceptualize. But if the information in the universe is *infinite*, then there's no guarantee whatsoever that you'll ever be the other people around you, in fact, the likeliness is close to 0, just like guessing a random coordinate point on a graph and hitting it with (the center of) a dart. So whether or not other people truly exists depends on the nature of information in the universe.
But perhaps information is neither strictly infinite, nor finite. Perhaps information is like a dart board in a more literal sense, or alternatively like a fractal. What I mean by this, is there may be a finite set of general possibilities, but infinite intricacy within. So perhaps you'll absolutely never exist *exactly* like another person, but in an insane amount of time you may exist in a state >99.999% similar. This would make people "approximations" rather than truly existent.
But there is one last thing to consider. Even if you'll *never* get to the point in the future where you're exactly like another person you know, since the past extends infinitely back, perhaps you could argue that since the past eternity has *already occured*, perhaps you've already been everybody and everything? It's like we're dealing with two different infinities here, the infinite process that never finishes (the present moving into the future), and the infinite process that's already occured and finished (the present having come from the past). For this reason, I would argue that all people could (potentially) be legitimately conscious, just at a (potentially infinite) distant point in the past.
In conclusion, I think the best argument to make in response to the minds of others, is that their consciousnesses is a shadow of your past consciousness, even if you'll never become them or anything like them in the future. Consciousness is like a thread that weaves through the fabric of all people ever to exist, and since the past has already happened but the full extent of the future never will, everything has already happened in the eternal past but won't necessarily happen again in the eternal future. So although you've been everyone, that does not mean you will be everyone.
You may wonder, "if anything can happen in my next reincarnation, then am I necessarily doomed to be a victim of randomized outcome, removing the purpose for me to try in life"? I would say not to make this conclusion so fast, because there's some things to consider.
It may not be the case that any organism can be conscious due to fundamental lack of self-awareness in the vast majority of organisms, but if it could be, then it would be mind-boggling that despite there being millions or billions of times more animals and nonhuman life on Earth than humans, we just happen to be humans. What are the odds? But since most animals might not even be capable of consciousness, I don't think this argument would be sound enough to defend the idea of tendency towards greater order.
But look at it this way: What are the chances that a human being would want to read an article explaining the mechanics of reincarnation? Don't most people not care about philosophy, those that do become content with a religion, and those not content with religion just make something up and go on about their lives? Who actually sits down and reads an article like this... Wait, you do. A smarter-than-average, intellectual, sophisticated, complicated, high-order individual like you reads an article like this. What were the odds? This is still not a perfect argument to defend tendency towards greater order, however, so allow me to defend it with a greater argument, and just let this be some idea primer for you.
The law of causality exists. Without causality, the universe would not be stable and consciousness would likely be evicted at a moment's notice. But since there is causality, there has to be causal reason for every reincarnation. For this reason, we must imagine there to be a chain of cause and effect within the mechanics of reincarnation, things don't just happen for no reason. Assume this is true for now, and I'll explain later why we are bound to a causal universe.
Because subjectivity is causal just like objectivity, the reincarnation of your next life is in some way caused by your previous life. By what mechanism might it be caused though? Morality / karma? Desire? Feelings? Perhaps all of these things feed information into your next life. Perhaps being on a path of expanding your moral goodness will lead you to be a more morally good person, perhaps being on a path of wanting things will lead you to a path where you still want these things, and perhaps being on a path with certain feelings and perspectives will lead you to a path where you'll have similar feelings and perspectives? What you do in this life, theoretically should just carry on to the next, in the closest possible form.
But how does life information transfer from one reincarnation to another? After all, we are born as motive-less infants with nurture being the primary source of our behavioral development. Or are we? What if we're born with a particular nature that corresponds with the nature of our past life, and it influences us for the rest of our lives? To me, this seems to be the most friendly to causality. However, due to scarce resources existing in the universe, reincarnation will probably always be an approximation of your subconscious values, and not an exact transfer.
And does it have to be infants? I guess not. We could be reincarnated into an adult or adolescent body if that's better suited to match our subconscious value sets, as I don't see the fundamental problem with why this couldn't happen. And do we have to be reincarnated as human? Not necessarily, although I think it's the most likely due to high numbers and it being far more similar to you than other things, if you for example wanted to be a dolphin and swim really bad your whole life, and had very little human intellect or interest, maybe you could since dolphins have been said to have self-awareness like humans.
In conclusion of tendency to higher order, the reason for believing such a theory is that motive and purpose by definition is not liking a state of being and wanting to improve it, so it seems that more likely than not you'd be on a tendency towards increasing in order. This is backed up by personally verifiable nonconcrete evidence, as it would take a very high-order individual such as yourself to bother reading this article. However this is a tendency and not a rule, as your own self-order can also break down if you fail to improve on yourself.
Flash back to the beginning of time and existence, where we start with "nothing exists". The logical conclusion of this was that everything would soon exist (as explained in the beginning of this article), however this includes both causal and noncausal universes. Or does it?
**The Static Emergence Conjecture**: Imagine a noncausal universe. Let's say there's a universal rule related to non-causality, that determines that your consciousness can "pop out" of your body at any time, randomizing your current state of existence. This could theoretically exist, and it's not possible to utilize evidence/empiricism to prove that this is not the case, as you could be just a quantum fluctuation in the static of existence, having been given false memories and existence, only to exist for an instant to a few mere moments just to cease existing. How can we disprove this?
We have to think about probabilities in order to disprove the static emergence conjecture. If you did exist in a universe that could evict your consciousness at any moment, what's the chance that you'd stay existing in there, what's the chance of getting evicted to another static universe, and what's the chance of being evicted to a causal universe? Even if you're evicted and transferred into a new static universe a billion times, if you were to be transferred into a causal universe a single time, you'd never go back to existing in static universes. Why? Because causality rules out non-causality, but non-causality can contradict itself to enable causality. And because you've existed for an eternity, rewinding the clock for any arbitrary amount of time will always show that you've never existed in a static universe. Static universes are inherently unstable due to their rules contradicting existence.
If you do ever get accidentally reincarnated into a static universe due to it having the greatest similarity to you as a being, you'd likely therefore not exist there for long, before being chanelled into the next closest reincarnation in a stable universe.
As an extrapolation to the Causal Universe Hypothesis, we can also reason out that our universe will most likely facilitate us until it's own heat-death (or until human and alien extinction). The reason for this is because we would also not exist for very long in universes that evict us from the universe after death / during reincarnation. If you were in such a universe, you'd more likely find yourself in a Sticky Universe with every new reincarnation. Maybe you'd live in a non-sticky universe for one or two lifetimes, but eventually you get reincarnated into a universe with sticky rules, and you'd be stuck there for thousands to millions or even trillions of reincarnations, until the universe dies.
This might be escapable if you killed yourself with a black hole, as all your quantum information and be subconscious data would be destroyed instantly by an object with fundamentally different physical properties, but this isn't necessarily the case. Also with black holes, if you don't reincarnate out of them instantly, then they'd speed up time for you and you'd time travel to the end of the universe to when the black hole died. So black holes might interestingly be an option for breaking the reincarnation cycle in our universe, but only possibly.
Heaven may exist, as a realizable concept. But only to an extent. In thousands to millions of years, when humans (hopefully) colonize the galaxy, we'll become so technologically advanced that we'll either have complete control of our genome, or we'll become machines. At this point, scientists may develop a way to hook you up to a machine, and simulate intense feelings of happiness in your brain, for long periods of time. The future may have an effective heaven, at least as a reasonable possiblity.
But after so long of being intensely happy, we may start to question the purpose of existence. After so much time has passed that all life on all planets is dead, and we're huddled around dying stars or even black holes for energy, we may grow a deep inner depression. We'll still be happy, but we'll wonder what it will be like to have all the things that were neglected and took for granted; Greenery, nature, a walk through a prairie or forest, etc... Out of dismay we may invent ways to simulate these fantasies and turn them into realities, but we'll ultimately be left wishing that we could *actually* experience these rich feelings, as merely simulating them will always feel "unreal" and lacking. It won't be longing for happiness as much as it would be longing for fun and novelty, but pure bursts of chemical happiness may not forever give us the *psychological happiness* we need to be at maximum peace.
For this reason or a similar one, after the death of the universe, we'd likely be reincarnated into nature-loving intelligent creatures at first, perhaps something even as similar or novel as living in the fictional Garden of Eden. And after that, our curiosity as nature loving creatures may cause us to seek knowledge over immediate gratification. Thus repeating the process, namely, existing as nature-dwellers, then curious experimentalists, then complex technologists, then modern-day technologists, then futurists, then transhumanists, then "have everything but want to know richness and meaning" -ists, and then back again.
Heaven doesn't, and can't, last forever. If a heaven-like existence really lasts longer than a normal and boring existence, then the chances of us currently existing in the normal and boring phase of existence would be relatively much smaller. For example if we live in normal life for 100,000 years, then heaven life for 100M years, then the chance of you being in heaven right now would be 1000x greater. There of course is no hard rule stating a heaven like life has to exist or for how long, but based on evidence, probability points to us spending around half of our time not in heaven.
We are most likely close to the half-life of human existence, there's never a guarantee of this, but it can't be more likely in one direction or the other, so assuming we're at a half-life is the closest best guess we can mathematically make.
So if heaven could conceptually exist (as a period of history where people experience intense happiness), then what about hell? Sure. However, I think Hell is moreso experienced in the beginning phases of a universe, where people are barbaric, savage, live like animals, and occasionally torture each other. I think civilization as a whole tends toward greater order, leading to eventual preferable outcomes, more likely than not.
You cannot have consciousness without moral agency, and you can't have moral agency without consciousness. There's also a few things in between you must have in order to have these things. You cannot have consciousness without moral agency, because in order to have consciousness, you must have self-awareness, in order to have self-awareness you must have reason, and in order to have reason you must have moral agency.
You can't have consciousness without self-awareness because in order to be conscious in general, you must also be conscious of yourself. If you could be conscious of anything except yourself, you wouldn't truly be conscious, you'd have coincidental traits. True consciousness is capable of being conscious of anything it can theoretically perceive.
You cannot have self-awareness without reason, because to be self-aware requires to be able to make a distinction between yourself and not-yourself/others, and this requires a very basic level of reasoning that recognizes the dichotomy between existence and nonexistence.
And you cannot have reason without also having moral agency, because in order to reason about things, you have to make choices about whether things are true and false. No reasoning is based on pure machine-like logic, as we are emotive creatures. But rather, reasoning is based fundamentally on feelings, and we get to choose whether to be logical and correct or illogical and incorrect.
All of this put together, and it turns out that there's an inextricable link between consciousness, self-awareness, reason, and moral agency. Which means that for every reincarnation for the rest of eternity, you (a consciousness by definition) will always have all four of those things. You'll never be reincarnated as a literally not self-aware, literally unreasonable, or a literally mind-controlled person.
Some people may try to argue that since "everything exists", surely in one of these universes there is an infinite being with infinite power, intelligence, virtue, etc... And his name is God. Therefore, we could have a God, in fact it is likely because he'd use his infinite power to make the entire multiverse his own personal universe, or something.
One way to could debunk the God Argument is with the problem of infinite information, as no set of universal laws would be able to produce such a concept as a God unless the universal laws were *literally infinitely complex*. All concepts have bounds and limits, except for a concept like God, which requires infinite information to exist. It can be argued that an infinite God cannot ever exist because that would be asking the multiverse to produce a result of infinite complexity, which is infinitely unlikely. The idea that a God might also be able to control things in other universes can be debunked as well, since this would violate the definition of everything, as all things are supposed to be mutually exclusive. If a God were to try to bridge universes, it would create a vacuum where infinitely more universes would replace the bridged ones, thus the effort would be pointless. We must accept that existing in a universe with an infinite God has a likeliness of zero, just like producing a random number that just so happens to be PI from start to finish.
Another way to debunk the God argument is surprisingly, with free will. Free Will is the primary mechanism creationists use to legitimize theodicies (or explanations of why evil exists if God is good, knows there is evil, and can stop it.) It just so happens that free will also precludes the existence of a God by definition. Free Will, or having moral agency without having a predetermined future, is the antithesis of determinism. However, if God knows everything and created everything, then that means he created everything explicitly with the intention of causing them to do all the things they would end up doing, making us live in a deterministic universe. There would be no free will, because God would have pre-decided the future for us.
If there is no free will, then we can return to the theodicy where free will was used to explain why God doesn't stop evil given his infinite power, knowledge, and virtue. If there is no free will, then why wouldn't God just go ahead and stop evil?
One possibility is maybe God wants moral agency to exist, as under his own laws this would resolve him of moral responsibility? Except we could just refute this with a reasonable moral argument, that if you willingly cause a crime, that makes you morally responsible for it. So perhaps the reason for evil lies in a different theodicy, such as perhaps we have to experience evil to know good? Except we all experience completely different and arbitrary things, and some people even die young, which obviously doesn't teach anything.
But proving a *moral* God doesn't exist doesn't prove an amoral God doesn't exist, or that a God in general *could* exist, so we need a stronger argument.
And for this, I'll have to use a time-based argument. We as consciousnesses have existed for all eternity, so if there was ever *the slightest possibility* that we would end up in a universe with a God, we would have already ended up there. And due to the nature of such a universe, we would be unable to leave such a universe, as God's infinite power would allow us to stay forever, and we'd likely want to, as heaven is supposed to be perfect. For this reason, it's empirical that such a thing can never happen, and the fundamental reason is justifiably because the concept of God is too complex to ever exist, and finite Gods probably just don't have the power to make an eternity out of a universe.
I make a point to debunk the concept of a God, as such a concept if correct would dramatically alter all the predictions and hypothesises I'm constructing here to satisfy your knowledge. If God existed, then purpose in life would become faith so we can live in eternal bliss, and it's not that i don't wish that were the case, I just don't think it is the case. If you wanted a pretty lie, you'd be in church instead of reading hardcore philosophy.
Objective morality and objective happiness actually has a common denominator. This common denominator establishes a relationship between the two. Morality is good because it achieves the ends of happiness, and happiness is good because of a irrefutable truth.
The relationship between morality and happiness is the existence of something that can be referred to as *Moral Power*. Moral power is like moral agency, but instead of being a binary state of capability, it's a spectrum of *how* you're existing. Moral power is defined as the ease of the ability to make decisions, or how much loss/time you have to experience in order to make a decision. Low moral power means it's very hard to make decisions, and you act as though you are depressed, because making decisions becomes very "taxing" on your mental and physical energies. High moral power gives you feelings of energy, excitement, and euphoria, as you can make many decisions in succession.
The reason moral power is central to happiness is very simple. Low moral power implies a significant *loss* of subjective opportunity, and completing decisions (enabled by high moral power) rewards you with a *gain* of new subjective opportunities. When your gain is greater than your loss, then the net result is happiness, which results in a psychological energy that drives you forwards, when your gain is a net loss, it inhibits you from making decisions, and forces you to ration your behavior for only participating in the most important things. Thus happiness is having a moral power level that results in a net gain of subjective opportunity for your decisions, and misery is the opposite.
Happiness has some other interesting properties though, such that makes it inherently unstable. All happiness comes from a logical source, and exists as a cycle.
The beginning of happiness starts with problems. Things we see as imperfect, which we want to improve upon. Problems give us desires to solve these problems, which are emotions that drive and motivate us. Desires, after scrutiny and preparation, become commitment to action. A lasting commitment to action is called a purpose. Purposes become our "subjective valued opportunity", and becomes the object of moral power. Satisfaction of purpose results in a feeling of satisfaction.
But this is not the end of the story, as satisfaction means we do not have new problems to solve. No new problems means no new desires. No new desires means no new purpose. And no new purpose means we don't have a new way to feel satisfaction of purpose. And not feeling satisfied in purpose, is a problem.
The cycle goes as follows:
Problem -> Desire ->
Purpose - > Satisfaction ->
No Problem -> No Desire ->
No Purpose -> No Satisfaction -> Problem.
This process is called the cycle of happiness. But do note, I'm not talking about all forms of happiness, I'm only talking about psychological happiness, not the kind of happiness you feel if you pump yourself full of chemicals. The difference is that the latter is categorized as *pleasure*, and is often confused with happiness. Pleasure doesn't make us happy, but rather we like it because we're more or less programmed to. Pleasure is an involuntary feeling resulting from natural processes, and happiness is a voluntary psychological process from within.
Happiness isn't a curse to necessarily feel equal misery as happiness, however. In fact, quite the contrary. The more misery you feel, the happier you could be, as long as you have the moral power. What do I mean by this? This is the part where you might get slightly confused, so pay close attention to what I say.
The *intensity* of happiness is determined by the *speed* at which the happiness cycle is undergone. So you want to have lots of problems in your life, and lots of desires, lots of purpose, and lots of resolve. The faster you accumulate and solve life problems, the more moral power you have, and the happier you are. Although happiness may be a wave-like function that mandates lack of happiness to exist, the lack of happiness you need is relative to the amount of time you have to experience it. In other words, intense happiness and pleasure doesn't require intense misery and pain, it just requires a relative lack of those things, which is less noticeable the faster you undergo the happiness cycle and solve problems.
Misery is usually a result of not even being able to complete the happiness cycle. When you spend most of your time having problems and maybe desires, but no resolve and satisfaction, then the happiness cycle isn't even operating, and you're just stuck in the part of the happiness cycle where you aren't experiencing happiness. Not being able to complete the happiness process is usually a result of low moral power.
Because I brought it up, I'm going to briefly cover objective morality and how it fits into our theory of the mechanics of reincarnation.
Morality is by definition a practice of applying consistent behavioral rules to everyone, in order to consistently fulfil subjective desire in a mutually agreeable way. To be brief, things that are nonuniversally good or bad are only *subjectively* good or bad, as they only apply to the subjective preferences of an individual, but things that are universally good or bad are *objectively* good or bad, as it's not possible to consistently argue against these ideas.
For example, a person can subjectively want an action performed on them, but a person cannot argue that they want their consent violated, as asking to have their consent violated would by definition be giving consent. Therefore violating consent is objectively bad, as you can't argue that you want it done to you. Another, arguably more relevant, example is with moral agency. You can't argue that one ought to take away your moral agency, as arguing this requires the use of moral agency, which implies you value it. So things that take away people's moral agency can't be good.
And of course we can think of complex examples where doing *this one thing* would normally not make sense to do, but may have a net positive consequence. These are fine, I'm not necessarily making a deontological argument, only an objective argument. It's deontology/utilitarianism neutral.
Morality is a discipline of hypothetical reciprocity though. So an easy way to explain it to others is to "do unto others that which is good to do unto them, such as to think through their perspective and understand what things are considered good to them," and i would call this a modified version of the Golden Rule that excludes exception cases. A slightly more advanced way to think about is with *maxims*, which is to analyze every action as a standard of behavior and categorize it as universal good, universal bad, local good, or local bad. Local morality isn't really morality, but personal preferences, and universal morality is the "real" morality. Actions can also be neutral, as their effects affect moral power on a spectrum.
The fundamental reason that evil is evil is because it *always* subtracts from moral power, whether intrinsically or coincidentally. And it can subtract it in either yourself or others. Gluttony, self-harm, and not taking care of yourself psychologically are all "evil" because they remove your moral power, at least in the long-run. Hurting others removes their moral power, because fear results in this, as does pain, confusion, and other negative feelings.
The choices you make in life will affect your moral power, and they'll also affect the development of your personality throughout your various future reincarnations. It's important to build yourself up to have high moral power and such, because those are the qualities you'll be left with in your next lives. And making one simple decision to improve yourself today can make a drastic change in the trajectory of your future happiness and experiences. In fact, it may be our own mistakes which cause the existence of all human suffering, if not in this life, then in previous ones where it's negatively affected us psychologically.
This has been a long article, but hopefully an insightful one. I chose not to formalize my arguments because I know that people are not logical creatures, we are emotive creatures. The only reason you'd read this article is in a genuine quest for truth, and people who aren't interested either won't read it or will disregard it regardless of provable logicality. Not that there's any reason not to provide formal logical proof, I just don't think it's worth my effort, and I think my arguments are well articulated enough that intelligent and open-minded individuals (hopefully such as yourself) can analyze these arguments and understand their merit simply and straightforwardly.
Although I'm an atheist, I am not in the category of atheists that are materialistic and deny philosophy any extendable and abstractable legitimacy. I moreso side with the epistemologists, who try to understand the meaning of knowledge, divorced from physical reality. Knowing this, i have no interest discussing philosophical ideas with people who staunchly believe that nothing happens after death, everything is a meaningless coincidence, and that subjectivity (philosophical consciousness) is not a separate concept from objectivity (rules defining how we are allowed to exist, usually physical stuff).
A summary of my arguments include that the universe actually exists in a greater multiverse spontaneously generated by the self-inconsistent concept of "nothing", that the only thing that exists in reality outside of possibility is subjectivity or philosophical consciousness, that we are reincarnated into universes which obey the laws of causality, that we stay in those universes until they die (else our own universe would have to be eternal), that our consciousnesses really exist and won't spontaneously stop existing, that a God does not exist, and that our path of reincarnation jumps from one person to another person later in time (and it doesn't necessarily have to start at birth). We as consciousnesses also tend towards greater order, a heaven-like existence can exist but not indefinitely if we achieve maximum scientific advancement, and that the order of our consciousness restarts at the beginning of every new universe, but the "flavor" of our personality is what carries over. We also exist in a non-deterministic universe, it's impossible to know with certainty in the far-past and far-future how you will exist or have existed, and that our multiverse is essentially infinite, but not necessarily in a way that makes it incomprehensible (could be comparable to the "infiniteness" of a fractal).
I share this article to inspire people such as myself that spends way too much time asking pointless philosophical questions such as this, who do it out of fear of the unknown. I do not believe there is anything to fear, and relatively speaking, hope is more appropriate in all situations to feel than fear. I also share this just in case when I'm reincarnated at a later time, I want to make sure that I end up reading this so i waste less time thinking about it in future lives. At least for the duration of the rest of our time in this universe, or at least just the internet.
And to finish off my thoughts, there is no great revelation after learning truth about the universe. You don't feel happier, you don't become more successful, you don't become more moral, everything is about the same. I made sure to lay that out for myself as well, to further reinforce the fact that *philosophy is pointless*.
Thanks for reading.
...and you will also help the author collect more tips.