Sunday, August 26, 2012
Philosophical historians have assembled a list of hundreds of past apocalyptic hubbubs and one may study all or any part of it from the revelations of the twelve eagles of Romulus to exploiters of the Mayan Long-Count. A cursory review of the subject reveals the end of the world has been widely and enthusiastically predicted 76 times since I was born. They were impassioned predictions but I am uncertain of their accuracy.
Unlike this picture of my wife's family setting out on their immigration to America, they lack documentation:
Much as Norma misses her native Krypton, she has never become nihilistic.
Nihilism is a philosophy suggesting the negation of meaningful aspects of life. Existential nihilism argues that life is without intrinsic value, that there is no inherent morality. Epistemological, metaphysical and ontological nihilism go on to prove knowledge is impossible and reality does not exist --which makes one wonder why they bothered.
Enter Harry Naked, young adjunct professor of introductory philosophy at Pollyanna ("We put the HI! in nihilism") Tech. His article,"Tenure Me I Need My Teeth Fixed", changed the tenor of the university. It also surprised non-singers with its revolutionary theme: "Reforming Ontological Metaphysical Philosophy", or ROMP. ROMP caused quite a fury especially in the media:
The main point of contention was nihilist philosophers' reaction to Naked's major premise: "If the world doesn't exist in the first place, it can't properly end." A close second was caused by his conclusion: "If any Apocalyptic predictions have come true, you'd think the traffic on I-80 would let up a little."
But the most telling idea was given in answer to an undergraduate's question regarding the personalization of ROMP, "How does this affect the traditional view of an afterlife?" To which Harry Naked replied, "Young as I am, I have already outlived many people. I don't know why I should not outlive myself too."