A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.”, which is retarded because then the globe would completely unreliable, and people would wonder if Namibia is a real country. If you are unfamiliar with Thomas Moore’s Utopia, run to the library right now in the middle of the night and go read it. It is a fictional ‘ideal’ society which is now the word people use to explain a perfect world.
But before I go further, let me go further, and let me just say this: It is okay to want good things for other people, and I think striving towards a “perfect” world hinges on people wanting the best for each other and for themselves. However, you can’t decide what is good for other people. Like, imagine if your parents got you a Dreamcast for Christmas instead of a Playstation. You’d be pissed. They made a decision what you would like and disregarded what you really wanted.
The point is, you can’t realistically share your view of perfection with another human being without them disagreeing about what perfection really is. For example, you know a guy and he does heroin, like, all the time. So you’re like “Aha, heroin is bad, so I will get him to quit doing heroin.” but he doesn’t want to quit doing heroin. He feels good when he does drugs, even though it’s destroying his body, that high feels so good that he feels like it’s the only good thing in his life. A lot of drug addicts really do feel like they’ve found the secret to life and happiness, and that might sound crazy to some people, but completely understandable to others.
Okay, there’s a reason I brought this up.
We’re gonna talk about “Heaven”. Yes, we’re gonna go there. I mean, not literally, I mean, we’re gonna talk about Heaven. Heaven is, in religious terms, a general term for an afterlife you receive as a rewards for obedience/faith/goodness/etc., and the definition kind of deviates depending on which particular religion and denomination you belong to.
This place, called “Paradise”, “The Afterlife”, “Heaven”, and so on is perfect. But what’s actually in Heaven is kind of convoluted because Heaven would be in some other plane of existence than our current life, and would function completely differently. However, when imagining Heaven, many Christians refer to the description of the “New Jerusalem” described at the end of the book of Revelation. This is a city made of gold, jewels, light, and has rivers flowing from the Tree of Life. However, all of these things are basically visions of an abundance of the commodities on Earth that have been decided as rare and valuable. Well, except for water. But if you’re a resurrected spirit-being, why would you need to drink water? Additionally, wouldn’t lavishness of the city itself greatly devalue precious gems and metals, and make you want to go back to something more simple? I mean, it might be fun for the first 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 years, but then it might get boring, because remember, you’re there forever.
A couple years ago, I watched The Nature of Existence, which I thought was incredibly cool, and in it, there was a Christian talking about what he expected in Heaven. He described having a new body with “chiseled abs” (obviously, he may have been joking) that would never get sick or break down. He also talked about everyone owning a mansion in Heaven. This is actually something I’ve heard preachers talk a lot about throughout my life. From what I’ve experienced, they always talk about Heaven being filled with gold, mansions, and material things. I’m all like “Why do you need a mansion in Heaven? You already got one now.” but that’s neither here nor there. I actually had a much funnier experience in my church’s Youth Group where some guy was like “Do we still get to have sex in Heaven? Cuz I still want to have sex.” and I answered the question as I honestly as I could, and I still would say this to this day: “If there is a Heaven, what would be there would be better than sex, or anything you could experience on Earth, because it would be perfect, whereas the things on Earth are imperfect, so whatever you get there will be better, so I wouldn’t worry about sex.”
Isn’t that awesome? I had like all the good Christian answers to everything. But today, I think about stuff like this: there was some daytime talk show (The Doctors, I believe, which was a panel of doctors who talked about human health, but when the ratings went downhill, they just talked about sex, vaginas and poop in every episode) there was a story about a woman who had spontaneous orgasms all day, every day. That was something I was always thought about Heaven; it would be a place where you would feel awesome at all times, something like an orgasm. Well, as it turns out, the woman from the story was actually in a lot of distress from the constant orgasms. I know, it sounds good at first, and I’m like “SIGN ME UP FOR DAT”, but when you realize how the muscles tense up and contract that intensely that often, it would stop being a good feeling, and would start hurting and creating a lot of discomfort. It would cause a lot of embarrassment and pain, like it did for the woman in the story. So would a perpetual orgasm be good? Of course not. It only sounds good on paper, but one of the things that makes an orgasm so good is the fact that it is very brief.
The brevity of pleasure is one of the things that makes it special. I mean, imagine you absolutely loved eating spaghetti. You just decided “Hey, I’ll just eat spaghetti every day”. Eventually, you will get sick of spaghetti and start to hate it. So how can there be something perfect that lasts forever? It certainly wouldn’t be possible with our current state of understanding. So for Heaven to be real, it would have to exist in some alternative reality where eternal bliss is viable, but it seems more like a natural human desire to achieve a “perpetual orgasm”, which sounds great, but is untenable. Actually, I feel pretty good right now. I’m not having an orgasm or anything, I’m just sitting here, but in my normal state of being, I feel worlds better than I do when I’m sick. Being sick is absolutely miserable, and I hate it. So, if you think about it, how you “feel” is only relative to the standard of where you place “feeling good”.
There is a group of people who have dedicated their lives to feeling good all the time. They are called drug addicts. From what I hear, heroin and meth make you feel really good, but they will kill your body. But let’s say heroin didn’t hurt you physically. The problem of addiction would still exist, a problem that destroys families, friendships, relationships, and lives. Many people start using to escape their problems, but after time, using becomes their problem. Something the religious have in common with the addicts is that both want to escape suffering forever, believe they have the solution to suffering, and are willing to leave their families behind for their version of paradise. Well, kind of. The way families cry over their loved ones makes me wonder if they believe their own religions. Isn’t the deceased in a perfect place? You’d think everyone would be celebrating that their loved one made it to Heaven, and that they will join them there someday, right? But a part of us knows that they are gone, and we’re not going to reunite with them.
Here’s why I say this: When someone dies, you see them dead. You can understand that and see that. But an absolutely perfect Heaven where there is no suffering – that is nigh-on impossible to imagine – if not completely incomprehensible. It seems more realistic that the dead are just dead rather than transported to a heavenly realm, even if this thought only registers on a subconscious level. It seems to me that it is incredibly absurd that people would put the entirety of their hope to a place that is illogical and might not even exist. But, when being hopeful, people tend to grasp for the tiniest threads, even if it is unrealistic, because we don’t want life to end. However, that just seems to be triggered by a combination of our survival instinct and our ability to form abstract concepts, like living after you are no longer alive.
So, for Heaven to exist, like I’ve said, it would have to be in another realm of existence where our current state of logic has no influence. I know that sounds weird to some people, but it is a way of rationalizing our belief in a Heaven place, because conventional wisdom tells us that it is not plausible. So Heaven must essentially be an unknown place, because it is not possible to comprehend what it actually is. So how can we know it is “good” or “perfect” in the conventional sense if our dimension’s logic does not apply in Heaven? Heaven is unknown, a big question mark, which is essentially what death itself is.
Keep in mind, before you say anything: I’m not saying Heaven doesn’t exist. I’m not saying it does, either. I am, however, saying that Heaven may not be perfect. The Bible reads: “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain“, and while this sounds appealing, all of these conditions are present in death, because once dead, you can’t die again, feel any more pain, or have to feel sadness, because your brain functions have shut down.
So yeah, I have to just set religion aside, because nobody really knows with certainty what Heaven is. I have my own weird theory about it, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog for another time, and will take awhile to explain.
In an empirically humanist sense, a “perfect” world would be the “ideal” society. What that society looks like greatly varies depending on who you ask. In Huxley’s Brave New World, society essentially robs people of all their humanity as we know it today and has warped it into a terrifying vision of what the future could be. Individualism and emotion are frowned upon, and humans are essentially machines, grown to work their jobs, and consume products.
Whether this world is truly ideal or not is a matter of hot debate among pseudo-intellectuals and such, but when I say it is “terrifying”, it’s because I don’t want to see such a radical change in the way society functions. However, for such a dramatic shift in society to take place, it would take a major event, or hundreds (perhaps thousands) of years. And I don’t mean just a shift to Brave New World, I mean a shift to any of the many fictional future-world societies depicted in literature and through movies. For example, in the movie Equilibrium, there is a nuclear war, and so that society has changed into logic-based culture where emotions are outlawed, and are suppressed by a government-sponsored drug, much like in Brave New World.
In this day and age, there are many advocates for systems that control the way people behave, and similar propositions for how we can have no systems of control. However, both of these extremes have the same flaw: variance in human behavior. Having a system of total control is challenged by people who refuse to be controlled. Having a void of control, and “anarchy”, is near-instantly filled by people who want to control other people. Even in states today where there are near-anarchy anocratic conditions, there are “warlords” which control people through heavily-armed gangs. For there to be a universal decision on something that would alter society radically, almost the entire population would have to agree on the idea, and if this “something” were to be enacted without the consent of the population, there will be a civil war. However, entire populations rarely will agree on an idea, even if proponents of the idea adamantly deliver the idea as absolutely necessary and “really good”. Good ideas rarely survive factionalism, so one way to implement an idea is to set up a dictatorship. Just one mind with a direction for the populace to follow, with or without their consent. If they don’t like it, the dictatorship will arrest them before they can revolt.
To be honest, 90% of running a dictatorship revolves around stopping a revolt from ever materializing. Let’s say I was appointed Queen of some country, which we will refer to as ‘Equestria’, and I am the absolute ruler. Now, I have a vision for my country. I see that most of our economy is based on agriculture, and I want to build factories and build up an industrial power in the region. For this to happen, I would set it into law that certain percentages of the population will be removed from their farms, and will start working in the city. Because they’ve come from a long line of farmers, they have great pride in their homes and their work, and don’t want to move to the city. At this point, I have two options: Abandon my vision for Equestria, or tell them they have to listen to me. Both of these options present their own particular sets of problems for the state. If I back off, my political opponents will use this as “weakness”, and begin to take away my control of Equestria, and could lead to a coup attempt later that will result in a revolt. If I decide to make my pony-people move to the cities to build factories, they might revolt. Any decision I make could potentially lead to a civil war unless I exact as much psychological control over the people so I can make them do what I want. This would involve in harshly punishing those who oppose me, and rewarding those who kiss my ass. However, this in itself is not enough. I have to make sure there is no way to oppose me by making sure none of them are armed or organized, so I have to keep a constant watch over them with a system of police. However, they can’t know when or where they are being watched, so this police force has to be secret. It would be my very own super-secret police force. Besides doing this, I would have to build a method propaganda that glorifies me and discredits my opponents, otherwise, my people will have a very negative view of all my actions. I have to create, at the very least, the perception that a majority of country supports me, and that what I am doing is right. However, when I do this, there may be other sources of news that tell a different tale, which conflicts with my official story. These other sources of news have to be prevented from reaching my people, otherwise the propaganda will come off as completely unbelievable and absurd. Also, the more I can neutralize and marginalize news organizations/journalists who write stories that oppose me, the more absurd I can make my propaganda. I could tell people that I sent 200 cattle to the moon to start a moon-ranch in the name of Equestria.
The fact that I would have to go to such lengths to control everyone just goes to show that not everyone wants to be controlled, and will be miserable living under a dictatorship. It would be like a family portrait where everyone is smiling. I could tell everyone to shut up and smile, but besides the nice picture, our home could be an awful place to live.
Some people advocate population control as a means of allowing moderately oligarchic governments to have less variables to deal with. Population control is often characterized by a reduction or “stabilization” of the population growth to bring it to an “ideal” level. In my opinion, this is one of the coldest, least empathetic idea I can imagine proposing. Of course, it’s not nearly as extreme as another method of controlling populations: Genocide. Suppose you have an identified group of “problem” people. Perhaps it is their religion, ethnicity, or maybe they just smell funny, but it becomes clear what needs to be done: they have to go. As insane as this sounds, advocating removing an unimaginable number of people, ruining their lives, driving them out of their homes, and killing them is something that has manifested itself, even in the modern world.
Simply put, there are certain ideas that I think are disgusting that other people think are great ideas, and think I’m just way too indoctrinated with propaganda that makes me “feel bad for lesser peoples”. But that’s my point entirely! We can’t agree on issues like war, peace, economics, laws, religion, gay rights, euthanasia, population control, abortion, nuclear weapons, foreign aid, government involvement in every day life, what kind of music is best, and so on. The only way to get us all to agree willingly on every idea would be to drug us all and turn us all into zombies with no emotions, and to a certain extent, no logic. I don’t want to live in that world. I don’t want to live in a perfect world. And what about Heaven? If a white supremacist goes to Heaven, what if there are black people there? I mean, not that they would have bodies, but one spirit floats up to another spirit and says “So, what were you like in your earthly life?” and the other spirit goes “Well, I was a black man who…” and the first spirit freaks out and goes “What is this!? Who let niggers into Heaven!? If this is the way it’s gonna be, God, send me to Hell!”
So yeah, fuck a perfect world, and also racial supremacists.
But, for shits and giggles, what do you think a perfect world would be like?