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Suicide (NightReport No. 6 - 27.05.1999)

Vor genau 10 Jahren war ich für ein Praktikum an der Stanford University bei Stephen LaBerge. Während der vier Monate verbrachte ich einige Nächte im Schlaflabor. Um mir die Zeit zu vertreiben, habe ich ab und an einen NightReport verfasst und an alle geschickt, die in meinem E-Mail-Verteiler waren. Nun will ich das 10-jährige Jubiläum nutzen, um die alten Reports in meinem Blog erneut zu veröffentlichen. Hier nun der fünfte NightReport:

The majority of the human beings on earth do not commit suicide, instead of that they wait for a natural death or until somebody else kills them. That is, when we take a closer look at life itself, odd. But not only under humans is this a seldom habit also in the world of animals suicide seems to be a more rare occasion. If we believe in evolution we can assume that there is a strong correlation between humans and animals. Man evolved, was once an animal, but could make the difference with the development of the cortex. He started to cultivate himself. When we think about animals, we believe they are free of sorrows and just live their life.
On the other hand humans started to reflect their behavior. They find themselves in the world and start to ask questions. Questions, a paradox in itself, will never find answers. The only answers we will get are assumptions made from humans. So now we have an organism, which can reflect its own behavior and embedded in this organism there is this ‘incredible engine’ which keeps this organism alive. The whole issue gets interesting when this species comes to the conclusion that life is senseless and the only reasonable step in this dilemma would be to quit their life. The fact that humans are still on this planet proofs this last reasonable step as wrong. And we can conclude that this ‘mysterious engine’ has almost miracle power. A lot of people wouldn’t agree with the statement that ‘life is senseless’. They believe that life makes a lot of sense. They believe for example in god, science or in aliens. Maybe they are right and there is a god, maybe science makes a lot of sense, or whatever. But all in all we can only believe in such things. So follow me on this short trip and imagine that believe is maybe a part of this ‘source of life’.
Let’s search for the origin of this ‘engine of life’ and hope the evolution theory can help us. My ideas of evolution are probably simple and not very sophisticated, but here are some basic thoughts like, ‘survivor of the fittest’, ‘selection and mutation’. These basic ideas made evolution possible, fishes started to live on land, animals started fly, apes came down from their trees and finally there are we, humans. A lot of archaeological findings seem to proof this theory and the fact that evolution theory is the dogma in school (more than religion in western worlds) implies that there is at least some truth, or better, todays best explanation
to explain the status human life. But can this theory explain the birth of the first single cell? No, none of our contemporary scientific theories can explain how something originates from nothing. Thus, the question for the beginning is a paradox. Anyway, assume we have now single cells the beginning of life. Why they live? Why they try to reproduce their self? It is hard to tell from the perspective of a human. We imply too much of our own experience in this question. Probably the effort to ask this question is like I mentioned it in the beginning the biggest mistake. Questions require an effect. And every effect is caused by…? Caused by what? If I drop a pen and the pen falls to the ground I can conclude that the cause was gravity, and what causes gravity? Sure there is an answer to this question and probably the word force will appear, but what causes force? And we will go the next step to find an answer… but fact is that we have only explanations made from humans and we can believe in those explanations, but there is no truth out their. Think you are a single cell and you decide to get faster what would you do? Would you invent the neurons to have a very fast communication system in your self? How would you build them? How would you change your internal body?
Sure those are stupid questions, but on the other hand those are the evolutionary steps from the perspective of the organism and not from the perspective of a human who tries to make sense of life. To conclude that we have a neurological system because it is faster than a hormone based communication system seems to be logical, but it is still not an explanation of how an organism could evolve such a system. So what is the reason for an organism to evolve? Why does he stay alive? Why does he tries to survive? We don’t know. probably the organism doesn’t know. But we can ask ourselves and what we find is an indescribable engine which keeps us alive. Hidden in believes, believe in religion, believe in society, believe in love, believe in science, and if you want believe in existence.

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