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I, speaking for myself, really enjoy sitting and thinking about these subjects, if you couldn't tell, which is why I wrote about them.
You are sitting here by yourself. You are typing words and they are appearing on a computer monitor in front of you. You feel keyboard keys moving under your fingers. How often do you sit and think about that action? You are quite literally moving matter - your body - with your mind. So then, comes the question: What are we, exactly?
Are we matter, or mind?
Also, when you're sitting there typing on your keyboard whatever it is you're typing, you're doing something. You are thinking. You are coming up with words - thoughts - in a human-made language. But what is human? We are evolved apes. Apes are animals. We, then, are animals. We, everything alive on Earth, are living matter.
Living matter. Think about that for a while. Think hard. It's quite mind-boggling when you come to that realisation.
Speaking of matter, it is not actually physical. What we think of as solid things, with weight and substance, are actually progressively tinier bits of matter. Scientists have discovered sub atomic particles so small their mass basically doesn't exist. But it does exist. Which is even more mind-blowing.
Now let's talk about Earth.
Let's talk specifically about the roundness of the planet. While it is not perfectly round, it's certainly round enough. And it's huge, at least relative to us. One thing in particular that always kind of blew my mind, and still does, was that no matter where you were on Earth, from your point of view, everything would look flat and straight ahead. Say you were in Australia. You literally would be nearly upside-down. You really would be upside-down at the South Pole.
Earth, in a very broad sense of the word, is our home. For now it is our only home. We really should try to protect it and take care of it. Neil Armstrong said the Earth was so small as seen from the moon that he could literally put up his thumb and hide our planet behind it. Needless to say that would make me feel very, very small indeed.
I do believe at some point, maybe not too distant in the future, that we will build settlements on the moon. I can easily see moon bases a century from now. Everyone alive on Earth has, at least once, seen a moonrise. Now imagine being on the moon and seeing an Earthrise. Imagine the oppurtunities for astronomers living on the moon, for instance.Now imagine us, humanity, colonizing other worlds, Mars, the moons of the gas and ice giants, Pluto. Now take it a step further and imagine us creating the technology needed to colonize other worlds around stars that far, far away. I personally think it will be quite awhile before we see that kind of technology.
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You really would be upside-down at the South Pole.
No. North and south are arbitrary, and one is no more upside-down than the other. You could just as correctly say that you're right-side-up on the south pole and upside-down on the north pole. Maps of the planet could just as well be shown with the southern hemisphere on top. In fact, some maps used to be written this way. The fact that the northern hemisphere is economically dominant is really the only reason that it's depicted as being on top.
Everyone alive on Earth has, at least once, seen a moonrise.
I shouldn't have to explain why that's wrong.
Now imagine being on the moon and seeing an Earthrise
Except the moon doesn't have earthrises.
"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."
I think there is some truth to what Yoda said. I don't necessarily believe in a soul, in the spiritual sense, but I do believe we are more than the sum of our parts. We can break a person down to the component parts, but that tells us nothing about the person. No matter how detailed our examinations of the brain get, we never get a picture of the mind that brain creates. And despite the fact that there are billions of us, the same person never exists twice. Even if we try to replicate the underlying mechanics of a person perfectly, with cloning and whatnot, we can never recreate a person, not fully.
Just some food for thought. It's common for people to dismiss the human intellect as being nothing more than a dimly-understanding ape... and while yeah, our understanding of this universe and the things in it is limited, I think the very existence of sentience is fascinating.