The Good Life: Part 2: Exuberance
The Good Life: Part 2: Exuberance
I have a Poison Ivy infection. I got it hiking at night with my friends. I am 29 years old this August, and I have a Poison Ivy infection and am likely to have them all summer long.
Because I really love nature.
When I started to study science, wanting to be exposed to the secrets of nature for me became a high comparable to any high from drugs.
It is awesome.
In fact I try to live my whole life like this. I try to love what I do, and do what I love.
This concept is simple, it is called Exuberance.
It is one of the chief humanist virtues according to Philosopher Paul Kurtz.
Kurtz argues that we need exuberance to feel the fullness and richness of life. Exuberance is literally enjoying what your doing. And enjoying it a lot.
A commitment to the idea of exuberance as a virtue requires a lot of responsibility.
If you think that being really happy about what your doing is something to be strived for, then when you have the freedom to change your job, or your lifestyle to bring you more inspiration for explosions of joy, you must do so.
In other words, you should try to be happy, and being happy is your problem.
But, I suggests that in the United States, there is a ripe field of happiness ready for the plucking. The meaning of life according to Kurtz, " life is full of opportunity."
This is indeed true, and makes me proud to have the words, "keep hope" tattooed on my knuckles.
When you make wise use of your opportunities, you create a real possibility of genuine and authentic exuberance in your life.
Sure, we atheists may not have a heaven that we can promise you in the afterlife, but we can promise you a good life if you make wise use of philosophy and science.
This is another shout-out to Kurtz's term "Eupraxsophy" which is the term that describes my current belief system. A eupraxsopher is a science philosopher, de facto. De facto means in fact, in reality, in the world. A philosopher is a de jure position, it is a piece of paper in an ivory tower. I fear scientists often suffer from the same troubles.
It is easy to get lost in the labarynth of the Academy, and forget you are there to serve humanity, not to segregate yourself from it.
Eupraxsophy is the promise of exuberance as one changes the world.
Exuberance is the heaven of the atheist. Life is now, we have no guarantee of an afterlife, and as a neuroscientist, I say that we have little possibility of an afterlife.
If you are miserable your whole life, you blew it.
Since I think your days are numbered, I am trying to be frank.
Exuberance is not necessarily an atheist virtue, everyone should enshrine it. But atheists in particular, if you think this is your only life, then your enjoyment of it is your responsibility.
But fear not, excuses for happiness abound.
For me it is reaching out to my fellow secularists, and jumping into a North Texas Forest bravely enduring the poison ivy for the whispers of natures secrets that I am sure to find. It is the embrace of my wife, it is the music of Handel and Greydon Square. It is a walk in a museum, the songs of birds. It is good sex, great sex, lustful sex. It is the smell of flowers, and the mystery of bee societies. It is the conversations of those I love, it is comics.
I have a lot to be exuberant about, and I think if you think about it, so do you.
Your life is a love story!