19th century philosophy

Love Being a “Must” to Live

The will to live is something that every living thing must have inside of them in order to survive. Rather than being a want, it’s a need, more importantly, a must. The will to live is what pushes us, to strive and give it our all. It ignites a flame which pushes us to keep pushing forward in life, no matter the obstacle or what difficult feat must be done. The will to live is what pushes the pinnacle of life to break barriers and peers ever through adversity.

One such example of how life expresses the will to live is the ability to nurture and care for the ones they love. Whether it’s a mother nurturing her baby, a father shielding his daughter, a son supporting his mother, or a husband defending his wife. The intense urge that we have to do this is instinctual. It was practically second nature to show this desire. There isn’t a need to learn it, the feeling comes naturally. That can even be seen in the animal world. A king lion would kill anything in his way to protect his newborn cubs. By his side, the mother lioness would do the same no matter the risk involved. The same would be said of the king lion in protecting his mate, the mother of his cubs. The entire pride is a picture-perfect example of the will to live. There was even an example that I had seen on YouTube a while ago of a mother blue whale with its baby blue whale, surrounded by a swarm of orcas. Although the mother knew that both her and her baby were going to meet their fates that day, she still tried to protect her young as much as she could, sacrificing herself to soften the blows that the baby whale was enduring. No matter the risk or fatality associated with life, nothing can overpower the brute desire of love that comes with the will to live.

Dire circumstances of survival aren’t the only way the will to live can be expressed towards the well-being of loved ones. But there is also the need to put food on the table and put a shelter over the heads of these loved ones. Many parents would have to work long hours and odd jobs in order to support their children and make sure they are well-fed and have clothes on their backs. And as these children get older, and so do their parents, then it will be up to the children to help their parents when they themselves are sickly and can’t walk. It’s a beautiful forever chain of being “supported” to being the “supporter”, generation to generation. What I am trying to explain is that the will to live has many reasons behind it, but love is one of, if not the most, compelling force towards the “must” to live.

Is The Wet Paint Wet?

In Hegel’s “Phenomenology of Spirit,” he mentions the concept of sense-certainty, delving into the depth of the “now” and the “here.” He then explains that it is an inadequate concept in reality because the “now” and the “here” are constantly changing. When one says they are doing something in the immediate “now,” it is already in the past after that individual finishes saying the word “now.” An example illustrating this fallacy is the presence of wet paint signs in our subway system. When personally traveling underground in New York City, and encountering a wet paint sign taped to subway beams, countless individuals would avoid even bracing on the beam in fear that there is wet paint. However, when directly placing a finger on the beam, one hundred percent of the time, the paint would be dry, revealing the limitations of relying solely on sense-certainty. Hegel explains this perfectly by stating, “This itself. To the question: ‘What is the Now?’ we answer, for example, ‘The ‘now’ is the night.’ To put the truth of this sensuous-certainty to the test, a simple experiment will suffice. We write down this truth. A truth cannot be lost by being written down any more than it can be lost by our preserving it, and if now, this midday, we look at this truth that has been written down, we will have to say that it has become rather stale.” In other words, he is explaining that when it is night if it were to be the morning or a different time of day and look back at the phrase “The ‘now’ is the night,” that phrase would be false because it would be a different time of day, which is not the “night.” The same applies to the wet paint scenario. Is the paint really wet when it’s already dry? Hegel does a good job clarifying this fallacy with the now and here.