Let’s say that in the course of my life, I sleep with 500 women, travel through dozens of countries, change the lives of thousands of men through my writing, and generally have an all-around fantastic life with fulfilling hobbies. Let’s say that I give it my all and achieve the best life I possibly could, given my innate limitations, and I lay on my death bed with not a single regret.
How much does that truly, really matter? I’m going to enter a void of nothingness after death, and whatever mark I live on the world will be erased anyway when the human race perishes. What difference does it make if I sit alone in a dark basement for the rest of my days instead of trying to sleep with women, see the world, and pursue challenging endeavors? Why not just kill myself right now, and spare the misery of human existence, the suffering that is sure to fill the space between whatever blissful moments I experience?
As self-aware as I become about my nature, I’m still operated by the program that is encoded in my genes. I’m hungry as I write this and will soon have to seek out food. A day after that I will have no choice but to defecate the unused bits. My mind ventures into sex often, and I will have to relieve those intrusive thoughts by attempting to copulate with a female. It forces me to express its knowledge by creating pieces of writing that I share with other people. It produces neurotransmitters which dampen my mood if I stay in the same environment for too long, and that can only be improved if I go somewhere else. I can’t kill myself because my brain tells me I can’t.
No matter how meaningless and absurd I find life, this moment demands everything—my attention, my abilities, and my energy. My brain wants satisfaction right now and makes me suffer the chemical consequences if I don’t follow its urges. I must observe new cultures, sleep with different women, enjoy music and other sources of entertainment, and then share all the lessons I’ve learned to strangers who gain from my creations.
So, yes, it does matter. This moment matters, and I want it to be the best that it possible can.