Why does anything exist at all? Or to put it another way "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Or to put it another way still "Why this form of existence as opposed to another?" The three different ways of presenting this question demonstrates the complexity regarding the very notion of existence and the philosophical considerations that accompany it...
We've learnt that just as understanding what constitutes a sublime piece of music is central to appreciating it anywhere, knowing what constitutes a good argument is vital to deciding whether Nick Clegg or Nigel Farage has made the better case for their position, regardless of how we personally feel about them or their politics.
In a stunningly ironic way it is the political equivalent of survival of the fittest that seeks shelter under a religious cannon. The religious Americans have there ultimate dream cake and eat it: the pre-eminence of self-regard on this earth is the right thing to do for yourself, others and God and as a consequence you are spiritually rewarded for it in the afterlife.
There is rarely anything new under the sun. It's useful to remember this when there is great furore over new technologies and the effects they are having on us and the world we live in - especially when the stories are as serious as a teenager taking her life because of the 'toxic digital world' she had become so enmeshed in.
While Francis' analysis is correct, the problem is that capitalism is not the only system that acts in this way: religions - Catholicism included - also create problematic demands on us. Indeed, one could argue that the idea of God could be seen as an infinite demand: if God has said, for example, that being gay is sinful or having women leaders is wrong, who are we to even begin to argue?
The modern world thinks of art as very important, something close to the meaning of life. The symptoms of this elevated regard include the opening of new museums, the channelling of significant government resources towards the production and display of art, the desire on the part of the guardians of art to expand 'access' to works (especially for the benefit of children and minority groups), the prestige of academic art theory and the high valuations of the commercial art market.
Delving once more into the hidden language of cinema, Fiennes and Zizek interpret what the movies reveal about ourselves, and the collective fantasies that shape our beliefs and practices. Fiennes commented: "We are responsible for our dreams. That's the genius of cinema: there's more happening than what you can actually talk about. "
There's no definite proof that we are in a simulation, but additionally there's a lack of evidence to contrast the theory. With more and more evidence appearing out of the Bonn experiments, it's looking exceedingly likely that the simulation theory may become part of mainstream debate over the coming years.
Amazed by the amount of blog posts about the potential ban on my Twitter feed today, I felt obliged to give into peer pressure and also write an opinion piece on it. However, I soon came to realise that many of these articles offered unsubstantiated points of view, had a predisposed bias for one side of the argument and failed to recognise the complexities and sensitivities surrounding the issue.