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    consciousness is an asset to the material world

    Octavio Melo’s second philosophical work, Departure from Indifference, argues that consciousness matters in a material world. The book uses questions to frame the argument. Is the material world all there is? What else is there? Is there a God? Is death the end? Careful to adhere to the premise of the question, answers are reasoned in succinct language, without jargon, and with reference to common experience, not unfamiliar ancient texts. The book addresses a message in today’s culture: that humans are ruining the planet. Is Earth better off without us? Melo argues that this question answers itself. The material world doesn’t (can’t) care. It is indifferent. Matter can’t feel. But people do. People manifest intangible elements - consciousness, feelings, good, bad, right, wrong - in our actions. Our very questions and concerns, which drive us to act, we are evidence that we have a purpose here. These questions and concerns in turn become a defense of yearning to learn and understand as the means of expanding and perpetuating human consciousness in the material world. “[O]ur mere presence on this Earth - on this field of obstacles - is indicative of our desire to take the opportunities found herein and use them as catalysts for growth” (76). Consciousness not only matters, but is our, and the world’s, greatest asset. A tight and positive conclusion to a pithy philosophical inquiry.

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