Monday, November 5, 2012

My Life Is Meaningless

I am an Atheist and a Rationalist and I accept that we evolved via a blind non-random process of natural selection and because I believe these things I must conclude that my life has no meaning. Life in general has no meaning because meaning/purpose requires a designer and natural selection is a blind process without a designer. So I am left with the terrifying prospect of a meaningless life in a purposeless universe.

Oh, I can hear the Theists saying, "Aha! You admit it! Evolution is bad because it leads to Nihilism! You need God!" Hold your horses missy. Not so fast...

The life I live does have a purpose.  What? No, I'm not contradicting myself.   While it is true that “my life” (the state of affairs wherein my biological functions continue) is meaningless because the designer-less universe could not have conspired to hatch me in particular (yeah, God was pretty handy for that) it is also true that “the life I live” (the sum of all the choices that I make while being alive) does indeed have a purpose because it does have a designer: ME! I am the one who steers the course of the life that I live and as such I am its designer. I am the one who gives my life purpose and that's not a bad state of affairs given the mess I started out with.

What is my purpose? I'm starting to think it may just be to ask you, “What is your purpose?”


Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Hunch About the Universe... So Far

My hunch about the far: I suspect that upon further examination that it will become clear that there couldn't possibly be a beginning of time since “beginnings” occur within time. This seeming to be true, I further surmise that since time and space seem to be inseparably intermingled that these two are concurrent and form the dynamic environment that gave rise to physical reality and possibly other kinds as well. The idea that time and space could themselves be caused seems to be a nonsensical one to me for causation itself requires time, a subject and an agent at minimum. I am then left with the sense that the “change” (if it can indeed be called that) from nothingness to somethingness need not and perhaps, cannot be reckoned as one that was “caused” by anything. In other words, There was nothing and then there was and that’s all there is to it; these sorts of things happen all the time and it’s kind of arrogant to think that our reality requires some sort of special examination. Realities just pop into and out of existence. It’s the way things are. It’s what existence does. Get over it.

That all may sound a little odd to some. Well, hold onto your hats because I think that the truth behind the curtain is that there is a level of actuality beyond space and time; existence itself. Existence is the truly eternal ground. It cannot be caused. Even the thought of the causation of existence instinctively seems nonsensical to me. Now before I get accused of perpetrating a verbal trick or falling into an unwitting Use Mention Error (I recently came to understand this concept with clarity thanks to a speech by Dan Dennett) with regards to the concept of existence, let me say that I am not mistaking the concept of existence for a real thing. No, I am quite deliberately saying that I’d bet that it will one day be borne out that existence is in fact an actual thing and that space and time and the subsequent physical realities that seemingly burst into existence are nothing but fleeting temporal perturbations of the fabric of its potentiality.

Well, that’s my hunch. It could just be mumbo jumbo but I think there’s interesting brain food there and hope you enjoy.  Again, it’s just a hunch. I think that it can’t be thought of as anything but science fiction at this time because we just don’t yet have the scientific tools to go beyond the onset of the physical universe but we are getting closer every day with advances in cosmology and theoretical physics.  I’ll also bet that some future theoretical physicists may drop the “physical” part of their moniker because they’ll be spending a lot of time talking about things that were antecedent to the physical reality proper.

I’d be interested in hearing your hunches or to learn about advances in thinking along these lines.