by Kenneth Justice
~ Sitting at coffee day after day people strike up many of the same conversations with me,
—) Kenneth, why are so many people nasty?
—) Kenneth, why do government’s seem to ignore the needs of the poor?
—) Kenneth, why are fart jokes so funny?
—) Kenneth, why does coffee taste so damn good?
However, the MOST common question that people engage me on is, “What is the meaning of our lives?”
Throughout the annals of human history the meaning to life has been one of the deepest and most profound questions that men and women have grappled with in an attempt to find an all-encompassing answer. Purpose, meaning, significance, and insignificance are all profound thoughts that each of us must resolve in order to ward off the dangers of going mad.
Some people in the face of not finding a meaning to their existence have chosen suicide as the means to calm their thoughts. Well known men and women wrote about their inability to find a purpose to their life and then in their most sorrowful hour chose to kill themselves rather than live on in a life absent of meaning.
A couple nights ago I stayed up late watching a documentary about the two famous atheists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss. Dawkins, being reticent of how important the question of significance and meaning are to so many people; travels around the world giving his answer to meaning of life. Dawkins says, “The question ‘why’ is not necessary to ask….what is the purpose to the universe is a silly question, it has no meaning”.
To which I ask, “REALLY???”
I was glued to the documentary and ended up rewinding quite a few sections in order to write down various quotes by the speakers. Over and over Dawkins emphatically says that there is NO meaning to life, NO meaning to the universe, NO greater purpose to your existence, and NO greater purpose to my life.
Is this where science and scientists have led us; to a life void of meaning, purpose and significance? Dawkins emphatically says, “YES!!!!”
For Richard Dawkins philosophy is a stupid endeavor (religion is beyond stupid for him, it’s downright evil). Asking questions that grapple with meaning and purpose is a waste of time and a stupid thing to do, “If you could do things by common sense, you wouldn’t need physicists” says Dawkins, the most important thing humans should do is to “abandon common sense” because “common sense distracts us from learning the truth”.
Do Dawkins and Kraus represent the majority of scientists? Is their venom and vitriol toward philosophy a normative element of the scientific experience?
Last week I received a bit of heat from people when I questioned the attitude and presumptions of many scientists; yet my questions weren’t based in wild speculations but were grounded in me listening to people like Dawkins and Krauss who despise philosophy and treat the discipline as though it is nothing more than a pile of terds sitting in the corner.
Are scientists leading us into a brave new world where philosophers are going to be stoned to death? God, I hope not. Because my skin is sensitive and I’m sure a gaggle of rocks being hurled at me is going to leave a few dents.
Time for my morning coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society