Everything you believe is a myth…REALLY???


By Kenneth Justice

~ At coffee yesterday the subject of a recent blog article I wrote about science, purpose, and meaning came up in the conversation,

Kenneth I read your article and you’re mischaracterizing scientists. Sure, dudes like Dawkins are extremists, but you’ve got to read scientists like Carl Sagen who were good people; Sagen was kind, and calm, and intelligent” said someone sitting at my table.

It’s the dawn of the 21st century, 132 years ago Charles Darwin died and over the course of the next century the various disciplines of science would converge giving birth to new theories never before considered by ancient generations;

—-) The universe is roughly 14 billion years old

—-) The universe came into being from nothing

—-) No god, gods, goddesses or intelligent designers created the universe

—-) You are not special

Okay, so I may have left out a few other scientific theories from the past 100 years, but if we’re going to be honest, with the exception of notable writers like David Hume in the 18th century, it was during the 20th century in which we saw the massive shift in humanity’s belief that the universe came into existence out of nothing and the firmly entrenched concept that there is no special purpose or meaning for the life of a human.

What concerns me is that quite a few notable and influential scientists have been moving toward a radical new position; fundamentalism. Just as religious extremists throughout history attempted to squelch any and all detractors to their ideology, many scientists are blackballing anyone who would dare to question their assumptions, and are treating the findings of science as if they are the very words of the Greek gods.

As I wrote this past week, Scientist Richard Dawkins boldly proclaims, “You are not special!!!” yet I was chastised at various times by people who scoffed, “Kenneth, Dawkins is an extremist, you need to read more level headed scientists”.

So in the spirit of fairness, yesterday I picked up a copy of “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” by the famous astronomer, astrophysicist, and writer Carl Sagen. While I’d read things by Sagen in the past I will admit that it’s been a few years, yet as I made my way through each page the same eerie meaningless to life leapt off the pages of Sagen that I hear when I listen to lectures by Dawkins.

Everything you believe is a myth, says Sagen. “A meaningless Universe – has generated fear” he says, and has led humans throughout the past to creating myths to squelch their fear, “yet I will tell you that a meaningless universe shouldn’t make you afraid, but rather it will make you happy” he infers. Throughout the book Sagen reassures the reader that the meaningless of the universe is exciting and beautiful and he then sets forth his own “history” of the universe and of humanity, a history that he has extrapolated by looking at the various evidences in the cosmos.

Is this where scientists are taking us? Wanting to teach our children that their lives are meaningless?

I thought science was all about observation and not about philosophy; yet every scientist who infers that the life is meaningless has gone beyond the reaches of observation and has now inferred their philosophy.

That then is my objection; scientists have overreached their bounds. Too many scientists are masking their own personal philosophies under the cloak of ‘science’.

There are LOTS Of scientists who do NOT believe yours and my life is meaningless; but they are not the figureheads of the various disciplines.

As a philosopher, I am concerned that certain scientists are attempting to hijack philosophy and claim it as their own. I am concerned that they are creating their own myth, that life is meaningless, and that just as the Greeks created mythological heroes like Hercules, scientists are creating their own mythological forces.

Two years ago when I published my first article on The Culture Monk it was always my goal to talk about the deeper issues of life; meaning, purpose, justice, etc. In the backdrop of all my writing is my belief that yours and my life has meaning and I’ve tackled the issue from various perspectives. As I draw near to the completion of my Master’s Degree in philosophy and prepare to begin my doctoral work, I’m still convinced as ever that life is meaningful; there is a purpose to your life……and that’s a good thing.

Okay, you may all go ahead and blast away at how wrong I am, I’m going to order another coffee,


Categories: Culture & Society

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60 replies

  1. Reblogged this on carrollannsuscoblog and commented:
    Culture constructs perspective. How can we tell the truth through our philosophy driven perspectives?

  2. I find the leaders in all disciplines tend to “hijack” their fields to a certain degree until another “rock star” comes along. Thankfully, I’m not inclined to believe life is meaningless or else this all would be rather depressing.

    Very interesting the link you make between scientist and their emerging philosophical leanings. Given their level of influence on young and gullible minds that could be a dangerous thing indeed. It is intriguing to hear your take coming from a philosopher’s point of view.

    • I like your use of the term “rock star” because that is actually the feeling I get when I listen to a lot of the people give public lectures; they act as thought are ‘science rock stars”

  3. You’re very right. Keep writing about the deeper issues… they are what matters most! Richard Dawkins is a very interesting person… he had a very strange childhood, and has admitted to being “a little” sexually molested while a child away at a boarding school. I believe it was in a Catholic (religious) environment. He tried to make it seem like it was nothing, which really angered advocates for child abuse and sexual molestation – who know that “a little” sexual molestation is DEFINITELY a big deal in a child’s life.

    You’re right, a lot of scientists are Atheist and they use their scientific platforms to make philosophical statements based on their past experiences (mostly of which created in them an intense hatred for God).

    Of course Dawkins hates God and has made his entire adult life centered on debunking a God-myth, he was molested by someone supposed to represent God. It doesn’t take something as dramatic as molestation to make an atheist… it could just be that your parents were jerks, too religious, or anything cruel.

    • I read that about Dawkins childhood as well. He even went as far to say that him being molested in that manner wasn’t bad for him; inferring quite clearing that molestation isn’t bad. He’s a strange cookie to say the least.

    • Or you might just be a normal person. Please don’t equate a lack of religious belief with some kind of psychological damage.

    • Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take parents being jerks, too religious, too cruel, or some traumatic childhood abuse for someone to be an atheist. It takes an inquisitive mind, critical thinking, and a willingness to question religious dogma.

      And while I can’t speak for Dawkins, I can speak for myself and for most atheists I know. We don’t “hate God.” We just don’t believe in the existence of God. You can’t really hate something that you don’t believe exists.

  4. You’re not wrong. We’re living in strange times. Science is replacing the spiritual, but it’s doing so with something akin to religious fundamentalism. Today people want blind obedience and faith invested on “Science,” while demanding peer reviewed science papers for the spiritual. It’s disconcerting.

    As to myths, myths have always served a vital purpose in the world. Until recent history we were all about the myths, the storytelling, the legends we passed down. There are truths to be found even in myths. Suddenly myths are being perceived as something negative and alleged reality is all the rage. So, science now represents absolute truth…except quantum mechanics which tends to make people vaguely uncomfortable.

    The scientists are doing science a disservice, because they’re treating science as if it were the antidote to God. It’s all about science versus religion and which one will win. If you think about that, it’s really quite silly. What is science except the study of creation? Rather than pushing us away from the nature of our existence and why we are here, in theory it should be bringing us closer. However, that’s very politically incorrect these days, so many of our scientists promote this kind of nihilism.

    • I LOVE your second paragraph. I’ve spent a lot of time studying myths over the past three years or so and totally agree with you on the importance of myths and there purpose in the world.

    • I agree that myths and stories do serve a vital purpose and that there are truths to be found in myths. But I don’t think myths, per se, are being perceived as negative. It’s when people believe their myths to be real, to be true, instead of just myths. It’s when people declare that “my myth is better than your myth,” and then take punitive action against those who believe different myths, or demean and denigrate those who don’t believe their myths to be anything more than myths. That’s where the negativity comes in. And that’s where the negativity should come in.

    • Myths are the things we aspire to, Doobster. The thin veneer of civilization is a bit of myth. The codes of behavior men live by are a bit of a myth. If we don’t believe in these things as real, we’ll never manifest them in our lives.

    • Well, IB, by definition, a myth is a “traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.”

      I’m not sure what these “things” are that we are supposed to believe in, but I know that I don’t believe that myths are real. Again, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have purpose. It doesn’t mean that there are not lessons to be learned.

      So I don’t get what you mean when you say, “If we don’t believe in these things as real, we’ll never manifest them in our lives.” Are you suggesting that believing that myths are real is a prerequisite to being a good human being? If so, I completely disagree. Believing that myths are just legendary stories that are not necessarily factual, not historically accurate, and are not “the truth,” doesn’t mean one can’t lead a good, moral, positive and productive life. To believe otherwise is, to me, almost incomprehensibly arrogant.

  5. This is the same problem I saw in you original post. Scientists say that your dogma is meaningless, not that your life is meaningless. This is a sad day, that you are so illogical. Your arguments are embarrassing.

    • Arguments aren’t embarrassing. It is the ‘loudness’ of their expression that can be embarrassing. Well, it’s the loudness that disturbs my peaceful existence, anyway.

    • Totally agree, the loudness hurts my ears as well.

    • Richard Dawkins specifically says, our ‘LIVES’ are meaningless
      Sagen in the book I read yesterday said that both the “universe” is meaningless and our “lives” our meaningless.

    • It is obvious that neither Sagan nor Dawkins believe or believed their lives to be meaningless. What they are saying is that there is no external objective purpose. We are all free to create our own meaning and purpose.

      Many people would prefer to have an external father figure to validate their lives. That is clearly an emotional prop. Atheists say that we must create our own meaning, and that we are free to do so. This is a positive message, but perhaps some people aren’t ready to make that leap of imagination. It’s easier to do what “God” said in some book.

    • Dogma however, is not meaningless. It has a huge impact over our lives. Dogma is not all bad either, it’s simply a set of principles that people believe in. Those who claim to have no dogma, are actually a bit scary because their behavior is being influenced by something they are not even aware of.

    • @IB, dogma is “a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.” I have a set of principles by which I live, but it’s not a “dogma” set down by some sort of authority or anything that I believe to be incontrovertibly true. But you’re right, dogma does have a huge impact on our lives, and because so many people follow dogma without any critical thinking or questioning, it is, in my opinion, a bad thing.

    • Your God says don’t have sex before marriage and you will have eternal life with him him in the clouds. Carl Sagan says that is not real. It is meaningless. I am saying that Kenneth’s argument that Carl Sagan and all scientists say that children should be taught that their lives are meaningless is just again Propaganda. No one is saying that except Kenneth.

  6. But doesn’t a “meaningless universe” – of which human beings are a part – therefore lead to our lives also being meaningless? All ancient civilizations have told stories trying to ascribe a beginning and a purpose to the world and thusly, their lives in it. It’s been that way for centuries and centuries. Why are thousands of years of common beliefs suddenly worth nullifying? THAT, makes no sense to me. I’m with you on this one Kenneth.

  7. First of all, it’s “Sagan,” not “Sagen.” Second, it is disingenuous for a religious believer to harangue against scientists – or anyone else, for that matter – for “hijacking philosophy.” You live in a glass house, my friend.

  8. You have gone from disagreeing with various scientists to claiming scientists have no right to make pronouncements about meaning in life. Are you backsliding into your much lamented proselytizing past?

  9. “I thought science was all about observation and not about philosophy; yet every scientist who infers that the life is meaningless has gone beyond the reaches of observation and has now inferred their philosophy.”

    Ditto to that.

    We are all unique. We are all special. It’s those differences that stop us all getting bored shitless and fading into meaninglessness. Besides why do humans copulate and reproduce, if there was no meaning to life.

    My theory is that all life has meaning. How does anyone define a Meaningful Life. It is what each and every one of us wants it to be. If our life didn’t have some meaning, we wouldn’t bother extending it.

    Even Death has meaning, otherwise it wouldn’t keep happening. We’d all live forever.

    • Anything can have meaning if you decide it does but it doesn’t mean it is meaningful. The question is what is all this reproducing and staying alive for? What is the end goal?

    • Ehrrrr,…..to begat children to prolong the human race, or pay the taxes to support us in old age?

      Or perhaps there really IS no reason and I should swallow that old bottle of sleeping pills I have been keeping ‘for a rainy day’. (just joking, well sort of anyway).

  10. Dawkins says “you are not special” . . . From a scientific viewpoint I suppose he is correct . . . physically speaking we are all pretty much the same thing . . . BUT because science has deleted the entire spiritual plane from their summation, they will never according to their own rules see far enough out of their box to visualize anything outside the boundaries of physical ‘stuff’ . . . . too bad for them.

    They see an acorn, they can disassemble that sucker down to the atoms it’s made of, but they have no understanding of the energy/intelligent connection that was smart enough to stuff that huge oak tree into a tiny seed. . . .

    Too bad . . . allthough we share with that frame of mind, the beauty of this existence . . . we can never share the wonder of the mystery intelligence that created it . . . they probably get it anyways . . . . They are sucking at mother’s breast just as we are, that can deny it all they want but disconnected they would shrink up and die like a mushroom in the sun. . . . so in a way you can say there are really NO living disbelievers.

  11. I am a scientist & wholeheartedly agree with your observation that we have a new wave of aggressive ‘vocalists’ that are more concerned about selling their own philosophies than adhering to the basic scientific principles that … ‘Science cannot prove anything, it can only add evidence to support a theory or hypothesis: it only takes one piece if evidence to disprove a theory.’

    Science is also not totally impartial either. The whole basis is around setting up an hypothesis (a question to answer) & testing it. The fact that it is created by the researchers carrying out the investigation makes it limited & potentially biased. It may appear very altruistic, but as soon as you factor in money, sponsorship, personal image or success you can very quickly take impartiality out of it. If not, why would so many scientists & researchers been found guilty of fraud. The ‘discoverer’ of why thalidomide was teratogenic was later found guilty of fabricating results because he was trying to ‘prove’ that the drug Debendox had similar effects to thalidomide. Why? Because he ‘felt under great pressure to make another significant discovery.’

    Through its increasingly ‘demigod’ status, more & more people just accept science as fact, without questionning & if they do ask questions they are often lampooned for doing so.

    Science is about finding out (discovery) not proof. When you overstep that line you step into the arena of philosophy & step out of the arena of science.

    Science is about ‘the what’; philosophy is about ‘the why.’

    Perhaps some education on what science IS rather than what we think or assume it is would be a good start. But for many that would be just a bit too risky to their own agendas 🙂

  12. Can you give an idea on why you are convinced life is meaningful and that there is purpose to life?

    • I can’t remember who said it, but there’s a quote that goes, “mother nature creates without purpose and destroys without mercy.” It takes the briefest exploration into biology to completely dispel that bit of human observation. To everything there is a purpose and a relationship, an interconnectedness. Take one tiny piece out of the equation and you will completely alter the entire eco-system. So, simply from a scientific perspective, life is meaningful and has purpose, to sustain and support life itself.

    • I get that part. I guess what I am trying to ask is, what is the purpose of all of us even being alive and perpetuating the species?

    • I think the purpose you are seeking is that so we can maybe one day better understand what our purpose might really be.

    • That is a possibility but it is not very motivating to live for something unknown especially if it does not happen in my lifetime and is only a maybe..haha

    • Well, we are living for whatever we are living for along with everyone else! It’s a group effort … besides, how disappointing is the journey if we have a destination and don’t end up reaching it?

      I’ll take the open-ended continuation-focused journey before I accept anticipation of a questionable destination.

  13. There is so much that lies beyond our synthetic knowledge. Science cannot cross the boundaries of synthetic knowledge. Science is a body of knowledge, but it is not wisdom. Knowledge is not wisdom no matter how expansive the body of it becomes.

    Pride and getting lost in the allure (whatever that happens to be for any scientist or creationist) in being right are another huge part of this argument. Prideful people can’t entertain the notion that there is still exploration, another way, and that perhaps other people’s views hold some merit. Pride digs in its heels and says ‘we need not go there’. Pride closes our eyes to see only itself. Humility opens us to learning true wisdom.

    This argument is not ‘science vs creationism’. It is ‘pride vs humility’. With the way this world is going, we ALL need to get really honest about how prideful we are and let go of it. We need to find the places where we come together. We scientists and creationists need to find our commonalities and focus on that. We need to start from there.

    Our problems aren’t going to be solved by winning this argument. Our problems will be solved by coming together and acting on a united front. We can no longer afford to argue. We’ve got to find a way forward into action and we’ve got to do it together.

    That’s wisdom.

    • Your argument that pride is the problem is relevant only to those whose moral beliefs say pride is bad. In modern times pride is on the move from bad to good and not only good but proper. Pride is earned and deserved. As a Christian we understand that pride comes before a fall. For those who have a different moral understanding pride is something you get because you have attained to a great place or ? ?. I would say I understand what you are saying but I think you statement falls upon a society where you are speaking a foreign language.

    • I disagree Randall. My statement stands across the board. People (Christian or not) weren’t protected from getting sick just because they didn’t perceive that rats and waste were spreading the plague. Same goes for the issue of pride here. Revering pride (and there are just as many prideful Christians as any other group) doesn’t make it any less corrosive. And there are plenty of people, Christian and secular, who see that. Again, it’s not an ‘us vs. them’ thing in terms of Christian vs. secular. It really isn’t. Though many an internet comment section would have us believe differently.

    • What I mean by relevant is that it does not matter to many. I agree it still has an effect on them and I also realize that many non believers see pride as wrong as well. I will say this in the most real sense it is not us versus them but them against Christ. This is in the ultimate sense.

    • Or them in the bondage of the principalities which stand against Christ. An important distinction and applicable to the point I’ve been trying to make in a rather clumsy way. You are obviously an engaged and caring and thoughtful person Randall. God bless you on your journey.

  14. A philosopher should know that words and their meanings get a bit mixed up when used in common speech. Our lives have no intrinsic meaning is a phrase that many interpret to mean lives are meaningless. Our lives have no intrinsic purpose and this is interpreted as ‘our lives are without purpose’. Both of these interpretations are inherently wrong. Meaning and purpose are subjective values assigned by the experiencer, whether they are theistic or not.

    If our lives had intrinsic, objective meaning or purpose it would never occur to anyone to ask “so what are you going to do with your life?” but clearly that doesn’t happen.

    To turn around and say that Dawkins is wrong in how he talks about things but then make miscommunications that are just as bad as your are complaining of just doesn’t make your conversation sound convincing.

    • You have framed your statements in such a way as to create assumptions that are not accurate. From your first sentence I can assume that using language accurately is important. I shall now make one more assumption. That representing a group of people (that you are not a part of) inaccurately actually hurts the arguers argument, it may not invalidate it but it does draw further critique. I will only address one of your misunderstanding though from reading your quick note I think there are a few.

      The only misunderstanding that I want to address is the concept of intrinsic values and theist. You state that meaning and purpose are subjective values regardless if you are theist or not. As a theist I can state that the traditional belief (I am sure you can find someone to disagree) is that meaning and purpose are intrinsic. That all humans have a single intrinsic purpose and meaning to life that has been given by God from the beginning. This intrinsic purpose and meaning to our lives is to show God’s justice and rightness in life.

      We actually as theist are not actually able to do anything about this. We are not able to help Him do this. It is intrinsically there from prior to our even being born and by being born we are not a part of it whether we want to or not.

      I only state this so that you understand you have misrepresented the theistic doctrinal view. I have only stated it but I am not in this post going to expand on how the doctrine comes about.

      One last point a diamond has an intrinsic value whether the diamond knows it or not.

    • What intrinsic value does a diamond have?

      What is the purpose of life, as your god has given it, apparently? I’d like to hear that from someone who sounds so convinced as your comment makes you seem.

    • The diamond does not realize that it is hard enough to be used in some of our hardest saw blade but the diamond is intrinsically hard. There are other intrinsic values in diamonds as well but I think my statement already clarifies what I meant by that.

      Websters definition of intrinsic is “a: belonging to the essential nature or constitution of a thing, occurring as a natural part of something ” per the original Latin intrinsecus inwardly.

      As to my theistic beliefs this particular forum is not the place to argue whether there is a God or not. I only pointed out that you misrepresented the theistic point of view.

      I will say this that I reread what I wrote and noticed a few errors and I have not figured out how to go back and fix them though they detract not from what I was saying. they are only sloppy writing.

      I believe I am as confident in world view as you seem to be in yours. You do seem to know that with out a doubt there is no God.

    • The value of the hardness of a diamond is ascribed by humans. Without human subjective thought, the diamond has no more value than a grain of sand. Your understanding of intrinsic seems a bit skewed. To a starving person with no outlet to sell their hoarde of diamonds, the diamond has no value.

      To assert there is an intrinsic value in a thing such a diamond we should not be able to say that this value is only valid in the presence of humans or human thought. That is not to say that diamonds do not have value, only that such value that we say they have is purely made from subjective human thought.

      There is a possibility of a god existing but the probability that your particular god story is true is so close to zero that it is impractical to speak in terms other than no god exists. There is a possibility that invisible pink unicorns exist yet you would assert that they do not and you’d certainly never frame your conversation as to explain that you know there is a possibility but dismiss it because of the low probability. No, you simply dismiss the possibility outright. Despite that, for some reason you choose to be offended when I do the same for your very improbable god story. No matter how many atheists and non-believers have questioned religious belief no one has yet come up with convincing evidence, nevermind proof, for the existence of any god.

      The question is not whether a god exists, rather it is why should anyone believe a god exists? The appropriate answer should be “here, look at all this evidence that a god exists.” Unfortunately all the evidence demonstrated is no more convincing that that for the other gods. They can’t all be right however they can all be wrong.

  15. Hogwash! Only nothing comes from nothing! Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to watch a 1 hr. and 25 min. documentary (on UTube) titled, “Scientists Have Discovered that God Exists!” If I knew how to imbed videos on WP, I would imbed this one. This video is truly amazing!

  16. I agree with Sagan. Meaningless is good. It’s the beliefs and meanings we project/make up that lead to war and hatred. What do you think we could possibly ‘mean?’ Everything, is something we make up…absolutely everything and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you find meaning, then that meaning is something you made up or chose to believe, as well. That’s all there IS…the stuff we make up. I loved philosophy classes just because it was so much fun to tear everything apart…it doesn’t make sense…it can’t, it’s not real…none of it is. But whatever you make up or pretend is real..is real to you. I’m good with meaningless because we are just like everything else, no better or worse…we just go through life and then we are gone…in one or two generations no one will remember who we were and even if they think they remember us, the stuff they remember won’t be real or meaningful, unless they pretend/believe that it is. I don’t understand how we could possibly be meaningful. We just are. We are atoms, part of everything that exists…without meaning. Egos seek meaning, I guess, but, in the scheme of things, the only meanings are the ones we make up or chose to believe, until someone changes them into something else and then people believe that myth or that pretend thing. Nothing is real, absolutely nothing, it’s all what we say it is. Meaningless is what we are and again, I don’t see why that’s a problem. I don’t understand the desire to be special…that is just another thing people make up. Special is what we say it is. I’ve met some ‘special’ people and they seem to be special only to themselves and one or two others who have bought into their specialness. Our “truths” and “beliefs” change constantly. They can do that because the things we believe are not TRUE, WE SIMPLY MAKE THEM UP. Because we make everything up, we can change what we believe anytime we wish. So, good luck, if you’re looking for meaning. You can waste/spend your whole life looking for it. I’m just hanging out, enjoying my meaningless life, because that’s what it is. It’s fun, but meaningless and I’m good with that. To think that I’m anymore than a fleeting whisper in the scheme of things would be insane.

    • I wish there was a better way to discuss this stuff but . . . If you can say meaningless without adding a negative to it I can probably agree with you. It’s (the whole question) a mystery so that makes us ALL correct because in reality we (none of us) don’t know our asses from a hole in the ground when it comes to purpose/meaning/God/Buddha (my favorite) and all the rest.

      Personally to me life is all a great game called ‘creativity’ . . . I entered upon the board at my birth and it’s been ‘on the job training’ from there on.

      I learned to believe and do what I was told, then I learned to ignore all the bullshit that I was told was truth and do my own thing.

      I got wise enough to realize I had the power to create my tomorrows by the thoughts and actions I take today . . . and now I’m an old man hopping and skipping all across the board having a really good run on the table . . . I talk to squirrels, hug trees and hate people who are trying to FU my game board without worrying about being PC

      I’m proud, egocentric, and all the supposedly bad stuff . . . BUT I have also physically laid my life on the line for others on a number of occasions . . . so maybe that (laying of my life) was my purpose . . . maybe when I get back to the other side I get a free drink . . . who knows?

      Don’t mean nothin . . . relax and enjoy the day that’s all we have.

  17. As I said in your last post, science and faith do not have to butt heads. Astrophysicist, Dr. Hugh Ross, is a good example of the two converging. (reasons.org).

    Scientists like Sagan are (were) brilliant and have a lot of good things to say, in spite of other things they thought about life.

    And I believe with you that life does have a lot of meaning and purpose, but that would be philosophical, wouldn’t it. 🙂

  18. You have really stepped into the deep end. 🙂 I like it. I will say this true science has left the standard observe and notate concept to this is what we have observed and this is what we believe it means. I am fine with them doing that they are as human as the rest of us. I think that when a scientist does this they need to be honest and not say their observations are as incontrovertible as the observation they made. In fact throughout scientific history many things that have been observed where found to be wrong later when we found better ways to observe. Conclusions are such messy things in science. Someone always comes around later to say you are wrong.

    Keep up the good work on creating great discussions.

  19. It’s okay, even if they believe that their life or the universe doesn’t have meaning that doesn’t mean that it’s true. Kind of a bummer to be them though.

  20. “That then is my objection; scientists have overreached their bounds. Too many scientists are masking their own personal philosophies under the cloak of ‘science’.

    There are LOTS Of scientists who do NOT believe yours and my life is meaningless; but they are not the figureheads of the various disciplines.”

    I agree with you here. Many have gone way outside the bounds of science. I don’t think the distant past can be observed until time travel becomes possible so I don’t buy the statements about the age of the universe and stuff like that.

    “Two years ago when I published my first article on The Culture Monk it was always my goal to talk about the deeper issues of life; meaning, purpose, justice, etc. In the backdrop of all my writing is my belief that yours and my life has meaning and I’ve tackled the issue from various perspectives. As I draw near to the completion of my Master’s Degree in philosophy and prepare to begin my doctoral work, I’m still convinced as ever that life is meaningful; there is a purpose to your life……and that’s a good thing.”

    What sort of work are you preparing to do? Are you here to spread the message of the goodness of life and the purpose and coffee that comes with it?

  21. Reblogged this on lovehappinessandpeace and commented:
    Last I had heard, Einstein had accepted the Existence of God. But then I am a simple, country bumpkin. What is more interesting is that scientists now say that the universe came into being from nothing, but also Without the Divine Will.

    For me Philosophy had always been More of Thinking, and finding out the ‘Holes’ in a theory. If scientists believe that their knowledge qualifies them to delve into Philosophy, why should We deny them that?

    It does not trouble me if somebody says that there is no purpose to life. That is his theory and he can have it. But is it even Important? To find out whether or not there is a purpose to life?

    Buddha, who had almost everything that Most men would long for, came out of his palace because he did not find Satisfaction in them. Christ came, Denied Himself, and Lived and Died for Others. “Love Your Neighbours,” He had said. I like to put it thus: “Live for Others.” And I have found that this theory gives Satisfaction!

  22. You are absoloutely right my friend. The underlying tone that comes out in most discussions, about anything,I might add, is un-humbleness. Sooner or later we will discover why we have such a large brain and use only a fraction of it. Just like with the sea of microwaves in which we swim,and cannot grasp,except thru the advances of science, the meaning /necessity/purpose of all life will reveal itself to us,revealing itself all civilization long as Nature has been doing all along,at her own pace.

  23. I supposed I’ve never sat down and read a book by Dawkins or Sagan, but I question what they mean by meaningless. If they mean to say the absence of a god makes the world meaningless, then they are right. However, I have seen far more scientist argue that the absence of a god does not make life meaningless, it just means there is no super power dictating what should and shouldn’t happen in the world. There is just as much meaning and purpose to be found in that world, it’s just different.

    Nor have I ever heard a scientist seriously argue that the universe came from nothing. We have no clue what caused the Big Bang or what might have existed before the Big Bang. Certainly something existed, but what is still a mystery.

    • I don’t really think the universe came from nothing nor do I have any knowledge of what the big bang is or who’s ass such ideas came from.

      Life had to always exist. That is the only thing that makes sense to me. Otherwise, all other worldviews whether theistic or atheistic would be false.

  24. “Close your eyes,” the old man says. He stands before me, staff in hand, long white beard and brightly-coloured robes flowing. “I want you to try and think of nothing.” I close my eyes. “Now, what are you thinking of?” he asks.
    “Krakatoa and Chernobyl,” I say.
    “That’s odd,” he says, “but try to think of nothing,”
    “I can’t think of nothing,” I say. “ Nobody can think of nothing.”
    “All right, I’ll make it simpler. Try to imagine an empty box.”
    “Right.” I think of an old painted box of my mother’s and empty it of her things. Pins and needles, bits of coloured thread, a silver thimble, a glass marble and a few odd matches.
    “A box with absolutely nothing in it. Okay?”
    “Okay.” I shake the box empty of the few remaining bits of dust and fluff.
    “Put the empty box into an empty cupboard, right?”
    “Right.” I place the box into an empty cupboard I call up from my grandmother’s kitchen and move to the old flat in Baklandet where my mother and I used to live.
    “Put the empty cupboard into an empty room, right?”
    “Right.” I remove all the furniture from the flat.
    “Have you got it?”
    “Now take away the box and what have you got?” I take away the box.
    “An empty cupboard.”
    “Good. Take away the cupboard. Now what have you got?”
    “An empty room.”
    “Take away the room and what have you got?”
    “The empty flat at Baklandet.”
    “Take away the flat and what have you got?”
    “The outside of the building overlooking the cathedral.”
    “Take that away, now what are you left with?”
    “Take Trondheim away.”
    “Take Norway away.”
    “The cold North Sea.”
    “Take away the cold North Sea, and what’s left?”
    “The world.”
    “Remove it.”
    “Our solar system.”
    “Remove our solar system.”
    “The Milky Way.”
    “Take away The Milky Way. Now what have you got?”
    “All the other galaxies in the rest of the universe.”
    “Take away all those galaxies and the rest of the universe. What are you left with then?”
    “What’s it look like?”
    “Just black.”
    “Take away the black.”
    “I can’t.”
    The old man pulls at his long white beard and contemplates before nodding his head.
    “You must be right,” he finally proclaims, “you can’t think of nothing.”
    “So what was the point of asking?”
    “When I first asked you to try and think of nothing, you didn’t try hard enough. Now you’ve really tried.”
    “But nothing doesn’t exist!” I protest.
    “You’re absolutely right,” the old man confirms, banging his staff on the ground. “By its very nature it can’t exist.”
    Something begins to filter through.
    “I think I see,” I say, “we’re unable to think of anything that doesn’t exist.”
    “Now you go a step too far,” the old man says. “We constantly think of, or imagine, things that don’t exist. Your dreams for instance. They don’t exist. Thinking of nothing is not thinking at all. That’s the impossibility. The true state of nothingness is not being there to imagine it.”
    “But that proves my dreamworld is real because it exists; I can imagine it.”
    “Only within you, without you it would no longer exist. The other way to look at it is to try to imagine everything, infinity. No matter how far you stretch your mind, infinity is further than that. Everything is the opposite of nothing, but they are equals insofar as they are both beyond the human imagination.”
    “But surely this is simple stuff, sophistry, playing with words?”
    “If it’s simple stuff I’d like you to explain it to me.”
    “I can’t, you’re just a character in my dream, you’re not real, you’re a figment of my imagination.”

    From Pedersen’s Last Dream.


  1. The meaning of life | Mindful Digressions
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