In my last post I addressed what I see as a widening gap in this country between the worldviews of scientists and nonscientists. There was one aspect of that discussion I did not cover in that post as it was rather over long as it was and that is the “search for meaning.”
Opponents of evolution, “Darwinism” as they call it, often refer to evolutionists as atheists. Here is a typical quote from a letter-to-the-editor writer in the Arizona City Independent: “Under Darwinism, which is atheistic, there is no God, no morals, no purpose in life, and no life after death, thus no accountability for one’s choices and actions.” Apparently the letter writer doesn’t know that there are billions of people who are non-Christians and are behaving about the same as Christians do, certainly no more or no less morally. Also, people like the letter writer don’t seem to believe in the coercive force of one’s neighbors, a god is necessary, not just the threat that your neighbors (in the form of police, courts, etc.) will take you in hand if you impinge upon their freedoms too greatly.
These folks often also state that God has put us here for a reason.
But they never seem to be able to state what that reason is.
These folks often also state that God has put us here for a reason. But they never seem to be able to state what that reason is. They respond with “We cannot know the mind of God,” and other such platitudes. So, apparently, their reason we are here is to figure out the reason we are here.
This appears to be a clash of religion and science but I think it is more than that. I think it is a clash between those who think there has to be “reasons” and the fact that the entire universe reflects back to us a quite meaningless playground. Take humans off of this planet and pretend you were a space explorer and you just discovered Earth. Would you ask the question: “Why is this here? I wonder what the existence of this planet at this time and place means?” I rather doubt it.
But, of course, we are here. So, the question arises “Why are we here?” The only answer to the question that seems at all sensible is we are here because if we weren’t, that question wouldn’t exist. Because we are here, we can ask the question. But that doesn’t mean there is an answer. Hundreds, if not thousands, of religions have been invented by man. Most take a swipe at answering the “why are we here” question. Possibly religions exist to address this question.
The clash over science being atheistic comes not from scientists, but from religionists who are basically complaining that the universe,
through its behavior, doesn’t agree with their religion. This is a problem with reality, not science.
But the universe, shows no inclination to answer this question. Most scientists are content to ask questions the universe will answer and leave the larger metaphysical questions to philosophers and religionists.
The clash over science being atheistic comes not from scientists, but from religionists who are basically complaining that the universe, through its behavior, doesn’t agree with their religion. This is a problem with reality, not science.
In conclusion, I recommend that you consider the possibility that there is, in fact, no meaning to life. What does your world look like if that were so? Would you lose heart? Would you not have the energy to get out of bed in the morning? Would you go on a serial killing rampage? Or would you just get up in the morning, hug your spouse and/or kids, go to work, and continue on as you have done? Would you find yourself less friendly or less charitable? I don’t think so, because if we are all just “in this together” we need each other more than ever.