The Cold, Uncaring Universe as an Inspiring Tale of Hope

I have previously written on the subject of the subjectivity of human existence. In short, we exist from moment to moment as subjective creatures who experience the world in ways dictated by our previous experiences. In spite of the pure subjectivity of our lives, however, believers enjoy invoking the “if the universe has no higher meaning, our lives are completely meaningless” cliché. Needless to say, I disagree with this notion. Our lives have exactly as much meaning as we believe they do—no more, no less. Given current scientific models of the universe, we are left with the conclusion that our universe is finite; one day, it will either cease existing or be reduced to absolute uniformity (ultimate entropy). Does this fact remove all joy and sorrow from our lives? Of course not. We do not experience reality as objective beliefs. Only our experiences matter.

We have no innate purpose. Some believers find this idea terrifying, but it needn’t be. To me, it is sublime liberation. The knowledge that I forge my own meaning gives me the strength to appreciate my interests at a higher level; instead of being merely a distraction from my predestined end, these activities bring me fulfillment. That’s pretty darn nifty, if I do say so myself. (Which I do.)

Here’s some recommended reading for anyone not terribly familiar with this way of thinking.

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One response to “The Cold, Uncaring Universe as an Inspiring Tale of Hope

  1. I have not read the above article, but the very title caught my eye and I had to reference this :

    Atheists are sometimes asked what do they believe in and how can life have meaning without God. To which my answer would be that I believe in the Golden Rule, the Scientific Method and an open mind and also that you attach individual meaning to your life. Mine is the pursuit of knowledge, that is my modus operandi

    But all that is only in the here and now and provides zero comfort for what comes after. This assumes that indeed there is an after, even though this is a non falsifiable hypothesis, and is something which theists never fully manage to explain, but anyway

    My take on it is a depressing but valid one. And it is that the Universe does not care about us. We get one chance and have to make the most of it. Being able to philosophise and moralise does not grant us exemption from the laws of Nature. We are going to die just like all other life forms on this planet – and elswhere, if they exist – and that is it. The Universe was in existence for over thirteen billion years before we evolved and we come along very late in the day and start demanding immortality to offset our fear of death. I would love to know what is exactly so terrifying as spending the rest of eternity – after dying – in a permanent state of non consciousness anyway – assuming there is no afterlife. It may not be much but a pain free existence cannot be all that bad. You may say that being dead automatically guaranatees a pain free one, and that is true, but even so

    The point is we do not get to write the rules. They were in place long before we came along. All we have to do is obey them and try not to manipulate them for ulterior motive. Reality is as reality is, not as we would like it to be. The Universe does not care about us. The Universe does not even care about itself. End of. Now I have no problem with anyone who wants to create an elaborate fiction to offset this inevitability and religion can be a wonderful defence mechanism for some. But I prefer my reality cold and raw, so that when the time does come to shake off this mortal coil I am under zero illusions as to where I am going – or at least most likely to. No afterlife is the most probable hypothesis. Not absolutely but possibly, and that is the best one can say at this point in time, and I have no problem with that at all now. None whatsoever

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