If there’s no afterlife or reason for the universe, how do you make your life matter? Warning: The last answer may break your heart…
Jerry Coyne, evolutionary biologist and author of Faith vs Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible:
“The way I find meaning is the way that most people find meaning, even religious ones, which is to get pleasure and significance from your job, from your loved ones, from your avocation, art, literature, music. People like me don’t worry about what it’s all about in a cosmic sense, because we know it isn’t about anything. It’s what we make of this transitory existence that matters.
“If you’re an atheist and an evolutionary biologist, what you think is, I’m lucky to have these 80-odd years: How can I make the most of my existence here?Being an atheist means coming to grips with reality. And the reality is twofold. We’re going to die as individuals, and the whole of humanity, unless we find a way to colonise other planets, is going to go extinct. So there’s lots of things that we have to deal with that we don’t like. We just come to grips with the reality. Life is the result of natural selection, and death is the result of natural selection. We are evolved in such a way that death is almost inevitable. So you just deal with it.
“It says in the Bible that, ‘When I was a child I played with childish things, and when I became a man I put away those childish things.’ And one of those childish things is the superstition that there’s a higher purpose. Christopher Hitchens said it’s time to move beyond the mewling childhood of our species and deal with reality as it is, and that’s what we have to do.”
See many more here…
“It is enough that I exist, that I am here now, albeit briefly, with all of you. And it’s an amazing, astonishing, remarkable, totally mind-blowing fucking miracle.”
And see also: “It will be as difficult to end the myth of race as it will be to end the myths of traditional organized religion. But it must be done…” a wonderfully cogent and meaningful article by Lee Simon in today’s Anderson Valley Advertiser here.