Monday, October 30, 2006
Why is There Anything?
Why is all this stuff here? Not just stuff, but stuff that supports a profusion of wonderful, dazzling, brilliant, conscious life. Birds and worms and cats and dogs and you and me.
I realize from a scientific and maybe even philosophical standpoint there doesn't need to be a purpose. This unimaginable quantity of matter and energy may have always been here.
And yet why? Nothing seems like a much easier state of affairs than something. A universe is a lot of work.
If there is no purpose, then what we do matters much less. Hurting, suffering yeah, we don't like it but without purpose what are we other than a bunch of molecules?
If there is some purpose a basic moral component of the universe maybe this is what people feel when they sense God or spirit. We may not be able to scientifically prove that it exists or maybe we will in a million years. In the meantime, we have to rely on our gut feel, and our heart, like we sometimes do when deciding if something is the right thing to do.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
As scientific inquiry discovers new realms of the material world, such as quantum physics and theories of relativity, what seemed certain before becomes open to question. We realize illusion after illusion: Newtonian physics, the solidarity of objects. As we continue to push the boundaries of scientific discovery, and retire yesterday's facts and amend former certainties, what is there that is reliably true? What, if anything, remains - concepts, knowledge, revelations, morals, beauty - that is steadfastly valid and dependable, independent of ongoing scientific discoveries?