From nothing, by nothing, for nothing, to nothing...
This is the situation that lead me to start this blog in the first place. A short while ago I posted a response to a blog entry by Scott Adams at his Dilbert Blog. Scott has been known to throw around a lot of smack about how we as humans do not operate by free will. He seems to go along with a generally atheistic world view, but it’s hard to say exactly. He’s a slippery little bugger.
At any rate his entry was a musing on the smaller pleasures in life and how they gave him a certain amount of joy. As I read that I couldn’t help but wonder why someone who speaks so strongly for the absence of free will, and by extension, the absence of God, would put any stock at all in their “feelings”. If there is no God then the higher sense of “joy” is utterly meaningless. I believe it was his appeal to a standard of goodness, or the sublime, that struck me as out of character with an atheistic world view. I then pressed forward for an explanation. This is the bit that got the most attention:
”If we are from nothing, for nothing, to nothing, then nothing matters. The job you have, the hobbies you enjoy, the family you have, the way you treat people. It doesn’t matter at all. Sure, you can say that it does matter because you want to leave a good mark on the world etc... But what does THAT mean? Good? What’s that? It’s nothing! It’s an illusion. Your children will die. Your children’s children will die and they will all forget you. You don’t matter. You mean nothing. You count for nothing. You are an accident. An amazing accident beyond all odds. You think you are self actualized, but you are not. You are complicated chemistry. You are a moist robot responding to complicated stimuli and you will only be here for a little while then you will return to the nothingness that you came from.”
That roused two very thoughtful bloggers in the U.K. to dedicate a bit of time to the topic.
Matt posted this entry at his blog An Insomniac
However the bulk of this conversation has been playing out here at Tom Freeman’s blog Freemania
I’ve decided to pick up the themes we are kicking around over on Tom’s blog and beat them to death over here. I have a feeling this is more my issue than his, so I may as well give it a proper home. My next post will be a continuation of poking at this issue of objective morality and where it comes from. Some say it’s strictly biology and social climate. I’d say it’s bigger than that. Stay tuned...