Tuesday 24 March 2015

Does life (as a whole) make sense?

This is perhaps The Big Question.

Secular modernity, public discourse, has it that life as a whole does not make sense, does not need to make sense - and that the idea that life makes sense is wishful thinking or a primitive and childish delusion.

Modernity thinks it knows that life does not make sense; modernity thinks that 'science has proven' that life does not make sense.


If secular modernity is wrong, and life really does make sense, then claiming it does not make sense would be expected to lead to all kinds of harm.

But if life really does not make any sense - but just happens to be the way it is for no reason or purpose - then it does not matter what we think about it; indeed nothing at all 'matters' in any significant sense; everything is merely a matter of 'stuff happen' (or doesn't happen).


That life as a whole makes sense (in some way, at some level, even if that sense is utterly unknown) is perhaps the most basic religious attitude; perhaps something common to all religions that ever have been.

We are all born and experience early childhood believing, or rather simply assuming, that live makes sense; some people abandon this in later life.

This is something each person is responsible for answering for himself: the decision is one loaded with significance.



Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

I read this post just minutes after reading Seijio Arakawa's Chaos and Cosmos, which makes almost exactly the same point. Those synchronicity fairies are at it again!

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wm - I turned my reply into today's blog post.

Nathan said...

@Wm - My Googling is failing. I can't find "Seijio Arakawa's Chaos and Cosmos" anywhere (the only result is this blog entry). Could you share more information about it?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Nathan - It is here: