I can get really serious about this. The argument for me starts in relativity principles of the kind that emerge in Newton and Galileo. Einstein,Lorentz and others worked awfully hard on these as some of us appreciate, but most people don’t give a monkey’s. The effort expended gave us bombs almost as destructive as asteroids. So, here we are,clinging to this rock for ‘reasons’only apparent where reason can’t go -god’s back yard, a scene usually painted in Jabberwock fantasy of some kind. We invent omnipotent ‘big brothers’ of the kind useful to ward of bullies by threats of his retribution. David Hume was hardly the first to work this out. Such authority would be useful iof you really believed it yourself,as many religious people point out. None of our secret proclivities or dumb wars would be possible, because ‘he would know’.
‘Relativity principles’? Well, it’s just that once you think about measuring anything, you realise how dependant everything is on the system you make up. Where is that cross on the piece of paper you can describe in Cartesian coordinates, once you think of a world spinning, in a universe moving and so on? This despair may be ameliorated by using Einstein’s rules or become a massively distractive suduko problem in a string theory. There’s some hope this isn’t the end of it (some work on graphene at low temperatures suggests Lorentz transformations may not always hold – whatever this means it may take us back to easier maths), but where is the end of a piece of string?
Most people get by never caring much for any of this. We are strangely at some point in evolution at which we really can do some of the things we once attributed to ‘god’. Many rush for their burning torches to go in search of Frankenstein, but that was a novel folks. Science does manipulate stuff that, in the end,we recognise in common sense, maybe a bit like cows eating cattle-cake.
It’s only a question (I have little personal time for religion), but given that science hardly gives us ‘certainty’, why do people like Dawkins want to argue against religion as though the scientific view is better, whilst somehow not talking about the future? It surely won’t be ‘human’, and what has passed as this in history gives me little faith or sense of purpose. We all know how dire ‘mission statements’ are thanks to managerialism. What strikes me is that nearly every view of a ‘successful life’ seems as bad as some vapid careerist telling me to sell more Coke or provide ‘high kwality education’. I think I am settling for humanity being doomed and reasonably comfortable with that, but sometimes I get an inkling that great effort was put in for us to be here and that we actually have something to work on.
Any ideas welcomed, as long as they don’t fall into the kind of faith that makes us believe sugar is an essential component of happiness?
I’m by no means sure I mean anything deep. What is ‘purpose’ to most people?