I saw this online:
birth, beauty, love and laughter ... pose a problem. If there is no God, and we are here through sheer happenstance, why is life so wonderful? It’s a mystery, which no theory or theology can possibly dispel.
Bullshit, I thought.
“Why is life so wonderful” doesn’t contradict a godless world view.
The world has to be wonderful, in order to be a place where life capable of observing its wonder can evolve without supernatural intervention. If a God were creating people, that God could create any kind of wonderful or horrible or boring world it chose to.
Also, “whence our sense of beauty and awe?” is a scientific question. It isn’t valid to conclude that this question is unanswerable by science, because of – what? a sense of transcendence contained in awe? – something like that.
I don’t know the answer to “whence our sense of beauty and awe?” but I’m not going to therefore conclude that a supernatural being is the answer.
And the world is BOTH wonderful and horrible. It’s supremely wonderful-horrible. “Life is wonderful” only from a VERY privileged perspective. Maybe that sense of wonder is partly the momentary perception of just how privileged the person is who experiences it.
Do Theists actually say that?
The person who said that says he's agnostic. He does say also that it would never be explained by a theology either - although how he can say that, I don't know. The postulate of a God can explain pretty much anything.
It's a thought that's really a gesture - it's a gesture that communicates to others that we share something special. And maybe a gesture communicating an anti-science attitude, some fear of science.
People in our culture learn that this kind of gesture-thought will be rewarded, I think. But it's quite sloppy thinking.
Who said anything about "wonderful"? Sometimes life is ghastly. Hereditary conditions, war, constant pain. Starvation. Idiocy.
I've had enough of it, and I want out! But thanks to our "nanny government" (and xian customs) I'm not allowed to take myself out.
Sometimes life is ghastly. Hereditary conditions, war, constant pain.
Oh yes. I thought that too. A slave or some worker whose existence is constant, grueling labor would be unlikely to agree about the wonderfulness of life. They'd probably want to smack someone who said "life is wonderful" in their smug face.
I do feel that the universe is wonderful - wonderful-horrible, like I said.
And humanity is awesome in its wonder and horror. Human beings are awesome in their variety, their range.
But at the same time, my life so far has had a huge amount of horror and ugliness and - not physical, but mental pain.
By the way, awhile ago I posted something earlier about the connection between depression and pain. I thought about you when I read that, that was why I posted it.
Yet another symptom of total immersion in religion. This is the sentiment of those who so connect their deity to everything around them that they can't disassociate it from ANYTHING. All good things come from their god; all bad things come either from humankind or from disassociation from god. So when someone shows up who is happy and well-adjusted and does NOT believe in their god, they can't believe it or accept it.
It is this kind of cognitive dissonance that I would love to encourage in believers, because eventually, it's a scab the braver among them will have to examine and pick at ... and eventually recognize the truth: that happiness is a quality that can be independent of their god.
He says he's an ex-Catholic agnostic.
But I've heard that sort of thinking a lot from people around here, who aren't religious in any standard way. I think our culture encourages it. People get rewarded for expressing such sentiments, and they don't get rewarded for being analytical and really thinking.
Really thinking pisses people off.
No kidding. I think it's a similar phenomenon to the one which Richard Dawkins observed about believers' aversion to atheists being clear about what they have to say, rather than couching their arguments in arcane language or whatever.
It's as though being confronted with clarity insults the ambiguity they've lived with for too long!
The world is 'wonderful' because it is the world in which we evolved. LIfe is 'wonderful' because we are products of life's evolution.Natural selection has molded our instincts to support the processes that we need to genetically succeed.
Well also, as I said above, the world does have to be wonderful to create life by natural processes. The laws of physics in our universe are wonderful in that they support the arising of intelligent life - all by themselves!
If there were a God creating things, the world might be very non-wonderful. It could be whatever the God chose it to be. There could be brutally simple laws of physics, or no laws at all - just life, floating around as God willed it.