Posted by: Calmseas (Mike) | July 2, 2010

As An Aside . . .

The human condition—which at its essence is the realization that we are mortal beings—compels us to seek the broad meaning of life.  Short of that, we spend our days seeking meaning in our own, individual lives.  We live and we die; it is the same for everyone.  Our lives are part of a cycle that has repeated itself from the beginning of time.  Our lives are part of nature in constant and unstoppable action.  We are each of us one infinitesimal blip in a vast, immeasurable, incomprehensible universe.

So what is it then that prompts us to think ourselves unique creations?  How is it that we should even have the capacity to ponder our own mortality?  Why do we seek answers to our condition when, on the surface of it, all is hopeless?  And can an answer be found by any of us?  We live; we die.  Isn’t that all there is to it?  Is that in itself the answer?

Is it so difficult to think that there just might be a higher level of intelligence and power out there, a greater being that we can never fully comprehend because we are embedded in a vast design seen in its totality only by its designer-creator?  Can a small gear see its place in a large mechanism without stepping outside of the mechanism and surveying the whole?  Can a finite mind comprehend the infinite?  What is it that we really know about ourselves, our universe, and our place in the grand scheme of things?  Or, rather, the question should be: What is it that we don’t know?  Which brings us full circle to the original thought: What is the meaning of life?

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Responses

  1. Ah, the old watchmaker! But even a watchmaker must have a father. What of the watchmaker’s father? And his father’s father? What of him? On and on, the series is without end. So perhaps the watchmaker simply IS–without origin or cause.

    But if a watchmaker can simply BE without origin or cause, why not a universe…or even a multiverse of universes?

    In Buddhist thought, they speak of “that which is unknowable.” In matters of creation, beyond shrugging our shoulders and tossing aside the question, we have two options:

    A) Assume we KNOW the answer (which is actually a faith-based presumption) and set about convincing everyone one else around us how wise we were to have conceived of it.

    B) Allow that we do NOT KNOW the answer and, in fact, that we may NEVER know the answer, but in our human condition we are willing and curious enough to explore the question further to see if it is ultimately “unknowable.”

    I happen to prefer plan B. 🙂

  2. B) Or, perhaps, “knowable?”

    We think of time as linear because, to us, it is–we have a beginning and an end. But doesn’t Einstein’s theory of relativity scientifically show that time can be bent? Can it be bent enough that it circles back on itself? Or becomes so distorted that its linearity is meaningless? Or perhaps it can be dispersed entirely.

    We exist in time and space. But does that mean that everything in the universe and beyond must exist in time and space?

    Perhaps time and space were put into motion to accommodate us–by a being who exists outside of our time and space. Could be? Or maybe not?

  3. On another subject: How ’bout that Serena Williams!

  4. Could be. Or maybe not. But we’ll probably never know if we take it for granted that we already have all the answers.

    Questions like, who is Serena Williams? :/

    N/M LOL I’ll ask Google!

  5. Ahhh…I asked the Big “G” (Google) and found Serena Williams just won Wimbledon. I’m so clueless! LOL Isn’t she the one making headlines with her scanty attire a few weeks ago? Apparently, she’s much more than a pretty face. 🙂

  6. There is one thing certain pertaining to knowledge: We will never know everything about everything. The human quest, it seems to me, is to know as much as we can about as much as we can.

  7. And then there is the matter of faith: Do we need to know for certain in order to believe?

  8. And if we believe, are we saying that we know for certain? Or does faith simply mean that we have confidence? that we have hope?

  9. On another subject: How ’bout that Joey Chestnut!

  10. Having “no faith,” it’s really not for me to quantify just how certain one has to be of God to be considered a believer, although “the church” will say that you either believe or you don’t. It’s black and white with no wiggle-room for shades of gray, no going through the motions just because you “hope” there is a God. “Faith” is absolute conviction of a certainty–that’s what gets you into heaven.

    If you’re a Christian, that is complicated by the fact that you also need to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of God who died for your sins on the cross, and you can only get to heaven through your belief in him.

    No one has ever seen a black hole. Yet we know they are there by the motion of matter in their vicinity and by the impact their immense gravity has on spacetime around them–by their gravitational lensing, by quasars that we can see and by the Hawking Radiation we can detect. The empirical knowledge we have gained through results that can be measured and validated time and time again– that is, the science–absolutely supports the existence of Black Holes.

    So although I have never seen one, I have faith in Black Holes. 🙂

  11. So although I have never seen one, I have faith in Black Holes.

    I like that line of thought. Christians will say that there is empirical evidence all around, in science itself, that supports the concept of God. Christian “Hope” is a bright outlook for the future based on faith.

    Having asked these questions and made these statements, though, it is not my intent to draw you into and argument about religion. Religious arguments are unwinnable, as are most “arguments.” I’m just trying to put forth questions that arise in my mind from the statements that you put forward, and look forward to the questions and statements from you in response to my comments. A good, pleasant discussion.

    So . . . how about the Joey Chestnut?

  12. Joey who? LOL Sorry about the delay getting back to your comments. Our daughter and grandson arrived here on vacation last week and will be heading home Friday. Now, daughter has the flu and we REALLY have our hands full w/ a lively 2-year old, a sick daughter and very hectic work schedules.

    I always enjoy banging my head against a brick wall with you. Keeps life interesting. 🙂


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