Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why bad things happen to good people, or Chaos Theory Explained

Here are some things folks worry about.

Like, why bad things happen to good people.

And, why good things happen to bad people.

Also, does everything really happen for a reason?

Plus, if a door closes, does a window open?

And most importantly, why do bad things happen to ME? Or in your case, YOU?

Now the reasons that we wonder about these things are curious.

It's because there's a certain ... tension ... in our thinking.

Science tells us that there's no reason or purpose for anything.

Not for the universe. Not for the earth. Not for humans.

Not for you. Not for me.

Everything is meaningless. That's what they tell us.

What? You don't believe me?

Well. Since science is all about evidence, here's some. Evidence, I mean.

Richard Dawkins, Oxford zoologist …
…the universe "has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pointless indifference"…human beings are "machines for propagating DNA”.

Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize winner, physiology/medicine
"The ancient covenant is in pieces. Man knows at last that he is alone in the universe’s unfeeling immensity, out of which he emerged only by chance."

Carl Sagan – Pale Blue Dot
You are there. Along with all the rest of us.

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves."

Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize winner, physics

"Though aware that there is nothing in the universe that suggests any purpose for humanity, one way that we can find a purpose is to study the universe by the methods of science, without consoling ourselves with fairy tales about its future, or about our own."

Bertrand Russell
"That man is the product of causes …;
that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental (collections) of atoms;
that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave;

that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system,
and that the whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins;
all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.
Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built."

Stanley Kubrick: "The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning."

Joseph Conrad: Life is "that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose."

Jean Paul Sartre: "It is meaningless that we are born. It is meaningless that we die." 

Sartre: "Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance."

Sartre: "Everything has been figured out, except how to live."

Clarence Darrow: Life is a ship that is "tossed by every wave and by every wind; a ship heading to no port and no harbor with no rudder, no compass, no pilot, simply floating for a time, then lost in the waves."

The catch, of course, is that nobody lives like that.

We, and by "we" I mean "everybody", live like there's a reason for us to be here.

And thus, there's a reason why things happen. Bad things. Good things.

And there's supposed to be some sort of ... balance to the universe. 

Like, if you are bad, then bad things are what you get.

And if you are good, then you get good things.

The universe is supposed to be sort of like Santa Claus. There's a list. All of our names are on it. And good and bad things get divided up perfectly and justly and fairly between good and bad people.

Now, if there's no meaning to the universe, all of that is just
ridiculous. Things just happen randomly without meaning or purpose, so when a bad or a good thing happens to you or me, well, tough luck or wasn't that nice?

So bad things will happen to good people and good things will happen to bad people randomly and without rhyme or reason, and good things will happen to good people and bad things will happen to bad people randomly and without rhyme or reason.

And sometimes more good things will happen to bad people and sometimes more bad things will happen to good people, because it's all random.

Nothing happens for a reason. Things just happen to people because things just happen and people are always getting in the way.

When a door closes, a door closes. Windows opening are entirely
unrelated and random. Sometimes windows don't open when doors close.

In fact, if we really paid attention to Richard Dawkins up there, there are no good things or bad things, because there is no good or bad. There are just things.

"Good" and "bad" are just levels of comfort and inconvenience that
we make up out of nothing. Because we persist in thinking that we matter. That we are here for a reason. That there is meaning and purpose to our lives.

Silly us.
Perhaps, though, we might be wrong. In part, at least.

That would be ... intriguing.

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