Thursday, August 31, 2017

Cosmic Meaning!

I rarely agree with the Wall Street Journal’s politics, but their daily book reviews are usually worth reading.  So it was today when they reviewed “The Human Predicament,” by David Benatar.  His message is that while we spend time searching for meaning, ultimately our lives are meaningless, evolution is blind and in a cosmic sense we live for less than a blip of time.

The reviewer, Joanna Bourke, dives into the details, which I won’t do.  I just want to highlight what she says near the end of the piece:

He tells a tale about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson going camping.  Asleep in their tent, they both suddenly wake up.  Holmes tells Watson to “look up and tell me what you see.”  Watson replies, “I see the starry heavens above.”  Holmes asks him, “And what do you deduce from that?”  Watson thinks for a moment, then says: “I deduce that we are small and insignificant beings in a vast cosmos.”  An exasperated Holmes shouts, “No, you fucking moron!  Somebody stole our tent.”

We are wasting our time thinking about the human predicament and the unimaginable vastness of the sky: What is really staring us in the face is the need to prepare breakfast.

Have a nice day!


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