Thursday, November 7, 2013

Part #5: Or Maybe Not...maybe there is no moral arc

Maybe nontheistic scientists and cosmologists are correct: There is no real moral arc, (like Martin Luther King Jr. and other
visionaries think),
but only a cosmic block of amber--lock, stock and barrel--one meaningless, purposeless cosmic time/space/matter/energy existence because of the Big Bang, and an eventual explosive blast of cosmic death...the Big Rip after us (or possibly the Big Return).

That's the end, not Life.

There's an important aphoristic saying" "Begin with the end in mind," when you make important decisions.

What is this end speculated by many brilliant thinkers?

"Most of us are aware of our own mortality, but few among us know what science, with insights yielded from groundbreaking new research, has to say about endings on a larger scale. Enter astronomer Chris Impey, who chronicles the death of the whole shebang: individual, species, bio- sphere, Earth, Sun, Milky Way, and, finally, the entire universe."

"With a healthy dose of humor, How It Ends illuminates everything from the technologies of human life extension and the evolutionary arms race between microbes and men to the inescapable dimming of the Sun and the ultimate “big rip,” giving us a rare glimpse into a universe without us."
How It Ends by Chris Impey, Amazon Website

Allegedly over 80% of modern philosophers think God--ultimate reality, the transcendent--is imaginary delusion,
and nearly ½ of all scientists are Atheists!

According to all of these brilliant thinkers, our goose is cooked—and it’s us. There are no golden eggs, never were.

The cosmos including us conscious, ethical humans won’t last forever.

No good news exists. Jesus and other moral leaders proclaimed no eternal truths; indeed according to some scholars, Jesus never existed.
The New Testament is a fake fictional adaption of Greek myths.

In fact, there are no moral truths, no human rights, no equality, no justice...All of those ideals are illusions, are only "subjective preferences," "relative," and came about via natural selection, probably "spandrels" (the term used by the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould). Or they are "misfirings" of evolution (Richard Dawkins).

We won’t survive our own finite deaths, won’t become One with God, won’t experience everlasting bliss, won’t be transformed by the Divine into creative communion. Christian thinkers are deluded including the French Christian philosopher and paleontologist, Tellihard de Chardin who said that there was a glorious future
for the universe and humanity, a blessed hope, the Omega Point.

No, say the secular experts, theistic scientists such as Simon Conway Morris, George Mendel, and Theodosius Dobzhansky are dead wrong. Tellihard’s views were distorted by his Christian delusions.

Instead, everything is headed for a great Negation. Allegedly, first, the Milky Way Galaxy will crash out in 4 billion years. Our cosmic backyard will cease to exist because it will collide with the Andromeda Galaxy. In the sardonic phrase of the Terminator II: Judgment Day:
“Hasta la vista, baby!”

These 2 galaxies, right now as I write, are flashing toward each other at 250,000 miles per hour. But according to the cosmologists, this vast collision probably won’t cause the destruction of Terra, our planet Earth.

Terrific;-), no terror, for Terra.

Or maybe not...

The same scientists are fairly sure that by then Terra “will become too hot to be inhabited by humans” anyway.
(from CNN Light Years/Sari Zeidler)

Eventually our sun will become a red giant and our dead planet will be caught and pulled into the inferno.

"The drag caused by this low-density gas is enough to cause the Earth to drift inwards, and finally to be captured and vaporized by the sun."
(Scientist Robert Smith, University of Sussex)

This won’t happen for about 7.6 billion years, so don’t worry yet. Of course, our own death will come 6.6 billion years sooner than that because the expanding sun will already have fried the Earth to a cinder.

This depressing end-scenario brings out the corny in me. I just thought of another famous phrase which captures this dismal end: "Return to ‘sender’
address unknown..."

And there’s more about the abysmal end, about how the universe will keep expanding until everything becomes distantly dead and lightless, but we won’t be there to observe and wail.

So Sheol, (Hebrew: the pit, grave), is the ultimate end,
Heaven, not the Realm of God, not Cosmic Communion, not the Omega Point.

Welcome to the funeral wake, our eternal death.


Maybe the words of theistic scientists such Kevin Miller, Simon Conway Morris and Theodosius Dobzhansky and ethical visionaries get the last word. At least they do for those who choose to listen to statements
like this from Martin Luther King Jr.:
"I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him."

"But I am here to say to you this morning that some things are right and some things are wrong. Eternally so, absolutely so. It's wrong to hate, Its always been wrong and it always will be wrong."
"Rediscovering Lost Values," Martin Luther King Jr., February 1954

So choose and choose wisely.

Even if we’re wrong, even if the God we trust doesn’t exist, never has, never will...

Even if there is No Meaning and No Purpose, none at all.

Even if the Atheist biologists Richard Dawkins and Francis Crick and the determinists Jerry Coyne and Sam Harris are factually correct...

I plan to live differently.

What do I have to lose living ethically in absurd meaningless matter and energy?

Nothing:-) as Albert Camus so well explained.

If the universe is absurd, I still plan to live my life with creative ethical purpose.
(If 'I' am an "illusion" as they claim, I won't ever know that.)

Through trust in reason and creativity and ethics, I choose to live as this brief life should be lived, to live as the universe OUGHT to be. What is real for humans is NOW! This present moment.

To live a life of compassion, honesty, fidelity, and goodness.

Yes, choose “ought” and trust, not despair or ultimate pessimism.

REJECT the hopelessness of Bertrand Russell" "Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms;

that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours 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."
The Free Man's Worship, Bertrand Russell, 1903

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness...And if we do act, in however small a way, we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
Howard Zinn

Amen to that…

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox


Bill said...

Not to mention the fact that we should expect a comet or asteroid to strike the earth every 100 million years or so, causing mass extinction.

As theoretical physicist Stephen Weinberg put it, “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”

Which makes hope and optimism radical.

Daniel Wilcox said...

Thanks for stopping by Bill.

In contrast to Weinberg, I would say, "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems wondrous."

In the Light,