Sunday, April 08, 2012

If There's No God Then Our Universe Is Meaningless

Monroe, MI

Today's Los Angeles Times has an article by physicist Lawrence Krauss - "A universe without purpose: New revelations in science have shown what a strange and remarkable universe we live in." He writes:
"The illusion of purpose and design is perhaps the most pervasive illusion about nature that science has to confront on a daily basis. Everywhere we look, it appears that the world was designed so that we could flourish." Krauss is an atheist and thinks that "for many, to live in a universe that may have no purpose, and no creator, is unthinkable." Krauss wants to make it thinkable and palatable. Such thought takes people out of their comfort zones. Science, thinks Krauss, can help us.

He thinks science can explain how a universe could come, without God, from "nothing." But, as some are saying, Krauss's understanding of "nothing" is actually "something."

Writing humbly, he thinks science shows that "it's possible" that "our universe and the laws that govern it arose spontaneously without divine guidance or purpose." OK. Which brings us back to a universe without purpose or meaning, right? He writes: "that possibility need not imply that our own lives are devoid of meaning. Instead of divine purpose, the meaning in our lives can arise from what we make of ourselves, from our relationships and our institutions, from the achievements of the human mind."

But surely, if our universe has no Creator, then our universe is not a "creation," no more than the leaves now blowing in my backyard are arranging themselves in some meaningful pattern. On atheism our lives are devoid of ultimate meaning. Of course we can make our own meaning, just as children can invent games to play. Within the world of the game (or the Wittgensteinian language-game) there is relative meaning (meaning relative to the context of the game). But that is not my concern. It's also not the concern of some of the European atheistic existentialists who wrote of life's absurdity, on God's nonexistence. Relative to the context of the universe there is no meaning. And by "meaning," I mean "fitness within a context."

Furthermore "science," qua science, does not give us meaning. Right? Anyone want to try to quantify "meaning?"