by Stephen McAndrew
We have an inbuilt desire to do things that matter. But what if everything we build and love and fight for is gone someday? Without a trace. As if it never was. Would it matter that we existed for an instant in the face of an eternity without us? The inescapable answer is that it would not.
The problem is that we know, with the rarity of absolute certainty, that we will die.
However, modern science tells us the universe is not about us. It tells us via evolutionary biology that we owe our existence to chance. With all the potential apocalyptic disasters looming over our heads, it is possible that we as a species will not endure forever. We know we have our own expiration date. Yet, the thought of our non-existence causes us great angst.
“Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.” This is how Paul of Tarsus, the writer of much of the New Testament, which is the second part of the Christian Bible, summed up life if death is our final curtain call.
But even hedonism, the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain, doesn’t work out. We can’t do what we want because of limitations that all of us (to some extent or another face). We may lack the material resources: money, power, or physical capacity, to do what we want. Further, more often than not, our desire to do something will conflict with someone else’s desire to do something else…
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