Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cognitive Conceit

Geocentrism versus heliocentrism? In an infinite universe, either interpretation is equally valid, equally meaningless.

Whether our existence has meaning or not comes to the same thing. And the question of whether meaning is divinely ordained or nothing more than an expedient of evolution makes very little sense to ask, given that the answer—if one were possible—would not graft the skin of a single incinerated Afghani child.

Hollow Goals

We are goal-directed beings. Our goals are how we define ourselves, how we sustain the illusion of meaning. In the absence of clear and present goals we lose ourselves and become easy prey to mindless distraction.

Our present culture compensates by making the search for mindless distraction a goal in itself.

The irony is that all our goals are hollow at their center. And to generate meaning through goal-directed action is to siphon coarse air into a brittle-elastic bubble. There is only one potential human goal that holds the promise of any true substance. But what person could aspire to such an end? What man could adopt the inevitable as his sole driving purpose? What kind of monster would he become—to direct each moment in earnest preparation for his own nonexistence?