Thursday, November 29, 2012

Does the universe have purpose? Here let Neil deGrasse explain why that's kind of a stupid question.

This represents one of my pet peeves, the idea that there has to be a "Why" to existence.

Why are we here? What does it all mean? What is our purpose?

How arrogant to believe that everything has to have a purpose just to satisfy OUR desire to make information conform to our limited ability to understand it. And then to simply create a purpose in our fertile imaginations, while demanding that everybody accept it as fact, is even more egregious.

Perhaps things simply are, they just exist, with no definable purpose except that they can.

Then wouldn't it be up to each individual sentient being to determine their own purpose for themselves? Or is that simply TOO much responsibility for most people?

And while we're on the subject of understanding, just what is it about human beings that makes them feel entitled to an eternal life?

Everything we see, and touch, and experience has a shelf life. All of it, at least on this planet, is finite and has both a beginning and an end.

Yet as a species we have created an alternative possibility for ourselves that includes the possibility that after we take our last breath we simply move on to some other plane of existence.

But why do we feel that we deserve this "Get out of Death Free" card?

Is it that we feel that we are somehow better and more deserving than the other creatures that share our planet? Or are we just so arrogant that we simply cannot imagine a universe without our presence?

Personally I feel that it is the very brevity of our existence which provides the impetus to do something of value with it. To provide love to others. To create something that will last past your final hours. To make a small or profound positive change that will better the lives of those around you.

How would we know how precious life is, if it was eternal?

I am just honored to have had the opportunity to live, when so many others were denied that choice. And can only hope that I have left laughter in my wake, created light in the darkness, and loved often and without restraint.

Really what more do I deserve, what more could I want?


  1. This post is why I check into your blog 3 or 4 times a day -- because your underlying philosophy of life, and everything in it, is so essentially sane.

    In this life of "liquid modernity" with only deep water under our feet, with constant change the only constant, to keep the eye on the bigger picture, a deeply human and humane approach to living is the only comfort we have.

    Carpe diem and be kind to one another.

    1. fromthediagonal8:06 AM

      Barbara, you say it well!

      My first thought on seeing this video was that we are but microbes upon this miniscule blue marble, and Mother Earth can shake us off her surface at any moment as She has done countless times before and shall again in the future.

      Acceptance of the Time Is Fleeting philosophy is the only way to live, and to seize each day to do the best we can is probably more important that anything else in our existence.

      Carpe Diem because Tempus Fugit!

      Let's go with a smile and good will to all...
      (even those with whom we disagree!)

  2. Anonymous4:57 AM

    We give it meaning.

  3. Buckeye Bitch4:59 AM

    As I've always explained to my religious friends who ask how the universe came about if there's no God to have created it...Is, Was, Will Be.

    It seems they can accept that explanation when applied to God, just not to anything else.

  4. We can do the good things and still believe in eternal consciousness. That’s my take on it.

    I believe the life spark continues for all creatures and maybe plants as well.

    You’ve certainly left laughter in your wake (looking at GinaM).

    And I adore Dr. Tyson.

  5. Anonymous6:37 AM

    Gryphen, I am a Christian but I always enjoy reading your perspective. My beliefs are always evolving, having grown up in a Baptist environment with a concrete concept of God, my views have changed to believing in God as more of an energy or force of love and goodness. Our views have to evolve as scientific discoveries challenge our notions about energy and matter.

    1. You sound like a true Christian -- following what your Christ taught which seems to have been totally lost in the institutionalization of The Church (all of them) by greedy, power-hungry, hypocritical "leaders".

    2. Leland10:26 AM

      Very well said, Barbara!

  6. TY for sharing this video.

  7. hedgewytch9:45 AM

    Ours is an idiosyncratic species. Our focus on the "self" and the thinking that the world/universe must exist to serve us in some way is that exact trait which has helped Homo sapiens evolve out of the forest and be so technologically successful.

    However, there has been speculation in evolutionary biology circles lately that human beings have hit a wall on that whole brain development thing.

    1. Buckeye Bitch10:16 AM

      They need to quit studying evangelicals & Teabaggers.

  8. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Does unleashing a host of foul-mouthed and insulting Palin haters on your comments section count as "making a small or profound POSITIVE change"? Love when you delve into areas such as with this post this but wow, the Palin posts have gone beyond the pale with hate lately and it seems to negate the overall premise of this blog, as well as your stated personal philosophies. This blog seems to be hosted by two Gryphens.

    1. I have a huge urge to vent on that @#$%^&* woman who began the practice of right-wing politicians refusing any questions but Fox's, legitimized arrogant ignorance, self-rightnessness & racism in poorly-educated Americans, got away (!) with a fake birth (!) to further her career, pimps her children & is so hypocritical and self-serving I can't stand to look at her or listen to her lying crap.

      If Gryphen can't (amusingly) show her follies occasionally or even often, I -- for one -- don't begrudge him for a minute.

      She needs to be brought down and never heard from again. The soon she is dragged off in handcuffs for all dirty-dealing, the threats, the character destruction & just plain meanness, the better!

  9. hedgewytch9:55 AM

    Thinking of the movie "Avatar" where Neteri states "All life is only energy borrowed, and someday we have to give it back."

    I think with many religious people this is a "control" issue. The thought that humans may be nothing more than a tiny, miniscule, accident of nature in the universe is beyond frightening to them.

  10. Leland10:38 AM

    Personally, I believe that MANY people - especially those who are ultra fanatic about their religion - believe out of fear. Plain, old-fashioned fear. They simply find it impossible to conceive of the idea they will be here only once and that nothing exists beyond "here". It is a fear that haunts them - literally.

    I know it took me decades to get beyond that concept and to reach contentment. One of the things which I needed to work out to get me past it? How to LIVE. I found five words (which many of you have read from me).

    Love. Understanding. Compassion. Forgiveness. Tolerance.

    These give me peace.

  11. Maeve1:40 PM

    If there is a 'purpose' then there is a goal. If there is a goal, then there is an end. If there is an end, then there is a means to that end and some strictures about who can get to the end and share the goal. If there are strictures, there will be scriptures: to tell us what to do to reach the goal in proper time and 'good' moral shape. If there are scriptures, there are interpreters to tell us what they truly mean. If the interpreters are busy interpreting, we can't expect them to do anything else, so we must support them in their interpreting. (Give money, build the Vatican) Also, my interpreter is right and yours is not so I will kill you because we can't have more than one means to the you can see where this is going - where this has gone. What a waste of time and effort, all to control something that isn't there. Sad.

  12. Anita Winecooler7:02 PM

    I love posts like this because they force you to re-evaluate everything. The part that amazes and amuses me most is how precious "Time" is to us mortals, but would the concept of "Time", itself, exist were it not for us mortals?

    Reminds me of a quote from Steel Magnolias

    "I'd rather have one moment of happiness than a lifetime of nothing special"


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