John Brodix Merryman Jr,

My response to your comment seems to have vanished, so I’ll try it again.

I agree there are deep reasons why we search for ultimate explanations. The philosopher Immanuel Kant said our capacity for reason doesn’t know its proper limits and tends to overreach, in which case reason ends up in contradictions or antinomies.

We overreach not just for personal glory but because we’re curious and practical: we’re afraid of what we don’t understand, so we try to explain everything to control it. And we control it by extending the reach of our artificial refuges from nature. That’s the instrumental aspect of reason and our rational faculties likely evolved to be pragmatic and domineering.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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