That unfulfilled appetite for cosmic meaning shows up more in philosophically inclined folks. In everyone else who's immersed in their local concerns (family, friends, work, etc), the suspicion that godless life is absurd can be only unconscious.

Anyway, in other articles I argue that atheists can find adequate meaning too. But they have this extra problem of having to confront the real world's inhumanity, without delusions.

If we say that our life "stands on its own" with no anchor, we're in danger of committing the naturalistic fallacy. There are no inherent values or meanings in a godless universe. There are regularities, patterns, necessities, and accidents, but no objective purposes, plans, or rightness beside the fictions we assign or the artifacts we build.

It's possible to fool or distract ourselves from the absurdity and horror of our existential plight, but the more honourable task for godless folks is to learn how to cope with that plight without resorting to substitutionary delusions or degrading ourselves in automated pastimes (evolutionary life cycles, demeaning social functions, and so on).

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.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store