The idea of creation may indeed be anthropocentric and therefore wrongheaded when applied to long-ago causes. To say that things have only dependent origins, or origins which are themselves dependent, is to say there are no ultimate explanations. That may be — or else its equivalent may be the case, which is that we’re not smart enough to comprehend the type of “causes” needed to grasp the best ultimate explanation.

Either way, I’m not sure you appreciate the element of faith required to turn away from the search for ultimate explanations to the pursuit of “the enhancement of positive trends in our daily lives.” This reminds me of Richard Dawkins’ bus slogan, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” It’s as if Nietzsche’s worrying about the death of God were arbitrary, or it’s as if our species has been worshiping false gods for thousands of years based just on a whim which we can easily do away with. It’s not as if the godless reality is terrifying, for example, as the existentialist philosophers point out.

The Buddhist’s flippancy intrigues me, and I wonder how you’d respond to something like my dialogue between the Marquis de Sade and the Buddha, where I talk about the difficulty each has in fending off the alternative, whether it be sadism or compassion.

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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