Accidental Beings in a Meaningless Universe

Once upon a time in the Midwest, my friend Rex would often posit that we are all accidental beings in a meaningless universe. I remember not so much arguing with him as against what he said. I found it dreary; I found it pointless; I found it tedious.

But mostly, I found it depressing.

But this is the standard-issue miserable scenario that most fear-peddling theists trot out as the sole alternative to a life dedicated to god.

It’s all about expectations: you run your own thoughts down a certain path, trundling headlong without a care for where you used to be because you’re dead sure that you’re on the One True Path. In the absence of perspective, in the face of the arduousness of finding your way back across the void, you instead opt to thinking of The Other, The Outside as the void and nothing more.

Understandable, in at least some way, because we San Franciscans experience that here. You’re in the City, or you’re not. The rest of the world takes on a dull patina of sameness, of mundanity, where the only color and contrast to be found is in the Interlucent City.

Of course, this is only a temporary modality of thought, a little kick in the ass to remind you of what’s special, a mental CGI to visualize the love of home.

But I digress…

I’d call it a failure of the imagination—or at least an unwillingness to use one’s imagination—when you’re of the Theist mind. You’ve become so dependent on the light of god that you believe that the absence of god can only mean the dark void.

Not so! We are not accidental beings so much as the product of accumulated accidents; the universe is not meaningless because we impart to it all the meaning we’ll ever need.

And that, boys and girls, theists and non, is how lives can be filled with wonderment and magic, science and reason, love and vitality.

And, ironically, it’s also how some of us have conjured up a creator.