Good Morning. The American comedian Stephen Colbert recently defined Atheism as the religion devoted to the worship of one's own smug sense of superiority. Well, I hope that isn’t the impression I have given in my two minute tuppence worth every morning this week. The truth is that whatever your creed or belief, actually living up to a vision of what life should be about is easier said than done. We can’t all be Albert Einsteins and for most of us, just getting by, managing to hold on to our jobs and homes and families is an achievement in itself. The distinguished Humanist Richard Dawkins wrote in his book “Unweaving the Rainbow”, “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness that are here”. Viewed from this perspective, we are all lottery winners in being born at all. A Human life, with all its trials and tribulations is still worth living and we have but a short time to grasp an understanding and appreciation of this place in which we fleetingly find ourselves. It is an opportunity, an adventure that might never have been and the contemplation of this truth can surely be the basis for an exuberant and life affirming sense of self-worth.
A Golden Age for Public Philosophy
2 months ago