Why are we here?
It is often argued that an existence without god is an existence without meaning. This is demonstrably false: non-believers aren’t committing suicide in the millions, or raping and pillaging for lack of a fear of punishment in the afterlife. On the contrary: some of the worst atrocities in history — including history in the making — are committed in the name of religion.
I would argue that uncertainty above all provides meaning for humanity. Science, philosophy and art are, in my opinion, the high expressions of humankind’s existence, which is itself a journey through the unknown. The lack of certainty of our place in the universe, the totally unanswerable question of what we’re doing here, which we undertake nonetheless, is what gives life meaning.
Science seeks to understand the observable unknown, in an attempt to make it clear. When a dark corner of the universe is brought to light, it passes from one jurisdiction to another. Here philosophy (or ethics, or whatever you want to call it) takes a human discovery and attempts to fit it into workable reality. Our attempt to live with this generally agreed reality is expressed in art. Art reflects our struggle to incorporate the unknown into human existence; it lauds our triumphs, decries our failures, and is a collaboration between creator and audience to make sense of life. I think it’s a beautiful and meaningful process.