Fauna of Convictions


Fundamentally there is no point to being alive. People live. They don’t dwell on its pointlessness.

Most fabricate a meaning for existence. They manufacture a point:  to serve God, to make music, to nurture the family, to create art, to win races, to wreak vengeance … To do something or other. The doing is sanctified by calling it the meaning of life. But on the cosmic scale of things none of these activities qualifies as meaning of life. They’re merely expressions of human enthusiasms. Subjective passions not ultimate insight.

A few accept that the phrase “the meaning of life” has no meaning. They are the ones who delight in pointlessness.

Meaninglessness has implications. One is that there is no God. I can’t prove it. Nor can I prove that there is no Santa Claus or tooth fairy. By the time of adolescence one accrues enough experience of life to relegate these concepts to charming myth. It is experience of life – awareness of natural process – that relegates God to myth.

Is existence due to will (the will of God)? If there were a God, is he interested in the trivial foibles of human affairs? The idea of God embedded in these questions is simply too primitive for a mature, reasonably educated person to embrace.

Medieval battles were preceded by fervent appeals of the combatants to God. “May God grant me victory over my enemy.” Was the outcome determined by the appeals? Surely not.

On earth, death is the release granted terrible suffering. Can there be an afterlife of interminable suffering from which not even death can offer relief? The alternative is an afterlife in which one floats around interminably happy in the presence of God.

These are such manifestly fairy tale notions that it is difficult to understand how functioning adults could believe them. But a large number evidently do believe them. And with fervor. Lives are molded by these convictions.

How charmingly diverse are the life forms among human convictions.





6 responses to “Fauna of Convictions”

  1. Connie

    I just love the way your mind works, the ideas in your mind, turning round & round as you consider each facet, assessing, evaluating, as new thoughts are triggered, looking for a way to knit up and hang together. I agree there’s no point to life, certainly no stone tablets have descended from the heavens with clues about anything whatsoever, at least I’ve not seen that myself. And I also think we do all make up our own meaning (or not), we decide what has meaning, what our purpose is to be, if any. Meanwhile…I shoot for being happy because it’s pleasant. The rest is gravy, tasty pan gravy with lots of salt and pepper.

  2. “Meanwhile…I shoot for being happy because it’s pleasant. The rest is gravy, tasty pan gravy with lots of salt and pepper.”

    Indeed so. Thanks, Connie.

  3. Your ideas are helping me cope with an upsurge of righteous indignation in the UK at present over MPs’ expences. When I have come to terms with my own R.I. I’ll blog about it.

    Could I have permission to use your flagstone image on the post?

    Warmest regards,


  4. @Tudor

    I perused your http://leaderswedeserve.wordpress.com/ site and enjoyed the perceptive analysis of marketing tactics. I like your idea of examining leadership in sports to make comparisons with business leadership.

    Do you think that military leadership, political leadership, business leadership have an essence in common?

    Can leadership and innovation be taught? I would think they are natural endowments. On the other hand, someone who takes the trouble to study leadership or innovation must already have the drive within to pursue them.

    You do, indeed, have my permission to use my stepping stone image.

  5. Steve

    Meaningless? Yes. Consciousness allows only a subjective view. Meaning is subjective. The real question of interest to me is how is the why of my consciousness. If consciousness is mere phenomena (the answer, in effect), then on the other side is the Mystery (the Original question). Is it meaningless to ask the Primal question? If conscious beings cannot answer the Primal question, then is causality downstream inauthentic? To say that everything that exists means nothing is simply saying, “I don’t know what it means so it can’t have meaning”. The meaning is the Mystery, is it not? A mystery is not meaningless.

  6. I confess to having no idea whatsoever on what the words in the previous comment mean.