There is a scene early on in the killer-shark movie Jaws which has marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) explains to Amity’s Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) the nature of sharks.
“Mr Vaughn,” says Hooper, “What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine—an eating machine. It’s really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim, and eat, and make little sharks. And that’s all.”
Is this explanation true? If so, then why doesn’t it also apply to ocelots? What else besides running, eating, and making little ocelots does this carnivorous beastie do?
And if it works for sharks and ocelots, why not also for dandelions, cockroaches, and ratbirds (pigeons)? And if for them, why not for all life? Why not for you, dear reader?
After all, what else do people do except scurry about, eat, and make more people?
A bag of bones
If life can be reduced to biology, to nothing but chemical and physical interactions, then the explanation that all life, including our own, is meaningless futile repetition must be true.
Don’t pass too quickly by “meaningless.” This is the main point. If our lives are solely biology, then our lives have no meaning. This is a stronger conclusion than you might think. For it follows that any meaning anybody ascribes to any event in life is itself meaningless. Any and all moral judgments are mere prejudice, the result of particular arrangements of chemicals operating under unbreakable physical laws.
If all moral judgments are prejudice, then everything anybody ever thinks or says is opinion. And it’s forced opinion, at that. All opinions are the result of chemicals pushing this way and that, forming unwilled patterns in brains, under the control of nobody.
Who asked for your opinion?
You say rape is wrong? That’s just your opinion. Worse, it’s an opinion you have no choice but to believe, since the opinion is formed in a brain operating under fixed laws. You think murder is immoral? Well, there is no such thing as immorality, and cannot be, since for acts to be moral or immoral, acts cannot be meaningless. Meaning defines morality.
So what?, you might think. Individual people might be nothing more than their biology, because what really matters is the human race itself.
But this must be false, because […]
Science is not the answer
Science cannot rescue us from this bleak conclusion.
Celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson is fond of pointing out the meaningless of life.[…]
The problem of evil
What we have been discussing is the Problem of Evil. If atheism is true, if life really is nothing more than biology, then […]
Put some meaning in your life and click here to read the rest.
I was having a debate with an atheist over this Stream article. He insisted that “not causing unnecessary harm” (à la Sam Harris) was the atheistic objective moral judgment sought. It isn’t, as the word “unnecessary” proves. Causing any harm, necessary or unnecessary, is without meaning, if atheism is true.