Recently I watched an internet troll attack the idea of a godless universe on a freethinkers Facebook page. It was an interesting challenge to a group of people who typically always agree on this subject. His argument, however well disguised with jargon and circular logic, was entirely delusional and arrogant, claiming divine knowledge that not many claim to have access to. He asked the question of why someone would want to choose a life without certainty in a godless universe in lieu of a life of certainty with faith. I was interested in the question and had it not been for the raging hatred on the other side, it could have been an interesting discussion. So instead of responding to someone who refuses to give my words recognition, I decided to record it here.
While many people in a godless universe believe that there is an established ethical code, or believe that we have certainty in many things, I am not one of those. I have said this in an earlier post; everything is based on probabilities. Beyond Descartes’ famous acknowledgement “cogito ergo sum“, we really aren’t capable of knowing with certainty anything else. There is even the proposition, what if you exist inside a master being; what if you are just a computer program? I can’t honestly say that I know the answer to that. The proposition that I wouldn’t have free will if that were the case is made but I am aware that I am without free will in a world independent of some immaterial computer generated world. To me it makes no difference. Everything around me still exists, whether in this computer world or otherwise, it changes my life in no way. We are still unaware of what exists outside our universe and without that knowledge, I cannot make claims as to whether it is controlled or simply chaos.
To be existent in a computer generated world, the computer would necessarily be more complex than this universe. While some people may propose that this is god, I simply imagine it could be a being beyond our comprehension toying with a game. It could be the weakest being in a race of superior beings, not worthy of worship or praise. Others could have created universes that are infinitely more complex.
However, that is not what I believe to be true. That is merely a possibility that cannot be ruled out. I imagine, instead, that we are in a universe that was a chance happening. Some people may wonder how the universe could be so seemingly perfectly designed to foster planets and stars and life. To that question, I understand that for us to be perceiving the universe and having these questions, the universe must have had those qualifications. If the universe were an imperfect one, those questions would never be asked, and imperfection would never be perceived. How many universes are imperfect that we are unaware of? So this is the universe I believe probably exists, a universe full of accidents that happened to lead to the questioning of itself. But I cannot know this with certainty and I am comfortable with that ignorance but curious to abolish it.
My opposition proposed that faith had provided him with certainty. He asked how we could get from the foundation of A to B, B to C, and so on. I admit I can’t. That I exist is A but there is no B. My entire life is based on probabilities beyond A. But for him, he could know all the letters of the alphabet based on a leap of faith as to what A is. He truly is living a life of certainty but his foundation for that certainty is unknown and unknowable. I am curious why someone would want to live with such false knowledge but I am afraid I won’t ever be able to get that answer, at least not from this guy. It may simply be personal preference. I prefer base my life off probabilities, and be content to not know while he will be content with certainty, not matter how false that certainty may be.