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The indifference of nature to human suffering

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posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 04:26 PM
The coldness of nature has always awed man. Religious historian and scholar Karen Anderson posits that this awe is one of the root causes of the religious impulse.

Many flee this detached view in horror and embrace the concept of purpose, karma, reward and punishment. It is truly grasp the cold emptiness and indifference of the cosmos is hard for the human mind to handle.

I believe as humans we must make our own meaning, justice, and love in the face of a cosmos (at least on a physical level) that would just as happily grind us to dust as to nurture us. The author Philip K. Dick diganosed the mental sickness of the fascist worldview as desire to identify with this cold indifference (due to awe at it, perhaps), rather than to embrace the warm human impulses like love that rail against cosmic entropy:

"...Their view; it is cosmic. Not of a man here, a child there, but air abstraction: race, land. Volk. Land. Blut. Ehre. Not of honorable men but of Ehre itself, honor; the abstract is real, the actual is invisible to them. Die Güte, but not good, this good man. It is their sense of space and time. They see through the here, the now, into the vast black deep beyond, the unchanging. And that is fatal to life. Because eventually there will be no life; there was once only the dust particles in space, the hot hydrogen gases, nothing more, and it will come again. This is an interval, ein Augenblick. The cosmic process is hurrying on, crushing life back into the granite and methane; the wheel turns for all life. It is all temporary. And they - these madmen - respond to the granite, the dust, the longing of the inanimate; they want to aid Natur.

And, he thought, I know why. They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archetype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. It is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate - confusion between him who worships and that which is worshiped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.

What they do not comprehend is man's helplessness. I am weak, small, of no consequence to the universe. It does not notice me; I live on unseen. But why is that bad? Isn't it better that way? Whom the gods notice they destroy. Be small . . . and you will escape the jealousy of the great.

-PK Dick, The Man in the High Castle

One can see a bit of the seductive power of embracing entropy in the haunting song Don't Fear the Reaper... "Seasons don't fear the reaper, nor do the wind, the sun, or the rain. We can be like they are. Come on, baby... Don't fear the Reaper, baby, take my hand..."

[edit on 6/29/09 by silent thunder]

posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 04:37 PM
S&F for the Dont Fear the Reaper reference
not really. i think a discussion on people's apathy towards suffering should be interesting.

i think in a way stalin was right when he said "One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic. " People seem more prone to ignore things like genocide but focus on the one person shot randomly in a drive-by.

[edit on 29-6-2009 by ELECTRICkoolaidZOMBIEtest]


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