Wednesday, November 23, 2016


I was talking to one of my kid's teachers the other day while waiting around for a missing piece of sports clothing to be repatriated (as I do a lot) and the subject of religion came up. He said he was a religious man (Catholic) and we chatted for a bit on the subject. At the end of the chat I asked him what he found most appealing about having a "religion", he thought for a moment and said "it gives me purpose and meaning in my life". I thought this was a rather banal answer given that his (Christian) religion is so open to "interpretation" it's possible to extract any old kind of meaning and purpose you like (positive and negative) from such a broad corpus. For atheists of course "meaning and purpose" comes from within, personally, I find it makes whatever that turns out to be all the more precious i.e. it's something you've created for yourself and is of this world and not some imaginary one after you die. However, when you examine what people say their "meaning and purposes" actually are in aggregate, I find huge commonality between us evolved primates, kids, hobbies, career, good-works, sports etc. all feature heavily. Spooky that (not!).

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