Saturday, October 01, 2005


Reality's swirling complexity is sometimes lovely, sometime brutal; its laws propel the comings and goings of life forms in processes as impersonal as Antarctica is to the penguins or the bears...

It is so grand that nothing is gained by dragging an intelligent designer into the picture for praise. Or blame.
--George Will

Nihilism is questionable, where do the laws of Nature reside and how does Nature come to "propel" things through them? Do they emerge from matter or does matter come from them? Are the laws epistemically the same as subjective concepts like "lovely" and "brutal"? Is the brutal or the lovely, Good and Evil really all that subjective?

If someone wants to engage in natural theology with respect to penguins then that is fine with me. But it is more complicated than some may think, which is probably why Will's answer is a form of nihilism based on impersonal processes, which are nonetheless said to be "grand" for some reason. The thing about that is this, supposedly we are persons, correct? Or are the impersonal processes that create the subjective illusion of being persons so grand that nothing is gained by dragging the notion of our "personhood" into them?

It is nihilism that is questionable.

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