Life The Universe And Everything

Sorry, no sexy-time post today. Got distracted by the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy all evening. What happened was that last night I stumbled onto a youtube clip of the guide and then I spent a hour or so hunting for more of them. I’m talking about the old BBC version from the 1980′s. I started showing my eldest daughter them and she generally liked them.
Then I had the brainwave…
I completely forgot that I had the entire series on DVD!
So then we pretty much pissed away the whole night watching the entire series from start to finish. Great fun and daddy daughter time. She has the same mentally quirky sense of humor as I do. (Youngest does a nice line of physical comedy at times.)  Eldest mostly happy for finally knowing where the whole “42″ thing comes from.
The YouTube videos of the BBC series aren’t that great, but the recent movie does the 42 thing fair enough…
Of course all this does beg the question…
…so what is the answer to Life the Universe and Everything?
The truth is that I did think about this for many, many years. When I was religious it was conviently answered by belief in God and doing whatever it was he wanted me to do. Just as a direct supervisor he was sub-par as I made frequent requests for direction and essentially got silence in return and had no idea what he wanted apart from an out dated policy manual.
Once dumping God and the policy manual, the questions asserted themselves again. Why are we here? How did we get here? I’m hungry, where’s lunch? When will I get to put my penis in someone?

In the end I did come to a sense of peace about the question and I do have an answer. Maybe not your answer, but it is my answer.

The answer to Life the Universe and Everything is life. Live life, give life, save life, create life, touch life and accept that all things come to an end and allow life to pass on with grace and dignity. Sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few; sometimes the opposite. Use your best judgment to do what you can.
The answer to Life the Universe and Everything is the universe. If the nature of the physical universe doesn’t awe you at every turn, you aren’t looking at it right. The sheer size of the universe is utterly astounding. If you ever actually get out of the city area far enough that light pollution isn’t a factor, on a clear moonless night the Milky Way becomes so visible it looks to the naked eye like a long cloud in the sky. There’s something about having 200 billion stars in each of about 100 billion galaxies that is both humbling and cures the lonliness. If we are alone, the universe is as Ellie says in the movie “Contact”, “an awful waste of space”.
The Universe is a wonderous place. Science is the study of the wonder. Seriously, how does gravity work? The earth and the moon dance about in each other’s gravity well – a real world physical force – but there is nothing but the vacuum of space between them. It’s like swinging without actually sitting on a swing. Isn’t that amazing?
The answer to Life the Universe and Everything is understanding that the answer is not everything, but something. You can’t have everything, in the first place you don’t have anywhere to put it all, and then you’ll spend so much trying to keep it all nice that you’ll never get to enjoy it all anyway. Be happy with the things you need in your own service of life. Simple, functional, beautiful items that you actually use are greater than a mountain of stuff you don’t.
The answer to Life the Universe and Everything is understanding that the answer is not everything, but someone. We all crave to be known and joined with another. We are all biological robots running relationship software in our meat computer brains. We all want to love and be in community with each other. That’s why the Internet is so addictive to such a social species.
Your time in the universe is really just a walk on improv role, a few lines and then an exit, but it is your role and no one else’s, so make of it what you will. But with a someone you can create new life together, and somehow you live on. At the end of the day, family is everything.
 

Related posts:

  1. Reader Story: Sex Life After Serious Injury At the start of writing a blog it’s a little...
  2. Male Mid-Life Crisis Is A Myth The male mid-life crisis isn’t what you think it is,...
  3. Female Mid-Life Crisis Is A Myth I talked yesterday about the male version “mid-life crisis” actually...

Comments

  1. Anacaona says:

    "Your time in the universe is really just a walk on improv role, a few lines and then an exit"

    "Speak for yourself sir, I plan to live forever."
    ;)

    Aside from that beautiful: "Create a new life with someone because at the end family is everything" Athol Kay.

    This one stays with me and hopefully with many, many more, good night Emperor.

  2. Encourager says:

    This is so strange. My eldest son and I were just discussing tomorrow's crazy schedule over lunch and we decided that there are so many variables in the day that a good plan cannot be made. We thought about trying to express it in an equation but realized that we had only one constant and about 11 variables. In frustration, he said, "I'll never know the answer." To which I promptly replied, "Oh, that's easy. It's 42!" His grinning reply? "Oh yeah, I had forgotten that." I'm not sure if I share a quirky sense of humor with my son or if I have INFECTED him with it.

    It was certainly strange to go straight from that lunch conversation to this blog post.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lightweight! A true afficianado would have the complete radio broadcasts, of course!

    LOL! Enjoy them all – great fun!

  4. Encourager says:

    BTW – I didn't even know that there was a series much less that it was available on DVD! Joy!

  5. Duke of Earl says:

    So, eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die?

    In regards to Christianity, I've found that the broad strokes, come to Christ, love your neighbours (and your enemies, because they're usually the same people H/T Chesterton), teach the gospel, etc are covered adequately in the Bible. The details are left for us to work out on our own, and in community with others, using our meat computers.

    You appear to have experienced the vacuousness of modern evangelicanism. I half remember a quote mocking a woman who wouldn't even dress without the Spirit's leading, and sometimes went out with one shoe, or unmatched stockings as she felt led. If he was subject to human emotions I can imagine God doing a massive facepalm, possibly a double facepalm, looking at such stupidity.

    Think of God as an oriental potentate, powerful and remote, acting through Jesus as a treaty negotiator and you'll begin to see how far the modern Church has strayed. Before you say, "I don't act like that as a Dad," God isn't a Dad, God is a Father, and in the ancient world fathers could indeed act like that. We err in trying to read our modern models into an ancient text.

    Most of the things people "pray for guidance" over aren't that important. Living in one country or another? Where do you want to live? Either is fine. Who should I marry? For a Christian there's the limitations of marrying another believer and sleeping with the person you marry, but other than that, as long as you care about each other, go wild.

  6. dreadpiratk says:

    With all due respect to you, Athol isn't it a bit contradictory for the guy who has done more to show the practical utility of Biblical morality, in regard to sex anyway, turn around and call the Bible 'outdated'? That's always been a bit confusing to me about your point of view.

  7. Athol Kay says:

    Dreadpiratk – it's really more ironic to me than contradictory.

    I might explain that later.

  8. Fred says:

    I always find it interesting that when the Ultimate Question comes up for atheists, it usually devolves into how wondrous the Universe is … when really the question you should be asking is, why?

    Why is the Universe wondrous? Why is there a Universe rather than nothing at all? Considering the vast, vast expanses, why are *you* here to witness it?

    Answer that question and then perhaps, maybe we'll all pay more attention because simply saying the purpose of life is life is tautological and self-referential and ultimately meaningless. The ultimate purpose of life is life is life is life is life is life is life …

    ”There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” –Camus, Atheist

  9. Athol Kay says:

    Why not?

  10. Celeste says:

    As a fellow atheist pursuing a very traditional relationship, I appreciate this, and your response, of "Why not?" Indeed, perhaps there is no why, it has never been established that there must be. I, too, find it ironic. It's good to be able to step back and see the Bible for what it is, some history, some fiction, some great ideas, and some not-so-great ideas. I love the book more now that I don't have to take every word as the inspired word.

  11. Fred says:

    @Athol

    Sorry, only just now got back to this. I'm afraid I don't understand your question. Care to clarify?

  12. Athol Kay says:

    You're telling me I should be questioning "why the universe is as it is". I simply replied "why shouldn't it be as it is".

    If you don't understand my question, by implication you don't understand your own question.

    Or coming at it from another angle, humans require a planet capable of sustaining human life. Thus when we look around at our world, it naturally is capable of sustaining human life. For if it didn't, we wouldn't be here to see it.

    So when you wake up on a perfect morning, breathing perfect air, warmed by a perfect sun… know that it's all just just no different than a winning lottery ticket. Yes it's awesome, but it's still the product of chance.

    We're all the result of being 1 of 200-300 million sperm anyway. So why you lot of all those sperm? Did your father choose you out of all of them? Did he have intent? Or was it just random chance that it was you?

    So why not you? Why not us? Why not humanity?

    Why does it have to be your particular God that does all your creating anyway? Why not Odin? Or Zeus? Or The Flying Spagetti Monster?

  13. Fred says:

    Perhaps my two glasses of wine may have something to do with my not understanding your question. I don't know. Perhaps tomorrow I'll understand it better! ;) However, thanks for taking the time to clarify and I now understand what you mean.

    But damn the wine torpedoes, here I go with your last point first: You're making a category mistake when you talk about Odin, Zeus, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the same vein “definitionally” as God. By definition, Odin, Zeus, and the FSM are man-made. God, by definition, isn’t. If you want some more information about this point, let me know and I’ll expand.

    In essence then, you’re positing a claim, hidden though it may be: the universe was here because humanity needed a “place in the sun,” so to speak, in order to experience it . What proof do you have for this claim?

    The science is very clear on the issue: the Universe “started”. How is not quite clear or universally agreed upon, but that it did start existing at some point isn’t a bone of contention. Why did it start? Wel … If, according to the laws of Physics and Logic, anything that begins to exist has a cause. The Universe has a beginning. Care to posit what caused the Universe?

    You ask why not, supposing (I assume) that you already know the answer to your question—I assume because you wouldn’t have brought it up otherwise, no? Would you care to explain your answer? And of course, also be prepare to back it up with evidence?

    As for me, the ontological answer to "why" is clear from the evidence and again, I can explain the evidence further, if you care to take this discussion any further.

  14. Fred says:

    And by the way, should you choose not to continue, I understand. There are many who think politics, sex, and religion are things one shouldn't discuss in "polite" society, whatever that means.
    Or yet another reason people don't want to discuss this stuff is rather simple: inflamed passions tend to take an argument out from its logical stadium into the dirty rhetorical streets. I didn't comment to get anyone mad or disconsolate. Rather remain a faithful reader of MMSL (and customer of the Goddamned excellent book!)

  15. Athol Kay says:

    You're making a category mistake when you talk about Odin, Zeus, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the same vein “definitionally” as God. By definition, Odin, Zeus, and the FSM are man-made. God, by definition, isn’t.

    It's a common religious viewpoint that everyone else's god is man-made except their own definition of god which is the true one.

    In essence then, you’re positing a claim, hidden though it may be: the universe was here because humanity needed a “place in the sun,” so to speak, in order to experience it . What proof do you have for this claim?

    You're positing that claim for me. We don't need to be here, we just are.

    The science is very clear on the issue: the Universe “started”. How is not quite clear or universally agreed upon, but that it did start existing at some point isn’t a bone of contention. Why did it start? Wel … If, according to the laws of Physics and Logic, anything that begins to exist has a cause. The Universe has a beginning. Care to posit what caused the Universe?

    My point is that it doesn't matter what caused the universe. You're determined for there to be an answer to "why". There isn't one.

    Also you seem to be trying to posit intention to the laws of physics. Things may have causes, but no intent to cause an effect. Water does not intend to become a river. Excess rain may cause the river to flood, but it does not intend it to flood.

    You ask why not, supposing (I assume) that you already know the answer to your question—I assume because you wouldn’t have brought it up otherwise, no? Would you care to explain your answer? And of course, also be prepare to back it up with evidence?

    I'm pointing out there is no answer to that question. You just have to accept reality as being what it is and figure out what you want to do in life.

    As for me, the ontological answer to "why" is clear from the evidence and again, I can explain the evidence further, if you care to take this discussion any further.

    You're like a baby looking at a mirror. I'm telling you all you see is light reflecting off the mirror. You keep telling me you see another baby in there.

  16. Fred says:

    Weird: I'm trying to post, but it keeps not showing. I decided to post a long-form answer. I may need to write a blog post or something.

  17. Fred says:

    Here's my answer, Athol. I tried posting it here to no avail: http://ifconfig.blogspot.com/2011/10/for-athol.html

  18. Fred says:

    Athol said: The "category" at the bottom of the post flags this post as "Christianity", so I think you tip your hand as to your actual viewpoint on God, and your motivation for this debate.

    I've made it clear that my time in life where I entertain this style of thinking is over, and have decided to spend the rest of my time here helping people.

    To which I say:
    Hahah, nice!

    What does my categorizing it as one thing or another have to do with the validity or invalidity of my argument or my questions?
    What does my motivation say about about the soundness or unsoundness of my arguments or questions?

    Since you've decided to disengage and run (even as you post on the topic, contrary to your "my thinking about this stuff is over," I guess I'll never know. Cheers though.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] comes from Athol Kay: …so what is the answer to Life the Universe and Everything? Go there and read it. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Life, [...]

Speak Your Mind

*