One of the most basic realities that leads me to maintain my secularist views is the sad reality that we exist in a universe which is simply indifferent to effect and outcome. The universe simply does not care.
It took me a long time to recognize that sad reality. Back in my days as a Christian, whenever I encountered people who were suffering, and questioning God in the process; I would fall all over myself attempting to apologize for God, and attempting to convince the naturally afflicted not to blame God, nor to lose faith, but to see that there is a purpose for everything which happens in life; ours is not to question god, ours is not to reason “why?”; or any other number of my “Christian cop outs” in order to shield god from responsibility for natural atrocities.
But at some point reality set in for me: We are alone.
We have been thrust into a state of existence without our consent. Our existence is random. Our setting is random. And our daily angst is the reality of our own frailty, and that we are constantly “sitting ducks” for some unexpected yet natural disaster to strike. Be it a tornado or a deadly disease; or be it a falling tree in our direction. Natural disasters and natural atrocities happen all the time.
In addition; this earth operates by a cruel feeding chain. Humanity eats the meat of a being, which ate the carcase of another, which may very well have fed off the the carcase of another being while that being was still alive The spider sets a web, and feeds off living creatures. Is the spider cruel? No, but the natural system by which the spider survives surely is.
Now, were there a mind behind this feeding chain, were there a personality which designed such a process, then such a mind would be cruel and insensitive. Were there a mind behind a process which thrusts beings into an involuntary state of existence, only for that person to suffer as we of humanity so oftentimes suffer, and then if that great mind dared to judge us and condemn us to some eternal torture chamber because we failed to live up to “his standards”, then such a mind would be a cruel and insensitive tyrant. But the reality is that there is no such mind to blame for the suffering and cruelties of the system of survival on this earth. There is simply an impersonal universe which does not care because it CANNOT care.
The simple fact of the matter is that ours is a universe which is indifferent to effect and outcome.
Which is why we of humanity should care. We have evolved the capacity to care. We cannot control the universe, but we can care. That may be the best thing any of us ever accomplish in this brief and relatively meaningless existence:
To simply care