I enjoy reading Krauss. I love his Passion, and dare I say his spirituality. I would count myself as a student in this school of wonder and awe. I am thankful that reality is so much more than we can imagine and I am grateful that we possess the gift of speaking nature's language and learning of her beautiful, sublime secrets. Reality truly is more than we could have ever dreamed. To be open to possibility is something my religion, my faith, teaches me. My religion and Krauss' have this in common.
Yes, I said religion, because when Krauss says that meaning is something that we create for ourselves with the love we share he reveals, not a lab report, but a faith. He says science does have something to say to a person on their deathbed and that it is this: there is no afterlife and the meaning of your life is whatever you judge it to be. Krista is correct in pointing out that this claim is a non scientific one.
I sympathize with Krauss. It is understandable to want to turn everything into science as a way of avoiding uncertainty and error but the inescapble truth is that when it comes to the most important events and experiences of our lives, we all act on faith, like it or not. To quote William J Broad, the 2-time Pulitzer Prize winning science writer of the NYTimes who rightly says, “The scientific process is unable to answer the most important questions in life.”
There is no escape from the dilemma of being human.
What Krauss said about love was quite inadequate and very disappointing. He is not a neuroscientist or an evolutionary biologist so he claims he cannot speak with authority. But he believes love is largely a matter of chemistry, hormones and psychological projection. I suppose his promise in marriage would then be, so long as these hormones continue at their present levels in my bloodstream and so long as you continue to conform to my ideals I will "love" you. This is a good example of the inadequacy and inability of positivist philosophy (and the reductive religion of scientism) to fully respond to the mystery of the human being. The covenant of marriage does not depend on hormones, otherwise there is no covenant. You cannot promise your blood chemistry.
Krauss also tells us we are more insignificant than we realize. Indeed we are a speck, but the measure of mankind has never been a matter of quantitative size, or mass. Otherwise we had always been eclipsed by every small tree. It is not our size but our rational nature that makes us special. We uniquely recognize (which means to know again) the beauty and order of the cosmos. Without us, the universe would have no one to reveal herself to. Perhaps this alone explains our existence - perhaps the universe was lonely! The beloved needs the lover to share the love. Oops, I didn't mean to bring up the Trinity here, it just slipped out.
Krauss claims to believe that in the grand scheme of things we are just specks of stardust, grit for the universal mill. But what is more precious in this universe than the one speck capable of recognizing her? And surely Krauss does not mean to say that the human is so insignificant that we need not worry about suffering and genocide. Of course not. Surely Krauss knows in his heart that human life is the most precious thing in the universe. Despite what he has said, I believe he knows this.
At any rate, let us agree to be open to the possibility that there is much more to the human and to the cosmos than our little philosophies will allow. Curiosity, wonder, awe, science, religion. What special little specks we are!
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