The Indifference of Naturalism

Consider a basic fact about this existence: we find ourselves in it, for whatever reason, and we are vaguely aware, at all times, that we will eventually find ourselves out of it.

During this existence we suffer, some of us much more than others. Suffering may be nothing more than this thing that arises from the stimulation of nerves designed to preserve us from death for as long as possible. If our existence is a blind “accident” of sorts, then it is nothing more than a curious fact that our lives are finite, and that physical suffering cannot go on forever. I find this a noteworthy fact–that our physical existence is necessarily ended within a relatively short amount of time. The game is put away. It is not permitted to continue indefinitely.

If our existence is an accident, however, then there are no rules, no reasons why anything “should” or “must” be so. I find it important to take seriously the conclusions that follow from this:

In a universe without God, or anything resembling God, there is no reason for the truth to be benevolent. The truth is indifferent to humanity, and it might just as well harm us as enlighten us. Assertions that morality can exist without God are expected, since we require moral grounding, and surely attempts will be made to invent it–but there is no reason why an indifferent universe would not vomit up human beings who require, on the whole, a belief in God.

Furthermore, there is no reason why an indifferent universe might not preserve your consciousness beyond your physical death and torture you, by way of some kind of error, for a very long time. This seems admittedly unlikely, but if the pain you experience in life is the source of natural indifference, and if there is no absolute certainty regarding the potential for preservation of consciousness after physical death (however likely or unlikely it may be), it is possible that you could have a very long, negative experience after your death–or at the moment of your death–that has nothing to do with a God exacting judgment upon you for your actions.

Through the lens of pure naturalism, it is clear that the truth is not benevolent to human beings. Human beings are senselessly born, tortured, and destroyed, many of them without anything to hope for. Therefore, on naturalism, it is incorrect to presume benevolent conclusions (for humanity) when digging farther into the truth, and it is incorrect to assume that there exists functional human behaviour and belief that is compatible with the truth.

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