This is just a little bit of a teaser for the review I’m trying to write of “Why Is There Anything”, by Matthew Rave. Jim Holt’s solution in the TEDx video above is a bit different from Matthew Rave’s, but they are both critical of Lawrence Krauss’ solution. I recommend giving it a watch. While I don’t really see the question really being answered in the video, I thought Jim Holt had a lot of interesting things to say and he was actually quite entertaining to listen to.
Ever since I was a young boy I loved thinking about deep questions like this, and I know I’m not alone in that, although I may be in the minority. I remember connecting with a friend of mine in junior high school regarding the “end point” of space. Our other friends thought we were a bit strange. We both found the concept fascinating as well as disconcerting. If space had an end then what was beyond that end point? And the idea that space continues infinitely was equally troubling to our finite minds.
It was this probing philosophical mind along with my guilt prone Jewish background that made me ripe for the Christian worldview to grab hold of me a few years after that. Christianity was like a carrot which had all the answers to these probing questions. But as my years as a Christian progressed, trouble brewed in paradise. It became clearer that the “answers” given were more about tradition passed down from people a long time ago who lived in a superstitious time, rather than answers backed by empirical analysis. They were simply revealed just like the other religions had their revelations. So the Christian answers to the probing questions that all of us have not only were derived without careful and critical analysis, but those answers then brought up many more questions. The carrot began to look more and more like just a painting of a carrot. Why is there anything at all? – because there is an all-perfect all-knowing God, and the existence of that God doesn’t require explanation – and if you think it does you just aren’t thinking correctly, even though it seems like the existence of that God would require even more of an explanation. I’m sorry, but the mystery is still there.
I’m growing convinced that Buddha had some of the best perspectives when it comes to these metaphysical type questions. It’s related to this video I posted before:
Just like I mentioned in the previous post with that video, I encourage continued exploration and thinking about these questions. Obviously I continue to explore myself. But I also see it as important to deal with the possibility that some of these questions may very well be unanswerable. None of the solutions to the question of why is there anything seem satisfactory to me, especially the all-knowing God answer. This question may just be out of the realm of human thought.
Oh, and totally unrelated – have any of you found a good antidote for writer’s block besides just forcing myself to begin? Is there any kind of music that might get the juices flowing and help me clear my mind to be able to get the stuff in my mind into words?