Monday, July 14, 2014

What a piece of work is Man

By Capt. Fogg

Lovely meal, nice restaurant, best company, but the people at the next table were telling each other just what the Universe thought about this or that and how the Universe had solved some problem one of them had had. You don't get this at the Taco truck or the Wendy's drive through.

Perhaps they were Northerners.  The locals would simply have substituted the word God with no embarrassment, or perhaps they were the last holdouts of Deism, the folks who seek God in nature and not in churches or scriptures.  Who knows? But I hear this a lot.  I'm even wondering whether our practically  infinite universe is large enough to contain an ego of the size required to believe it had such significance in comparison to all there is or was or ever will be.  I'm guessing none of them were astronomers or astrophysicists or even of sufficient awareness to question the idea that something of the nature of nature itself was sentient or of  good intentions toward men -- men of good will or otherwise.

But say for the purposes of cynical condemnation, that the universe was a brain that somehow coalesced from a primal particle of infinite energy and infinitesimal size.  What can be a brain like that be composed of? Given the speed of light, and make no mistake, the universe does give us the speed of light -- given an all-there-is, the extremities of which can never, ever be reached in an infinite amount of time,  the allegedly sentient universe isn't old enough to have noticed us yet and never could be, even if somehow it were interested in our dining pleasure or our marital problems.  That which we can see of the universe is 30 billion light years across, a combination of  absolutely nothing and absolutely everything: violent on an unimaginable scale, both random and predictable and driven by principles we don't fully understand - but it can suggest to Shirley that she break up with Dylan or Cody or that I buy a new car. A sentient universe must need be speechless.

What a piece of work is man -- what quasi-demonic deity could match us for arrogance, for self-importance? 


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Blogger Karlo said...

If God (or I guess one could substitute advanced aliens) were interested in the planet, what makes people so sure he/they wouldn't be interested in dolphins. If something out there is infinitely more intelligent that us, the choice between dolphins and humans would be equivalent to our choice of being interested in ants or cockroaches. Perhaps the deity chose to focus on dolphins for sleek appearance and put us on the earth as a minor part in the main drama. Humorous musings aside, I couldn't agree with you more. The idea that the whole universe is concerned about the fib Sally told her teacher this morning is utterly ridiculous.

9:56:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

The edges of the visible universe are so far away and long ago that there are countless stars, planets, nebulae, black holes and the like whose light has not yet and perhaps never will reach us. Maybe there's some planet billions and billions of years old and on it there are some Gritzwogs who need to be wiped out by some angry god for the sin of flatulence. Who knows?

The one thing I'm sure of is that the universe wants me to laugh.

3:28:00 PM  

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