To Reality

Given the immense size of the universe, our small place in it, and the seemingly random, aimless and accidental nature of evolution, are your actions, thoughts and decisions meaningless?

Not necessarily.

Consider the wolf that fifty thousand years ago sidled up to a human camp and befriended a human instead of running away. Her progeny wound up as part of the human-dog symbiosis that helped launch animal husbandry, agriculture and civilization.

What if no wolf had befriended mankind? Things would have turned out much differently, for dogs helped educate humans about the possibilities of taming social animals, helped humans hunt big game, and co-evolved with us in many ways. The wolves who chose to befriend humans changed history.

Is this just an isolated incident? Are decisions by individual animals and people purposeless and boring?

Not necessarily.

Consider the world of living cells. Single cell animals can move, make decisions, flee predators and poisons, seek food, and sense their surroundings. If you watch them under a microscope, you will be convinced that they can think and feel. But are living cells completely controlled and determined by mechanical laws with no room for creativity or surprise?

Not necessarily.

Consider quantum physics. Outcomes of even simple interactions of the smallest particles and forces are not completely determined. Chance pays a role as do acts of measurement by human beings. Particles are entangled over vast distances, and interact in complex ways that are not completely determined in advance.

Even so, the quantum world is still governed by physical laws , even if statistical in nature, and isn't life itself determined by purposeless evolution, and therefore isn't all of reality a meaningless physical world?

Not necessarily.

Consider reality. What do we really know about it? Our senses give us our only evidence of reality, and our senses have evolved to optimize the survival of genes, not necessarily to accurately reflect reality. We do not know what the nature of reality is. Is it quantum? Probabilistic? Deterministic? Mathematical? A computer program?

But even giving due weight to all of the above, isn't reality, whatever it is, entirely devoid of God, morality, spirit, meaning and purpose?

Not necessarily.

Consider that all of our societies have evolved religions, God concepts, morality and philosophies for reasons of survival. Thus, even though our religions are not literally true in their dogmatic details, there are important reasons that caused them to evolve, and we ignore these underlying reasons for their existence at our peril.

Reality is a strange and untamed beast; we ride its back in awe and anticipation.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."