Friday, July 20, 2007

The Devil Writes on the Meaning of Life

The #1 topic here at OC Domer is Notre Dame football, but occasionally something else catches my eye that I want to pass on. If you've poked around the blog at all you have noticed that I have a list of "News & Info" links that I visit every day. is one of those links. The "Instapundit" is a professor of law at the University of Tennessee and an icon in the blogging world, generally posting about politics, the law, and current events. He is something of a renaissance man with a very broad range of interests, and is generally quite thoughtful in his commentary. I don't agree with him on everything, but we do agree on most things. The Instapundit today had a pretty serious philosophical post dealing with morality, right & wrong, and the existence (or not) of God. I recommend the whole post, but here is a short excerpt to give you the flavor. The excerpt (quoting yet another source) is written from the point of view of the Devil, addressing mankind on whether our existence has any meaning:

There are ... not very many possibilities. In fact, there are, I think, just two. The first is that mankind is a species that doesn't mean anything at all, except to itself. [...] Oh, it's not so awful. If being isn't meaning, and it isn't, meaninglessness isn't nonbeing either. You and the species get to live. It's just that you have to shape your living, and its meaning, all alone.

The second possibility is that God exists, and still cares. My own opinion is that the Hand that holds you suspended over my fiery pit doesn't abhor you, but has forgotten completely that It has anything in It. But God may still care, and, if that is so, you have but one epistemological problem, to learn the will of God. If there is no God, everything is permitted; if there is a God, it's even more terrifying, because then some things are not permitted, and men have got to find out which are which. Since He has the right and power to evaluate you, but no duty to do so, you are bravely right: you must pray.

But while you try to live as best you can until His revelation, perhaps you will accept some practical advice from me. Look around you at your species, throughout time and all over the world, and see what men seem to be like. Okay? Now take this hint from what you have seen: If He exists, Me too.

Philosophy and religion on a Friday? Why not!? I thought this treatment of a very fundamental question was so well put that I had to share it. Of course, this still leaves unanswered the most important question: Does God care who wins football games?

I now return you to your regularly scheduled obsessing about the upcoming football season ...

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