Thursday, March 12, 2015


Is This A "Red Dwarf" World Or "Dr Who" World?

Is life more like the TV show RED DWARF or DR WHO? Are we are trapped on a hulking object hurling through space with nothing but rocks all about us with no purpose and only other people slightly less annoying than ourselves to keep us company? Or are we on an incredible machine  with a mind of its own, on an incredible adventure as a companion to an ancient intelligence of great mystery and human form who deeply cares about us and wants our help saving the world?

Now I know these aren't the only two possibilities, but they are the ones that SEEM real to me. I find it funny that some seem to choose option A because it seems the more depressing. They think that truth can only frustrate and disappoint. "The saddest answer is always the most likely one." I know this because I find this tendency in myself. But it seems to me that this is just another manifestation of the masochism, the self-mutilation my depression used to cause when I was a teenager.

Truths can bring happiness. It is true that my wife loves me, and that makes me happy. It is true you are reading this right now, whoever you are, and that makes me happy. There are some scientific truths that have brought satisfaction to human expectations, hopes, and dreams just as some scientific truths have frustrated the same.

No, it is no more epistemically useful, it helps our quest for truth no more, to prejudice the depressing than it is to believe according to wish-fulfillment. Yet it seems to me, and hey I can be pretty dense some time so maybe I'm wrong about this, that once the full breadth and depth of life is accounted for, we must indeed CHOOSE which TV show we think we are on: DR WHO or RED DWARF? Choice sucks, especially epistemic choice, but sometimes you are confronted with equal evidence and the issue is important and you gotta lay your chips down somewhere. But there may be other criteria for decision-making than masochism and wish fulfillment. Exploring those criteria is a big part of the apologetics blog-project I'm working on right now. Still, I know which way I'll bet: I like RED DWARF, I can live with RED DWARF, but I'm a much bigger fan of DR WHO.

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