Myth and Meaning

The Universe Doesn’t Care About Your ‘Purpose’

 By JOSEPH P. CARTER, New York Times

An interesting comment by a reader:

“I wonder if the author could account for the moral difference between a child sex slave trafficker & a person who commits her or his life to fighting such brutal exploitation. is the idea that the former is immoral just an arbitrary convention & psychological crutch, & are the two perspectives (for and against such trafficking) really just biological coping devices, neither intrinsically less or more moral than the other?

Dostoevsky explored this question through Raskolnikov’s interrogation of whether an objective moral standard exists, the book for Dostoevsky a thought experiment, the act of murder a laboratory experiment for the protagonist. The compelling conclusion is there is something wrong with murder that goes deeper than the psychological discomfort (or biological maladaptation) a scientific naturalist sees as the main component of moral disapproval. 

a pure materialistic scientific rationalism must confront a moral “pascal’s wager”; the only rational position is to admit agnosticism rather than atheism (which can’t be proved), & found his moral bearings on acknowledged uncertainty. 

That reality of the human condition imposes objective moral requirements that blind nature could not supply. we’re forced to make moral distinctions & denied any scientific-naturalistic copout.”

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