Wandering Thoughts

April 25, 2009

Agnostic Wonderings

Yesterday evening I caught the wrong bus and ended up by Te Papa. Lured by the salt-smell I limped to the wharf’s edge and watched the street lights prick the dusk. Hills wrapped round the windless harbour like the frame around a mirror. And above it all quiet grey sheets of cloud began to fade back into the sky.

Standing there, listening the burble as a wake washed against the bollards, I started thinking of the sublime. Surely, a universe which is so beautiful, so often, and in so many different ways, has to have a purpose. A meaning, an order, a reason. Surely. Standing there I could feel it. I could almost be convinced.

And yet. In 1994, in the space of 100 days, Hutu genocidaires killed 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda. During the 1970s Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge wiped out nearly a quarter of the population of Cambodia.  Millions died in the Holocaust, and in Stalin’s Gulag. How can all this have a purpose or a reason? What order did it serve? What kind of higher power would let all that happen?

Both meaningful and meaningless universes seam impossible to me. But one of them must exist.


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