The Universe Doesn't Care About Your "Purpose"

This is the title of an article in the NYT by a philosopher I've met. He's a Marxist, and the conclusion really follows from Marxism's scientific atheism.

Except maybe it doesn't. Perhaps entropy itself is a kind of purpose: one that gives rise to life and intelligence. So argues a new theory from physics on the origin of life. Metaphysically, the physical theory is like Neoplatonism. Instead of the One 'unfolding' or 'unraveling' through creation, there's a unified purpose (seeking entropy) that is spinning out through the whole universe, resulting in the creation of many forms of life to rush along the entropy. Entropy could be said to be a kind of unraveling, and there is a kind of One in the unified purpose. So a unified font of intelligence arising from this single purpose makes sense too.

Then the Universe really does care about your purpose: your purpose is a way of hastening along entropy, which is a part of the single purpose. Your intelligence is a way of hastening entropy. Your life, and all life, arises from and for the purpose of hastening entropy.

There are significant philosophical consequences from redefining the purpose of the universe from the Aristotelian "seeking to emulate the perfect order of the highest things" to "seeking entropy." That means there are significant practical consequences, too, since basic changes in philosophy work themselves out practically in a myriad of hidden ways.

But it's still better than Marxism, if you must be a scientific atheist. At least it offers a ground for a philosophy that values life, too, which so far the Marxist left hasn't managed to do. "It's kind of good because it feels good, but it isn't really important" is no way to go through life. Thus, why go through life at all, especially if it stops feeling good?

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