In the acceptance of a scientific explanation of the world we are necessitated to also accept our ultimate place in a universe that will eventually burn out and die.
In our short presence here we are bandied about by the forces of Time, Fate and Death. Rationality demands our acceptance that Man is the outcome of an accidental collision of atoms and that no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual beyond the grave. The life of Man, within the shadow of the seemingly malicious forces of nature, seems a small thing: an inconsequential thing. It is not.
It is incredibly easy to be daunted by life. As one’s understanding of their lack of control over anything of any consequence grows then misery can set in. We do all sorts of things to avoid the misery. Religion, whether Greek, Indian, Roman, or contemporary alternatives, rewards suffering here and now with an afterlife free of Time, Fate and Death. Social structures create roles for their members to distract them from inevitable questions. But none of these work. Religion doesn’t answer questions. It furthers misery and legitimises the abuses of power. A working life helps the practicalities of living in a social order but more often than not again relates to power structures. In short these things we have created are mere shadows in a universe destined to end.
So what is the small man to do? Most of us (historically speaking) have taken refuge in the externality of religion. Willingness to do so has slowed in the West, only to be replaced by the meaningless of relativism, an easy and lazy alternative to thinking. But to ignore our own liberty and freedom (often to be found outside of the roles and constructs we create for ourselves) is to make room for the awful things we do. (I’ll do this because it doesn’t matter.) But it does matter. Each of us, instead of fearing Time, Fate and Death, must learn to accommodate them. Take the meaningless of the universe, understand it and ignore it. Cherish the lofty thoughts we are all capable off and let them enoble your day. Despite the uncompromising march of tyrannical power we all have ideals. We all know right and wrong. Our minds are free from unconscious sways of outside agendas and we all have the tools to work this out. The free man’s worship is to engage in acts of kindness and love constantly, and a good life means having to work that out.