What Woody Allen Might Say To Lawrence Krauss
During a recent Q&A session with Lawrence Krauss, we hear the following:
I always find it striking how ardent atheists speak of the future. Dr. Krauss wants religion to go away. He is excited by the prospects of it disappearing in a span as short as one generation. Just one generation and it can all change! Given his worldview this isn’t terribly surprising.
But then again, given his worldview, why does he care, ultimately?
Juxtapose the hopes and ambitions of Lawrence Krauss expressed above with that of Woody Allen.
Interestingly, both men spoke of how a hundred years wipes everything away. A new generation = a clean slate. And for Dr. Krauss this engenders hope.
But hope for what? Lawrence Krauss was born in 1954. In about twenty or so years he is going to disappear himself. Then what? Nothingness forever. Nothing will matter to him. That’s what he believes. Eternal, absolute, non-existence is awaiting him where everything becomes equally unimportant- indeed, the greatest conceivable kind of unimportance crashes down on him.
So why care? Why aspire towards something like the evaporation of religion when every last drop of one’s endeavors and ambitions will amount to absolutely nothing? I suppose the answer is that we ought to make the best of this short ride.
Ok. Great. Then comes the nothingness that utterly erases everything previously thought meaningful.
Interestingly, Dr. Krauss knows this but tries to slap a happy face on it at the end. In a lecture entitled, “The Universe- Where, What, Why?” Dr. Krauss concluded by saying the following,
“The future is miserable... In a universe with energy and empty space it’s going to speed up faster and faster and faster. And eventually objects greater than a certain distance away from us are in fact receding from us faster than the speed of light. It’s happening now. It’s allowed... And if the universe is speeding up, it’s happening faster and faster and faster. And galaxies we now see will in the far future be moving away from us faster than the speed of light. And that means that if we wait long enough the rest of the universe will disappear before our very eyes. In two trillion years all of the galaxies we now see will have disappeared. And the universe will become cold and dark and empty...
And by the way, that’s the second of the two things I wanted to remind you of. The first is that you’re insignificant. And second the future is miserable...
Why is there something rather than nothing? The answer is quite simple: there won’t be for long. Cause we have this cosmic hubris that makes us think the universe is always going to be the same. If we wait long enough everything we see will disappear...
And so when we look out at the night sky and remember the fact that you are insignificant and the future is miserable, you shouldn’t be depressed. You should be excited because here we are at this random moment in time, 13.7 billion years after the Big Bang, and this random place in the middle of nowhere, but we’re endowed with a consciousness which has allowed us to ask these questions and learn about the evolution of the universe back to the first second and to the far future. So instead of being depressed you should enjoy your brief moment in the sun.”
Instead of being depressed you should enjoy your brief moment in the sun?
I’m sorry, but no. This is fantasy talk.
But of course we cannot help but be meaningful. But is that because the grand accident just so happened to infuse such notions within us, or is it because we intuitively know, given who we really are (as expressed in, say, Psalm 8), that life is truly and lastingly meaningful?