John Lennon’s song “Imagine” sings wistfully of no heaven or hell, about how much better off we’d be without religion.

Many thought we’d have gotten over all that God stuff by now. We haven’t. Why?

Some think it’s pushback from the increasing pace of life and technological advances; traditional things (like religion) comfort us.

But I think it’s because we’ve realized we can’t live in the valueless society that this supposedly advanced state implies. People want meaning; but if (as we’re told) we’re just the products of random processes, any concepts of meaning, beauty or justice have to be just personal opinions that mean nothing actually real.

We’re conflicted. We want to think our lives matter, but we also want to be free to do what we feel like. The problem is that – when you think it through – the two are mutually exclusive.

To be free to do whatever we feel like means there must be no overall standard of behaviour that we will all have to answer to; what rules there are must be created by the individual. Decide what’s right for you and then give it all you’ve got. And that sounds real good; but if my rules are different than my neighbour’s, whoever is stronger wins. If I feel guilt, I can ignore it because any sense of the other’s worth is an illusion; I might as well talk about stealing from a rock.

And speaking of rocks, that leaves the modern, “tolerant” worldview between a rock and a hard place. More on this with the next blog

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