Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fantasy: just stop trying to find meaning and it'll all be better

I am in the middle of reading Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, which was first published in 1948 and revised in subsequent editions. It is a series of short stories/vignettes chronicling the first human expeditions to Mars.

In the chapter, And the Moon Be Still and Bright, the fourth expedition to Mars lands in an area with abandoned cities. The Earth men think that all of Mars is abandoned. The physician determines that they all died of chicken pox when one of the other human expeditions landed (none of which made it back to earth.) The archeologist Jeff Spender explores the culture and determines that the Martians were superior to Earthlings. In a conversation with Captain Wilder he says:

'The Martians discovered the secret of life among the animals. The animal does not question life. It lives. Its very reason for living is life; it enjoys and relishes life. You see-- the statuary, the animal symbols, again and again.'

'It looks pagan.'

'On the contrary, those are God symbols, symbols of life. Man had become too much man and not enough animal on Mars too. And the men of Mars realized that in order to survive they would have to forgo asking that one question any longer: Why live? Life was its only answer. Life was the propagation of more life and the living of as good a life as possible. The Martians realized that they asked the question 'Why live at all' at the height of some period of war and despair, when there was no answer. But once civilization calmed, quieted, and wars ceased, the question became senseless in a new way. Life was now good and needed no arguments.'

Later on he says:

'I've go what amounts to a religion, now. It's learning how to breathe all over again. And how to lie in the sun getting a tan, letting the sun work into you. And how to hear music and how to read a book. What does your civilization offer?'

This crystalizes one of the many things wrong with leftist thinking.

Stop asking why live.?

What does Western civilization have to offer?

You can hear the echoes of the late sixties.

What Western civilization has to offer is the means to travel to Mars, and all the knowledge and education that accompanied it, knowledge that these dead Martians apparently did not have.

And the sheer stupidity of not asking Why Live?

Humans are programmed to ask that question. You can't stop asking it. Humans need to find a reason for their existence, and denying the need for that answer does not make it go away.

Human beings have an inherent nature. You can't make it stop doing what it was meant to do on a collective scale.

Ignoring the question doesn't help.

But this is just another way of liberals avoiding the reality that God exists. Because he's the only possible and logical answer.