Here are some puzzling phenomena that every person should try to struggle with, and find the answers. (H/T Justin Brierley)
Here’s the full list:
1.What caused the universe to exist?
2.What explains the fine tuning of the universe?
3.Why is the universe rational?
4.How did DNA and amino acids arise?
5.Where did the genetic code come from?
6.How do irreducibly complex enzyme chains evolve?
I’m leaving out numbers 7 and 8 because they lack specificity.
9.How is independent thought possible in a world ruled by chance and necessity?
10.How do we account for self-awareness?
11.How is free will possible in a material universe?
12.How do we account for conscience?
13.On what basis can we make moral judgements?
14.Why does suffering matter?
15.Why do human beings matter?
16.Why care about justice?
17.How do we account for the almost universal belief in the supernatural?
18.How do we know the supernatural does not exist?
19.How can we know if there is conscious existence after death?
20.What accounts for the empty tomb, resurrection appearances and growth of the church?
So here’s the deal. It seems to me that there we can either search for and find answers to these questions, and then adjust our behavior to fit even if we will be less happy and fulfilled, or we can make our happiness and personal autonomy in this life the most important thing, and invent answers to these questions that are speculative. Either we live consistently with the evidence we have now, or we live how we want and hope for future evidence that will overturn the evidence we have now.
I think that this is the choice that we are facing as humans. Either we make truth the top priority, and let our lives change in order to respond to the evidence we have right now or we make our happiness the top priority and speculate that the universe is other than the way it is so that we can pursue happiness unencumbered by the obligation to know the Creator and Designer of the universe.
Everyone always talks about “the meaning of life”. I’ll tell you what the meaning of life is. It’s to puzzle about the questions above and get into an intimate, loving, self-sacrificial relationship with the Creator and Designer of the universe – a relationship bounded by facts, not feelings. What is so objectionable with the idea that there might be a Person out there who has a claim on us? So long as his intentions are good, why are we so unwilling to be his friend and to take his character into account when we decide what we will do with our lives?