Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Everything follows Why (5): How vs Why

My 28 March blog revealed a 5th (and final ?) concept which I had unknowingly mentioned several times before: Everything follows Why. Why is one of the most common questions of children but usually not of adults. I remember a Dutch children’s rhyme: Why? That’s why! That’s why is no reason: when you fall of the stairs then you are quickly downstairs.

On 25 March 2017, I read an interview with American physicist Lawrence Krauss about his new book: The Greatest Story Ever Told (So Far). He claims that the Why question is the wrong question in Science as it suggests a meaning. In Krauss’ view everything in our Universe, Nature and Life is an “insane coincidence”, a “lucky accident”. The only relevant question in his view is How.

The absence of any meaning and presence of total randomness conflicts with my beliefs. I believe in the meaningful interconnectedness in Universe, Nature and Life. Interconnectedness is the very opposite of randomness. Krauss’ explanation that our Universe, Nature and Life are an “insane coincidence” is – frankly speaking – insane to me.

Krauss’ perspective was, however, helpful in understanding my dilemma in writing this blog. Krauss is a distinct atheist. Atheism is the opposite of Faith. Both are rooted in (anti) Religion, one of the 7 Belief systems. Beliefs are the core of our opinions while facts are rooted in Knowledge (see my 31 March 2016 blog). Krauss’ scientific opinion is firmly rooted in his anti-religious belief.

If Atheism, randomness, and How are related then it makes sense that Faith, meaning, and Why are also related. The meaning of events is important to many – if not most – people on this planet. Several “professions” try to make sense of it: astrologists, fortune tellers, Tarot card readers. The meaning of life is also a leading theme in art, books, movies and music.

The meaning of life – and living a meaningful life – is deeply ingrained in human consciousness.

Nevertheless, our human consciousness only started some 50,000 years ago. Scientists are still puzzling about the How and the Why of that “sudden” development in modern humans.

The “Why am I here?” question reflects the existence of human consciousness. The 7 Belief systems (ie, Love, Money, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science and the Truth) are often helpful in addressing the Why question. However, all 7 provide different answers.

My current answer on the “Why am I here?” question is basic: to help other people. Helping others has always been a driver even when other ambitions were more prominent (eg, career, family, study). For a long while, I focussed on developing my talents. However, talents are only tools to certain means. Such a focus relates to the How rather than the Why question.

More and more, I feel that life is about contributing to Change and that our individual meaning or purpose (ie, Why) varies in Time (when), Space (where), and History (how, what, who). We might be chess pieces on a multidimensional chessboard. Then meaning and randomness converge.

Why (1992) by Annie Lennox – artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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