2022 Thirty Days of Love – Days 25 – 27

Thirty Days of Love – Day 25

“Life doesn’t make any sense.”

These are the words spoken by one of the professors at my seminary during an interview at a UUA General Assembly a few years ago.  The words struck me. I was taken aback. Yes! Life doesn’t make any “sense.”

Although this statement surprised me, it’s not a new idea. Many of the Existentialist philosophers and theologians arrived at this conclusion; often articulated as a philosophy of the absurd. How does one live one’s life in an apparently indifferent, silent universe?

Although we might think that a life that doesn’t make any sense, or one in which there is no external meaning to be found out there might lead to nihilism, despair and dread; that does not have to be the case – far from it.

I could be wrong but many traditional theists (yes, this is an overt simplification) might struggle with such a viewpoint however. Theists usually confront this sense of absurdity when confronting the concept of theodicy: why do bad things happen to good people? How does an omniscient, omnipotent God allow such suffering in the world?

…More on this tomorrow

…And as a post script on yesterday’s posting….Day 24’s posting was written by Anonymous except for the UU bit which was written by a friend.


Thirty Days of Love – Day 26

So…what do you do if you feel that life doesn’t make any sense? What do you do if you believe that the cosmos is completely uninterested in us? Do you sink into despair? Dread?

As I understand him, Albert Camus, often labeled as an Existentialist philosopher of the Absurd, seemed to come to the conclusion that life doesn’t make any sense; that there is no external meaning to be found in the universe. Yet, despite this conclusion, he believed that life can be good, worth living and meaningful (on one’s individual terms).

I believe that the Buddhists essentially come the same conclusion. There is no doubt suffering in the world, yet there is much to be grateful for in the present moment. The present moment is the point. (It’s the only moment we actually have!)

Again, as I understand it, Buddhists embrace the absurdity of the cosmos yet find meaning in their agency of extending compassion, kindness and love into the absurdity.  They do this all without expecting any results or payback. They do this with the faith that in an interconnected and interdependent universe, this extension of compassion, kindness and love cannot not have a positive effect on the cosmos over the long term. Essentially, they believe that what goes around, comes around.

So, despite the ridiculousness of it all, why not simply send around some good stuff?


Thirty Days of Love – Day 27

“Truth is what works.”

How do you feel about that?

Pragmatic philosopher William James said, “Truth is what works. The truth of an idea or claim is the satisfactory nature of the results that come from acting on it.”

What???? What about proofs, theorems, syllogisms (e.g. All bachelors are men. Joe is a bachelor….)

I took a course in Western philosophy a couple of year ago. As the course went on, I began to feel that the seeds of my philosophical knowledge were being repeatedly buried in layer after layer after layer of well…how should I put this…manure!

From my very limited perspective, the entire tradition seemed to rouse my suspicions. I felt that I was being sold a bill of goods; that western philosophy ( & Truth) was all a house of cards.

Then postmodern & deconstructions philosophers (e.g. Derrida) came along (in the course; they came along years ago actually 😊) and pretty much confirmed my feelings. They really threw a very big monkey-wrench in the entire western tradition.

Where does this leave Truth…and other beliefs we hold dear?

More tomorrow!