Q. What are your thoughts about the despair some people feel when they ponder natural selection and random mutation? The idea of evolution and natural selection makes some people feel that everything is meaningless--people's individual lives and life in general.
A. If it's true that it causes people to feel despair, that's tough. It's still the truth. The universe doesn't owe us condolence or consolation; it doesn't owe us a nice warm feeling inside. If it's true, it's true, and you'd better live with it.
Wouldn't it be lovely to believe in an imaginary friend who listens to your thoughts, listens to your prayers, comforts you, consoles you, gives you life after death, can give you advice? Of course it's satisfying, if you can believe it. But who wants to believe a lie?
A: You have the power to make a pretty good model of the universe in which you live. It's going to be temporary, you're going to die, but it would be the best way you could spend your time in the universe, to understand why you're there and place as accurate model of the universe as you can inside your head. That's what I would like to encourage people to try to do. I think it's an immensely fulfilling thing to do.
Q: And that will be a better world?
A: It will certainly be a truer world. I mean, people would have a truer view of the world. I think it would probably be a better world. I think people would be less ready to fight each other because so much of the motivation for fighting would have been removed. I think it would be a better world. It would be a better world in the sense that people would be more fulfilled in having a proper understanding of the world instead of a superstitious understanding.
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