The cosmos is not broken.


Sin and death don’t have the last word.

From “Who built this country?“:

“I cannot undo the dynamics by which Balkanization occurs; they seem to be built into the shape of the cosmos. * * * Given the errors human beings are prone to, learning to follow the guidelines takes a lot of work.”

The “guidelines” are the twelve guidelines of Free Speech Handbook, modeled on the “Thirteen Common Fallacies” of Stuart Chase’s Guides to Straight Thinking.  These are the errors we’re most likely to make in public discourse.  Our errors are not random; they tend to fall into these categories.  Why?

I suspect it has to do with what I call the shape of the universe — the structure of the natural laws that govern the operation of the cosmos, including the material and the spiritual worlds — and the temptations we inherently face as sentient beings incarnate in space-time.

By analogy, when walking down steps, one may mistakenly miss a step and fall down the stairs.  This is the one single mistake one is most likely to make in that setting, and it reflects the shape of the universe at that place and time.

I argue that the universe is so constructed, that errors can occur.  Given the randomness of events and of the actions of sentient beings, it is inevitable that they will occur.  There will be “bad” events, and people will do “bad” things.  The cosmos, nonetheless, is not broken.  There is a coherent, well-ordered system, and we can rely on the fact that this is so.

Value judgments

There will be events, and people will do things, we will like and things we won’t.  There will be events like a field of daffodils and tulips, and events like a soiled diaper.

Many diapers get soiled every day.

And there will be events, and people will do things, much worse than that.

Related: Forgiving the cosmos

It’s not the end of the world.  The cosmos is not broken.  All things happen according to natural law, and we need not grieve any untoward event too much, let alone forever.

Our value judgments are not the last word.  The last word is What Is, and we can have confidence in that.

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