As in a Mirror


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BQTA presents a guest post by Rick Lenon   

The Ingmar Bergman film Through a Glass Darkly (Swedish: Såsom i en spegel – “As in a Mirror”) tells the story of a young woman with schizophrenia spending time with her family on a remote island, and having delusions about meeting God, who appears to her in the form of a monstrous spider. (wikipedia) The young woman goes mad; but on the way there, has an insight. “God is spider.”

So pretend the spider finds himself in the midst of Nothing, and decides to initiate a universe that will eventually produce stuff like Pluto, and mankind.  If the mechanism is going to produce creatures that fill every niche, then why not creatures that can create niches.?  Agriculture, for instance.  If behaviors are going to be required, best if they have direction, rather than being random.  The spider understood that, so the mechanism employed various means to get behavior directed, including the installation of a need for purpose.  So everything you do should have a purpose, because that’s the way the spider set it up.  The fact of your existence is due to the spider’s purpose; she installed that need at some point in history, to further her own project.  You’re here because she put you here.  

But Darwin explained why you don’t need a spider, for all of this to work.  A spider would work just as well as God; and it would do away with The Problem of Evil.  

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1 Comment

  1. Is the moral of your story that in reality there are no purposes? Does the spider have a purpose when she decides to initiate a universe? Why is it “best if they have direction, rather than being random”? All it takes is one little value judgement–“best”– and all the rest makes sense. CF the way Sam Harris generates morality in The Moral Landscape.


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