What is the meaning of life? What is our purpose on earth?
These are some of the great, false questions of religion. We need not answer them—for they are badly posed—but we can live our answers all the same. At a minimum, we must create the conditions for human flourishing in this life—the only life of which we can be certain.
That means we should not terrify our children with thoughts of hell, or poison them with hatred for infidels. We should not teach our sons to consider women their future property, or convince our daughters that they are property even now. And we must decline to tell our children that human history began with magic and will end with bloody magic—perhaps soon, in a glorious war between the righteous and the rest. One must be religious to fail the young so abysmally—to derange them with fear, bigotry, and superstition even as their minds are forming—and one cannot be a serious Christian, Muslim, or Jew without doing so in some measure.
— Sam Harris
1. This is the earth compared to our sun.
2. This is our sun compared to VY Canis Majoris, the largest known star.
3. This is VY Canis Majoris compared to the Milky Way.
4. This is the Milky Way compared to the largest known galaxy.
The Hubble Ultra Deep Field shows over 10,000 galaxies in only 0.000024% of the sky. The glowing spots in this image are not stars, but galaxies.
This is why it both baffles and appalls me that humans continue to sit here drowning in our self-importance and busying ourselves with wars, politics, and economics on our tiny “mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”, to quote Sagan. We have an entire universe to explore and learn about, and we’re not the center of it. Don’t you care?
I agree with the final sentiment, but I would add that I think it is ridiculous to suggest we shouldn’t busy ourselves with politics and economics - because that is how exploring shit gets to happen.
When they say “evolution is just a theory”
Original Content! (I even drew the guy)
— Stephen Hawking