How to Mediate a Dispute (rerun)

I did a brief interview for a book club forum recently. Here it is, if you're interested.

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Reader Comments (5)

Reading the commentary about leaving Florida, but not going to a state with snow in the winter... Does that mean you're headed to Hawaii or Texas?

May 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterThe Chosen One

This is a seriously great comic. The third panel perfectly summarizes such a serious issue as to make any further discussion on the topic seem completely ridiculous. I expect world peace to break out sometime today as this comic goes viral.

May 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTheMachine

Careful Scott, that third panel sounded Atheistic.

My uncritical viewing of Oprah Winfrey and Bill O'Reilly (unlikely bedfellows? hey! who am I to judge?) on YouTube, leads me to believe that all Americans are haters when it comes to the Atheist.

I'm English by the way, I've visited the States on business. Loved the people I met. Even immigration wasn't as bad as I expected. I did get pulled out of line because I had the same name and date of birth as an African American criminal (the guy told me). Since my skin tone is nearer Johnny Winter than B.B.King, they let me go after about 5 minutes.

May 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike Geordie Brown

Thing is, the latter doesn't sound crazy at all. The others require some agency with wants and needs and motivation. And they must all revolve around you, the believer.

Empty space has none of those motivations and therefore doesn't bring in "Why the hell would it bother with us?"

"We're an accident" somewhat crazy, but mostly beause it's worded to be as crazy as possible. And it's still not really all that crazy. You may win the roll of the dice in monopoly. And that will be accidental (unless you're cheating with the dice rolls). Not crazy at all. Yet the result of that seems deterministic: you pass jail and don't land on the hotel.

Our existence is as accidental as the spray from a waterfall. The water has no choice, it is forced to fall by gravity, and the rock is forced to stay where it is by interatomic forces. Yet despite spray from their collision being inevitable, any one drop is random and that specific drop is an accidental coincidence of various forces, maybe never to be repeated the same way again.

Rather than depressing nihilism, rational evolution is uplifting. Instead of being in hock to someone who "gave" you life and is expecting an ROI, your life is unique, never to be repeated. It has no giver, so you owe nobody for it. And the value of your life is what value you give it.

It's all up to you, nobody expects you to do anything.

Live your life. It is your own.

May 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterWow

So... which of them is the Happyologist? Probably Jenkins. Actually, definitely Jenkins.

May 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRudi

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