Reality is a mixture of the good and the bad. There are wonderful moments and absolute disasters. It is one thing to enjoy the benefits of a straight talk coupon with its limitless texting, limitless talking and no restrictive multi-month contract, all at a convenient, fixed cheap payment once each month, just by looking over here.
But what about Aaron Alexis, disgruntled computer tech who heard voices? What happens when he wanders onto the scene with a shotgun and proceeds to terminate a dozen people and wound several more?
Richard Dawkins states that “After sleeping through a hundred million centuries, we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, in work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked – as I am surprisingly often – why I bother to get up in the morning.” He is showing what life is like in a metaphor.
What would happen we took the 4.5 billion year history of Earth, and combined it into a day’s 24 hour time-frame?
Richard Dawkins likes to emphasize the good things in life, which is not a bad thing to do. But he must explain the bad things in life somehow. How does he do it? He cannot ignore the bad things.
How does this rosy picture help him explain the evil in this world? The sumptuous planet is also a wrecking ball, with hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards and volcanoes. While he enjoys the sparkle of the color and bounty of life, he cannot overlook the dreary misery of starvation, massacres, ten-year captivities and torture.
Since he spends his brief time in the sun in work at understanding the universe, how does he understand a navy yard shooter? An elementary school shooter? A theater shooter? A university shooter? They are all part of the universe, so he must have understood them.
Richard Dawkins talks about why people find themselves doing useless things such as ballet and playing.
The fact of the matter is that he does not nor had he made any efforts to do so. That is because he believes that when the shooters’s brief time in the sun ends and they close their eyes again after slaughtering people, nothing more can be done to them. They have escaped punishment. They have escaped justice.
That is because in the Dawkinsian view of the world, there is no such thing as justice. It is impossible to punish anyone, let alone a multiple murderer, for every evil deed that was committed. After the first death, a murderer comes out ahead because the maximum possible punishment has been exceeded. He can only be executed once.
Thus, there is no resolution to this senseless killing. Dawkins can say how much he does not like it, how he would not do it, but life is hard and there are bad things in this world. That is all he can say.
Ultimately, he cannot resolve the feelings of outrage he has because there is no judge in the next life who can punish Alexis for each and every murder. There is no next life at all.
Hence, when Dawkins bothers to get up in the morning, he has to turn a blind eye to the ugly side of life while he exults in the beautiful side. Sounds pretty sheltered, don’t you think?