Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sheesh, what more do you want?

The busses here are now carrying these ads for the Alpha Course. The poster bears the picture[1] at left, with the caption "Is there more to life than this?".

My initial reaction is: "Sheesh, what more do you want?" There can't be many feelings to compare with climbing a mountain, and being rewarded with a view like that. And if you get tired of climbing literal mountains, there are plenty of figurative ones left: like learning about how the universe works, or understanding the great ideas of human thought, or solving world hunger, or...... anyways, seems like there's already plenty of "life" out there, for those who want it.

Of course, the Alpha group's answer would be "Yes: our religion". Obviously, 50yo atheists who've been there and done that aren't really the target demographic. But when I was 16 and naive, this sort of message appealed to me. I think there is a wide-spread desire for what is vaguely termed "the meaning of life" -- some sort of larger context to interpret one's experience; a desire to understand one's place in the universe.

Well hey, Alpha Course guys: I tried it your way for quite a few years, and I eventually figured out a couple of things. One is that the "meaning of your life" is what you make it to be -- no one is going to hand it to you, carved on stone tablets or written in an old book. And the other is that when it comes to finding your place in the cosmos, science and reason beat all the other ways hands down.

So personally, I've found that living in reality is plenty satisfying.

[1] Still captured from the video at alphacanada.org, who own the copyright. As far as I'm concerned this is fair use for commentary purposes.


Anonymous said...

Hmph. Profaning a pretty landscape like that with such a venal purpose as sellin' superstition.

If I were that mountain, I'd sue.

King Aardvark said...

I had the same response. What more do they want? They've been all over the place around here.