In this third part of my Meaning of Life series, I would like to discuss another objection I have to the naturalistic worldview.
I have seen religion denounced for stifling skepticism and scientific curiosity, and sadly this criticism can be somewhat well-deserved — at least, when it comes to certain religious circles. As for myself and my local church, however, the opposite is true; I think asking questions — always asking questions — is the keystone of a circumspect life, whether religious or not. The presence of faith in one’s worldview does not, in my opinion, change this one iota. The kind of faith that discourages questioning is called blind faith, and that’s a brand of faith in which I have no interest.
Implicit in the criticism above (which is often given by naturalists) is the unspoken assertion that naturalism, in contrast to theism, does encourage individuals to ask questions. To many a naturalist, the theist appears as a broken record whose every question about the universe is met with the definitive “Goddidit,” with absolutely no curiosity or drive to go beyond the why and attempt to understand the how or the what. One day I would like to dissect this caricature and debunk some myths to these ends; but for the moment I would instead like to turn the objection around on the naturalist and point out one of perhaps several questions that rarely seem to be asked by naturalists — and yet, are preeminently important.
The question is:
What happens when we die? (more…)