Of course, the thing that is on our minds today is Las Vegas. It would be foolish for anyone, at this juncture, to try and understand that which is incomprehensible. I am not going to try and do that here. We are starting to hear the chatter. Guns. Terrorists. Mental Health. Liberals. Conservatives. Isis.
What I’m about to say is not a knee-jerk reaction. It is something I have thought about many times, each time there is an act of terror in the world. If you were to look for one defining theme, and you were brave enough to go to the deep, psychological and dark palaces, I think you could arrive where I’m about to go.
In our society, in general, there is an epidemic of meaninglessness. Meaninglessness is the default position that you must take, if you are honest, if there is no God. Even many, maybe most, Christians live as practical atheists. So this is not the kind of point that an evangelical would try to make, good guys Vs bad guys, the evangelicals being the good guys of course. Certainly not attributing this to a Satanic act, as a frivolous act of black magic. Satan is far more sophisticated than that.
If you live in a world where there is no meaning, where there are over 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, many with multiple planets. That it all came from a chance happening . . . there can be no meaning.
In life we seek meaning through a variety of ways. These ways can work . . . for a while. It can be success in a job. Being a good father. Being a rock star. Having a large following on your blog or Twitter or likes on FB. It can be a Nobel Prize. But it can be through a meaningless act of misguided Self Actualization.
I think it was the philosopher Sade (don’t have time to look it up as my dog is in the car and the sun just came out), who believed that any great act, good or evil, gives your life credit.
If you were a 65 year old man and you look back on your life and think it was all in vain, all without meaning, one act of self-actualization would be to save a baby from drowning (where you end up in the news and are praised). Another such act in a meaningless world would be to kill as many people as you can, maybe setting a new American record. Almost anyone, with careful planning, can break that record.
For this one facet to the why of such evil, we have to re-introduce the true narrative that it is NOT meaningless. That the pauper who lived and died with no notoriety, is worthy of God’s love and their life was not wasted. We must also make it clear that atheism is not obtainable, as no one can live consistent with it. To try to live consistent, implies nihilism and the meaningless of one’s life. It is a hopeless trap for a society.