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The Meaning of Life and Darwinism

By John Cottingham


While finding no fault with Darwinism as a scientific theory, this paper argues that there are serious problems for the scientistic construal of Darwinism that interprets the universe as nothing but a purely random and contingent flow of events. Life in a godless impersonal universe is beset by contingency, alienation, despair, failure and fragility. Notwithstanding Alan Holland’s claim that we can evade these problems though self-affirmation, I argue that human beings can achieve meaningful lives only by acknowledging our dependency and accepting the authority of values we did not create

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