It is politically (but not scientifically) correct to assume a materialistic existence built on a series of microscopic random events unfolding in intransitive time. In other words we focus, like Thomas, on what we see. We do that at least partially because we fear there is no meaning below or beyond what our sensory organs are capable of registering.
Surely one of the great lessons of exploration of the mind started by Sigmund Freud is that the more you avoid a fear, or abyss, the unhealthier you become. All of the mechanisms of dealing with unconscious pain (projection, avoidance, repression etc) simply lead at best to neurosis, at worst to psychosis.
It seems to me that the fundamental issue that haunts each of us is – insecurity. How, then, to deal with that? And it’s worth addressing. In my experience the more secure a person is, then the more listening, creative, compassionate, generous, talented and capable of joy they are. (And happiness is life lived in the expectation of joy). Conversely when we feel insecure we experience withdrawal. We become self-centred with attendant unhappiness and disconnection. Our horizons contract to world as prison.
How then does security arise? Where do we find an ability to like in confidence? (Con Fides; with trust). There is abundant evidence that this is determined very early in life by carers – of course normally parents – creating a predictable loving and connected environment in which the child can develop. (Oliver James points out one parent should normally be present full-time for babies and toddlers).
The connection to good and evil? In fact are these useful constructs at all.; or simply perceived positive and negative outcomes of random events?
Indeed we do need to deal with these concepts before tackling any personification or accretion of these into God and Devil.
For me, what resonates is;
Firstly science is uncovering deep meaning at the most fundamental level. Experiments on matter at the most microscopic levels shows that existence is an infinite series of possibilities, potential – until observed. It is the act of observation that, in effect, crystallises out this particular existence from the cloud of possibilities. That raises the issue of observation. Surely there must be an “observer” to create this particular reality. Sure enough, our species are the most efficient engines of observation, whether through science or the arts. We each of us spend our life in observation (or as some would call it – witness, some knowledge). Interestingly our gathering of knowledge is escalating in a geometric progression. (Are we approaching Teilhard de Chardin’s “Omega Point”?)
It appears to me that at least one of our purposes as humans is to be just this – engines of observation crystallising out existence. That puts the onus on us collectively. WE – life.
Does that not change a world view? Good and evil is created as we create existence. Accept that good and evil do exist, as outcomes of our collective path through life. Accept that is is our joint task to work for good effect around us, and do we not at least connect to purpose – rather than trying to live with our eyes tight closed against the fear that we float on a sea of random meaninglessness.