London Bridge is falling but Brooklyn is not expanding

ALVY         The universe is expanding.

DOCTOR   The universe is expanding?

ALVY         Well, the universe is everything, and if it’s expanding, someday it will break apart and that would be the end of everything!

MOTHER   What is that your business?
He stopped doing his homework.

ALVY          What’s the point?

MOTHER   What has the universe got to do with it? You’re here in Brooklyn! Brooklyn is not expanding!

DOCTOR     It won’t be expanding for billions of years yet, Alvy. And we’ve gotta try to enjoy ourselves while we’re here.

From Annie Hall by Woody Allen

I believe this is the same fallacy made by Ben and Jock. It is comical because young Alvy has no understanding that there is no connection between the meaninglessness of the universe and his homework.

The point of existentialism is not that you shouldn’t do your homework.

Similarly, it is not the point that anything that has been created through evolution for the purpose of survival is automatically less true.

Otherwise art, language, indeed everything, would be in this category.

They have tried to create a category of true relating that is above all other categories.

Missing the point of existentialism–there is no hierarchy of meaning, it is all meaningless.

So for Christ sake, just do your homework. Find what you enjoy. That is the point of existentialism. Our freedom to create meaning is our terror. Not that one can be like God in a cloud, observing all others through an all-knowing lens.


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