The belief in being special and being different is nothing more than a verbalisation of every animals drive to achieve for itself. It is not uniquely human. It is an expression of the drive of life.
Better or best doesn't come into it. Entitled to survive is what comes into it. You are entitled to survive.
We shouldn't lose sight of our overall importance. In the great scheme of space and creation we are part of the most important thing there is. We are part of earth. We are part of the only consciousness in space.
But every living thing is part of that consciousness. There is none of us better than another. We may be different but we are not better.
We create much of the reality of the world we live in. If I believe in fate and I live by that belief then fate is a force that influences my actions and my world and therefore fate does exist.
It may not exist for you. For you there may be some other belief system that influences your world and your actions. But once you believe it exists and once it influences you then it does exist.
I was buying a phone today for my daughter. The guy selling the phone spotted my date of birth and said - that's my date of birth too. Then he spotted my address which had the same word in it as his own. We lived about 40 km apart so he thought that it would be strange. He was looking for a coincidence. The guy selling the phone was very good at his job. He was studying data security in College. It was his habit to make connections as part of what he was studying but it was also his habit to make connections relating to people which made him good at sales. There is more or less a 1 in 365 chance of any person I meet having the same date of birth as me. There is a much smaller chance of them having the opportunity to find this out (how many people do you share your date of birth with?). In my life there will be a few hundred people with whom I will share information regarding my date of birth with (as in this case). So it is not surprising that one of them will share my date of birth. Regarding the address - it is statistically unlikely given that the word our addresses had in common would appear in about 30 place names in Ireland. So all in all this was a statistically unlikely event to occur. But we can accept that it is not statistically impossible. Therefore probability is actually quite a limited concept. At one extreme you could say that that which can happen will happen - but that is not true - if the guy in the store had not made the connections or if I had not decided to buy the phone at that moment in that shop this coincidence would not have happened. At the other extreme you can say that certain things are so improbable that they are unlikely to happen and give that unliklihood and dismiss it but the number never quite captures the unliklhood properly.
In fact it may be that outside a certain number of events it is not helpful at all to say how likely or unlikely they are to happen. It could well be that the mathematics of probability that we apply and intuitively follow are only useful in a certain number of very limited scenarios.
Very unlikely things can happen. Once they happen they can greatly affect the probability of other things happening around them.
So let's say I decided that there was a significance in what happened today I might call into that shop again or buy something else etc. I was going to say strike up a friendship with the sales guy but I am fundamentally not a friendly person really.
But when we think of probability we have to remember that one highly improbable event when it happens can radically alter the probability of other seemingly unlikely events happening.
This might be how our world began. A highly improbable event regarding the spontaneous creation of nucleotides and amino acids could have in turn set in train a chain of events whereby the energy involved in creating the bonds necessary to make that stuff actually cooled down and stabilised the environment required to make them.
But back to the set of coincidences today. I am very reluctant to dismiss all of this as just random. It is vaguely depressing. It is also too irrational to embrace it as some kind of meaningful coincidence. I am living now with a sense of constant loss that my love of reason is forcing me to abandon the warmth that comes from believing in something bigger than all of this.
But maybe this goes back to my original idea. Maybe the something greater in all this is me and the people around me and the universes we are making as we live our lives. Maybe the magic here is in the magic of interaction and creation.
So the primordial soup could have had been cooled by the organic material it spawned leading to the molecules that eventually lead to life. But it is still such an amazing chain that it can only inspire a complete awe.
So this isn't a conflict about reason vs religion. This isn't about abandoning a love of magic in favour of reason. It is about finding the magic in reason. It is about understanding that the rules don't restrict the depth of the experience. When the rules are properly understood they remove all limits. The rules are such that they grow and grow and grow - there is no limit.
My projection of myself onto the universe is then perceived by me to be something like a god. The relationship I have with it is like I would have with a reflection. It is like Plato's dancing shadows on the wall of the cave. It will seem relevant to me because it is ultimately shaped by me but it will also seem distant from me because of all the intervening forces. Ultimately, however, it is a reflection of myself....