What do Freethinkers do with Life’s Mysteries?

Get a bunch of Freethinkers together and they are likely to discuss the follies of religion, or perhaps they explore some scientific phenomenon.  But rarely in my experience do they delve into life’s mysteries, which can range from the mundane, like why the the toilet paper roll is empty when you most need it, to the sublime like the temperature of emotions evoked by rainbows.

Much of the mystery people feel is subjective, maybe all of it.  Not everything is subjective though.  The rock that we might stub our toe on is itself objective, and it’s fair to say that the pain we felt is objective to the extent that our neural response can be measured.  But what we get from the pain, the thoughts and emotions it evokes, fall squarely in the vastness of our minds and is, to the current state of science, subjective.  None of this need be mysterious however, unless we look back on why we stubbed our toe in the first place.  People might see coincidence or agency in the circumstances that lead to toe hitting stone, and that’s where mystery shows up.

Supernatural – attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature. (of a manifestation or event)

People who believe in the tenets of mainstream religions attribute many of life’s mysteries to their particular deities.  I’m not talking about toilet paper here, but maybe rainbows.  To me, the religious folks are ascribing meaning, or at least cause,to mystery without a basis for doing so; they are creating and putting stock in supernatural explanations.

But what does the Freethinker do with life’s mysteries?

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