On why we ask “why”

Here is my answer to the Quora question: When do we stop asking “why”? The asker added the following paragraph to explain where he was coming from.

Why do 2 objects having mass attract each other ?isn’t that question equally valid as the original question of why the apple fell down ! Calling it a natural phenomena is as silly as saying god made that apple fell down instead of going up .”why” a natural phenomena happen in the first place .

Contrary to popular opinion, there is such a thing as a stupid question. And if I appear unnecessarily uncharitable with the word “stupid”, you may replace it with the word “pointless”.

Yes. Pointless questions exist.

Questions about why things happen the way they do arise from the assumption that there is something resembling underlying purpose in the universe. The illusion persists despite there being no evidence of such underlying purpose.

The reason we think purpose exists is because we have all grown up in societies where purpose exists. What escapes our attention however, is that this purpose is man-made. It is not divine or cosmic. Thinking that the universe has underlying purpose that corresponds to the human condition is akin to thinking that the sun goes around the Earth.

We are just not that important!

The universe does have rules and they can be made sense of by human beings by methods that we have come to define as science. We can know how the universe works. But when it comes to why, there is no reason to think that what we are knocking at is even a door.

Natural phenomena are natural phenomena. The only reason we might ask why they are the way they are is because we are looking at them through the human lens. We are expecting natural laws to make the kind of sense that human laws do.

#human-condition, #purpose