The Deadworld Hypothesis


Modern science – modern secular humanism – assumes that the universe is dead.

I call this the Dead World Hypothesis (DWH).  The moon is dead and the sun is dead and the void of outer space is dead; the air is dead and the water is dead and the rocks and sand and dirt are dead.  The mountains are dead. Which is to say, they are not alive.  And more subtly, is to say that they don’t feel anything. They are dead to the world.  They have no inner experience.

They have no consciousness.

The only exception to the Dead World Hypothesis are its hypothesizers.

The asterisk on the Dead World Hypothesis is that there are a few teensy-weensy specks in this great expanding universe – which appeared 14 billion years into its existence – which are exceptions to the DWH rule.

Those specks, if you were to zoom in and look at them, are human beings.  Now if you were to throw a dart at the universe – if such a thing were possible – the odds of it landing in one of these specks would be miniscule.  They are 1 in roughly 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0000000000001%.  Which is to say, that dart would have to fly through the vast expanse of space and land on a person on planet earth.  If you’ve ever tried to make a half-court basket, you know that the odds of this happening are basically zero.

Which is to say, in all that space there are basically no things that are conscious.  It’s a dead universe, people!

In fact even most of what we call life is actually dead.  This is why we feel more or less comfortable killing ants and taking antibiotics and, some of us, eating cows and pigs.  We don’t think these things have any inner experience.  So that even though they are biologically alive, the way a “brain dead” person is biologically alive, from the standpoint of what really matters – from the standpoint of consciousness – they are dead.

We can make a list of all the living things that are actually dead: the algae are dead and the mushrooms are dead and the grass is dead, the flowers are dead and the ferns are dead and the trees are dead.  The amoebas are dead and the flies are dead, the snakes are dead and the dogs are dead.

Wait. The dogs are dead?

I like dogs.

Dogs are cute and happy and look at you with those eyes.  Maybe the dogs aren’t dead.  Maybe they have an inner life.

And it is here – it is here at the place where you “hit the wall” of inner life, where you stumble upon that organism that your metaphysical belief system tells you is alive, that you discover the magic trick that the Deadworld Hypothesis must believe in with all its heart and soul if it wants to be true.  You discover Big Bang Consciousness.

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About Peter Freed, M.D.

I am a psychiatrist (psychopharmacology and psychotherapy) specializing in the so-called "personality disorders," particularly narcissistic and borderline personality disorders. I was a Fellow and then an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia from 2004- 2011. I am currently in private practice in NYC.