Why do we care?

Why does it disturb us when tens of thousands of people are killed by an earthquake in Turkey? Why are we outraged when a crazed gunman mows down a flock of children in a schoolyard? Why are we pained by the sight of a homeless man dying a slow death in a doorway?

There seems to be something that we all — male and female, rich and poor, religious and secular, hippie and yuppie — agree on: that human life has value. That we not only exist, but also should exist. And that anyone who thinks otherwise is evil, crazy or both (remember the "crazed gunman"?).

But why? If our existence is an accident, something that just happened to have happened, why should it make any meaningful difference if we are or are not? Why, indeed, is the word "meaningful" in our vocabulary? If there is no purpose to our existence, why is "suicidal depression" an illness?

Atheists, too, believe in G‑d — they just call Him something else Atheists, too, believe in G‑d — they just call Him something else. They believe that human life is purposeful — that there is something beyond our existence which our existence serves. Rationally, a person may reject this truth, but his every instinct affirms it. And when it doesn't, the race will unanimously label him "not normal."

Take a look at today's headlines: "Heroic 30-Hour Effort by Surgeon to Save Mom's Life"; "Tragedy on Mountainface: Mudslide Buries Four"; "Outlook Good for Burn Victim." These are news items, supposedly devoid of any moral or religious value judgements. So why do they presume that their readers will agree that the doctor's efforts are heroic, the mudslide tragic, and the possibility that the burn victim will survive "good"?

Why do we care? Because in the beginning G‑d created the heavens and the earth.