Is it abnormal to be perturbed by the fact that whatever you might do, your
I don't believe it is abnormal to be perturbed by the fact that relative to the size of the universe we are less than specks of dust, in the sense that very many people have been perturbed by it. Russell's "A Free Man's Worship" is based on this sort of idea, and it is very much a creature of what Thomas Nagel calls "the external perspective", the view from nowhere in particular. Is it abnormal in the sense that there is something philosophically wrong with the thought, or unsound about it? I think that it is abnormal in this sense. I am growing some cabbages, and they are very very small with respect to the moon, say, though they are MUCH larger than the ones in the allotment next to mine. Does their small size relative to the moon make them less valuable? Not to me; I plan to eat them, and they will get me through part of the winter. They even have economic value, and you can't eat the moon. I am with Frank Ramsey, who wrote that, 'Where I seem to differ from some of my friends is in attaching little importance to physical size. I don't feel the least humble before the vastness of the heavens. The stars may be large, but they cannot think or love; and these are qualities which impress me far more than size does. I take no credit for weighing nearly seventeen stone.'