8. “Where do you derive objective meaning in life?”
This is another interesting one because it shows what 8 – and presumably many others like him – is really concerned about. It certainly isn’t “which theory of the origins of life and the universe is best supported by the evidence?” He really doesn’t care at all about that.
What 8 cares about is how he finds meaning in life, or more precisely, how he is to be given meaning. Because 8 doesn’t want to face the tough job of having to choose his own meaning. That’s too much responsibility and it’s way too scary. I was tempted to say that he’s incapable of it, but he isn’t. He has chosen a meaning, and continues to choose that meaning every day, by believing in god and imagining that that’s where the meaning comes from. But having made that choice, he abdicates responsibility for it by pretending to himself the whole thing is objective and he is simply the recipient of independent meaning.
Like 2, 8 is afraid. Afraid that if he’s forced to let go of his comforting, childish beliefs, his whole self-deception will be stripped away, and he’ll have to face being a grown up and making his own choices. So afraid that he went along to a public debate to listen to his hero, Ken Ham, defend his right to cling on to those beliefs, and when asked to write down his thoughts about that debate, didn’t choose to write anything about the content of it, but instead wrote a desperate plea: “in your world, where is my comfort blanket?”