Malevolent Universe Premise

The Malevolent Universe Premise is the belief that happiness is impossible in this world. It is the belief that death is always right around the corner, and you can only hope to elude it for awhile. It is the premise that the universe is rigged against you, and you have no chance. It is the belief that any success in life is accidental, and that death, illness, and suffering are the norms.

The Malevolent Universe Premise can be accepted for a number of reasons. It can stem from a number of traumatic events that the person generalizes. It can be accepted as a religious doctrine, under the idea that life is a stepping ground to another world, to show determination and the willingness to suffer. It may be accepted based on the idea that life should be automatic, requiring no thought or action. Since life is an active process, requiring reason to guide one's actions, this will lead to an inability to deal with the world, and a recognition of this inability.

The Malevolent Universe Premise is wrong. The world does not act to destroy life. It is neutral in that it has no motivations. It is positive in that life is able to be supported on earth, and has evolved to fit this environment. Since reality is a given, it can be recognized and understood. Man can act purposefully to improve his life. This not only contradicts the Malevolent Universe Premise, but it shows the opposite. That life is not only possible, but is the norm. With reason as his guide, man can and usually will prosper.

A Malevolent Universe Premise is destructive. It inhibits your courage by magnifying the perceived risks. Since the achievement of values is an active process, this encourages the belief that happiness and values are impossible to achieve. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, achieving it by default.

Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands