Four of the most amazing things are that there is something rather than nothing, that some of what there is is alive, that some of what is alive is conscious, and that some of what is conscious is also rational, i.e. capable of making sense. The first and third of these facts correspond with well known metaphysical puzzles or research projects. The second (that some things are alive) does not appear to be regarded as much of a mystery, at least in comparison with the other questions, and is generally treated as a scientific question. Michael Thompson has shown that the related question of what life is, at least, is philosophically interesting. And the fourth amazing fact has to do with meaning or language. To answer why there is meaning we would seem to have to figure out what meaning is, and that gets us into the philosophy of language. So the amazing facts closely relate to a set of questions, and these questions are fundamental in ontology, philosophy of biology (actually I know nothing about the philosophy of biology, but it seems as though 'What is life?' ought to be the fundamental question there), philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language.
But the questions also seem to be closely related. Wittgenstein links the first and last of them when he says that: "I am tempted to say that the right expression in language for the miracle of the existence of the world, though it is not any proposition in language, is the existence of language itself." With some reluctance and/or self-mockery Michael Thompson writes that:
This links the second fact with the fourth, if only by analogy. And the third (about consciousness) is surely related both to questions, or matters, of life and questions or matters of meaning or sense.a life form is like a language that physical matter can speak. It is in the light of judgments about the life form that I assign meaning and significance and point and position to the parts and operations of individual organisms that present themselves to me.
So, first point: the most amazing facts about the world are not just facts but important philosophical mysteries, the mystery being in each case why this fact is the case. And second point: the mysteries appear to be interrelated in some way (albeit I have not come close to proving that the apparent inter-relatedness is real or at all important). My third point is that the questions seem to be similar in nature. "Why is there something rather than nothing?" is, or appears to be, unanswerable. So does "What is consciousness?" So does "What is life?" if I'm remembering this correctly. And I don't think that "What is meaning?" has much of an answer either.
Are these questions all somehow the same question? Or are they not the very same thing but all equally nonsensical? Or are the similarities I am seeing all merely superficial?
I have no intention of working on any of these questions any time soon, or ever really. But having written this out I may as well post it. (My desire not to post rubbish is in danger of killing the blog completely, so I'm going to try to resist it. And at the very least I have linked to work by Thompson that is not rubbish at all.)