It seems I’vgone and disturbed someone with my post about not allowing Christianity to be taught to my child wherein I stated that the universe doesn’t care about our existence and that dead is dead and in retaliation got this:
Personally, I think it is arrogant to think that WE (human beings) are the “be all, end all” of the whole damn thing.
But, believing that we humans a single species amongst millions (billions?) of species are somehow exempt from death is not arrogant? I think that’s the height of arrogance.
Let me put it this way. I spent the morning sweeping up dead worms that fled the soggy grounds for my carport sometime in the night. Where did their little worm souls go? Heaven? Hell? Reincarnated as worms somewhere where the ground isn’t a soggy mess?
All religions and their related quasi-religions teach that humans are extra special. Provided we accept The Truth (TM) , death is something we are singularly exempt from.
Both sets of my grandparents, my mother, my dad, Mr & Mrs. J., Mr. Joe, my eldest brother, my childhood friend, my uncle Kenny, my father-in-law, Mr. Jeff and so many others are just like those worms I swept up this morning. They are dead.
That’s not arrogance. That’s reality. And one day I am going to be dead also. But, before then I know I’m going to be attending the funeral services for two of my siblings. They have the same fatal heart disease that killed our mother when she wasn’t much older than I am now. Understanding that there is no objective evidence of humans cheating death puts a new perspective on life.
As children we were taught to compete against each other. As adults (and atheists) looking death in the eyeballs, we’ve put those old grudges aside and moved within a few miles of each other. The sole holdout is the theist. He thinks we’re all going to meet somewhere out there one day. I doubt it and I hope he’s dead before he figures that out.
Why? I’ve met former theists who carry a mind-numbing pain at having put off connecting with friends and family because of an ardent belief in the “next” life. I wouldn’t wish that on a lowly worm.
I have to say that Atheism strikes me as a lonely road to go down. Not lonely in the sense of no human connection, lonely in that there are some things that move your soul, that spiritually excite you, and that part is a big chunk of what makes us human in the most decent sense of the word. If you believe that we are alone in this, that there is nothing beyond what we are now, and we are all just here doing what we do until we don’t do it anymore – that’s a little sad and lonely.
Disagreement is one thing calling me “sad and lonely” and less than fully human is something else. I do not believe in life after death and from all accounts the universe is unaware of our measly existence on this piece of rock on the outskirts of a single galaxy amongst millions (and that’s just in our neck of the woods!).
Amy apparently thinks this is a dead man walking position. I think not. To me, atheism signifies freedom and liberation. Life is much more important now because there is no second chance. If I screw this up, that’s it. I screwed up. I do not pass “go” and I do not collect 200 dollars.
Death is a lot more painful now. The conversation that my mother and I were having when she died? It’s not going to be continued someday and that is what made it and all the other conversations important and worth remembering. She’s not going to make cracks about how seriously I take things again.
My dad? He’s not out there somewhere having a beer, shooting skeets and ranting about politicians. He was taken down by cancer and he’s not coming back in this life or a supposed “next” life.
Immortality? It’s an insult to life and to death. And aye, it is arrogant. I’m no more special than my cats, the fly they executed this morning or any other non-human animal on the planet, past present or future.
We humans are not extra special. We die like everything else. And the universe does not notice our deaths any more than we notice the death of a mere ant. This isn’t sad, lonely and it doesn’t make me less than human. It makes me humble and it reminds me that life is important because it ends.
Remove death and you remove meaning from life. How can life have a bit of importance if death is not an option? To my way of thinking, it cannot have meaning. It becomes empty and unimportant.