Thursday, June 14, 2007

Who Wants To Live Forever?

By: Jon

If I were to insist that the universe and all existence is pointless and meaningless unless I, personally, exist, I would be called a narcissist of the worst kind.

Or maybe just an ass.

But when believers find out that I do not believe in any kind of afterlife, they often insist just that.

"What's the point in living if you're just going to cease to exist anyway, then?"

They seem to think that without any kind of afterlife, anything we do instantly becomes pointless, insignificant, and doomed to be forgotten. Our lives lose all meaning.

Unless we can live forever, we might as well just kill ourselves now, they seem to say. It's an awfully selfish and egocentric way to look at the world.

And here I thought religion was all about humility.

Why is my personal awareness a necessary requirement for there to be meaning and purpose in the universe? A thousand generations have lived and died before me, and we can still find meaning.

Nothing about our world would be any different if there was no afterlife. Our lives today - our jobs, our families, our loves and passions, our hurts and pains - it is all observably identical to a universe which had no afterlife. So even if there were one, there's no reason to insist it's a requirement for living a good mortal life.

We have one shot at life, and I want to make the most of mine. No, nothing I do will matter in a 1,000 years, and no, the universe at large will never know anything about me.

But that doesn't bother me.

I'm not that arrogant.

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