Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Believability of Godlessness

I was lying in bed last night contemplating my godlessness, as I often do after drinking several imperial pints of local brew, and a few thoughts passed through my groggy mind.  For various familial reasons I have been considering people's belief in the afterlife, and why it is considered to be comforting for so many.  Personally I am perfectly comfortable with my heaven-less eternity, in fact it makes me appreciate life all that much more.  I'm not looking over my shoulder at a god who wants to send me to hell at the first sign of indiscretion, or asking for forgiveness for every little mistake.

Anyway, believing in the afterlife is fine for some people.  What I don't understand is why it is so difficult for people to even imagine that there may not be one.  It seems pretty obvious to me.  Think about it, of the >99% of the species that exist on earth today which are not humans, we do not think that they go to some heaven or hell.  There is no dog heaven, or bee hell, or fern purgatory.  So why then, is it so unbelievable that we may not exist beyond our current existence?  Considering the major difference between ourselves and those other animals is an awareness of our own consciousness, isn't it much more likely that the idea of existence after life would arise from that self awareness rather than that we have been chosen for an afterlife because of it?  If dogs and bees can simply stop existing, why can't we?

The point is, don't act so freakin' surprised at people who don't believe in the afterlife.  It's not that hard of a concept to grasp, it's just a different way of thinking.  It doesn't make life any less endurable, in fact in my case, it has made it more pleasant*.

DS

*and before you ask, it's not because I feel I have carte blanche to do whatever I want.  I'm a good, honest person.  So there.

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