Saturday, January 26, 2013

There is no afterlife, no heaven or hell

People are heavily invested in the idea of an "afterlife". Apparently, this life isn't good enough for them. And the fact that there has never been the slightest indication that life continues after death does nothing to diminish the hopes of believers. They want it and won't settle for anything less than eternity.

Personally, I don't get it. I have no wish to "live" beyond "death". This is an oxymoron, a concept that collapses in on itself. Death = the end of life. So how can life persist?

If, however, you insist on an afterlife, your only option is to hope that life is a simulation, a sort of computer game. It's far from likely but perhaps an advanced race created this "reality" for us. Maybe Earth is a training ground, meant to improve a person's mettle. Perhaps we're really giant bats that travel through space, not needing air, and living forever. And maybe our kids misbehave unless we toss them in the Earth Simulator for a lifetime or two. Perhaps it gives them moxie.

This scenario is the only hope of an afterlife. Maybe your life is a dream. Could be. I seriously doubt it, but if you're the type who needs a hope like this, you'd better latch onto this concept and hold on tight. Because Jeebus isn't going to greet you after your death. That's just a fairytale (and I think you know this).

I hope this lifted your spirits. As for me, I think death is an appropriate end for life. It seems to work for all the other creatures that inhabit our planet. Death doesn't bother me because once I'm dead, I won't exist. So there's literally nothing to worry about.

Wake up and smell the espresso. This is the only life you'll ever have. Treasure it and be kind to everyone you meet. That's the atheist message -- and it's a good one.