Saturday, September 4, 2010

If This Is All There Is

I hesitate to write this post. Mostly because I don't even know all the things I don't know, still have much to learn, and am potentially unleashing an ugly comment war when it is done. So for the two or three people that will actually read this, please be civil. Thanks.

There is a lot of heated debate in our culture right now about whether or not there is a God. Whether or not religion a poison in our society.

Sometimes these debates and questions are fascinating. Sometimes I put down something I have read and feel like belief in God is absolutely necessary. Sometimes I question my sanity.

So today I will start a series of posts where I wrestle with the implications of there being no God, no ultimate purpose for the universe.

What if this is all there is?

One thing I find curiously absent from a lot of discussion is all the monumental, earth-shattering changes that could (and should?) take place if we finally decided that there was no God.

I want to try to apply this line of thinking to as many different aspects of life as I can. I am also totally willing to be wrong on all of them since, as I mentioned before, I don't know what I don't know.

But where to start?

I'll just start somewhere and go where the rabbit trail leads. This may end up as a ramble that briefly touches on many different topics.

If this is all there is, then human beings are not created in the image of God. We are simply a smart form of primate. Yes? We can't logically say that we have anymore right to live than any other species on this planet.

I might take it further. Farther? I can't remember which one it is. Anyway, what ecological niche do we fill? What do we contribute to this planet? What bad things would happen if we suddenly weren't here anymore?

Why should we be allowed to live?

Because my understanding of human history is we show up somewhere and everything starts dying. Seen a dodo bird or giant moa lately? No, you haven't because we killed them all.

We over-hunted the buffalo. We are over-fishing the seas. According to this site: "Meteorite impacts notwithstanding, scientists approximate that present extinction rates are 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the average natural extinction rate." In case you were wondering, the "present extinction rate" is caused almost entirely by humans. We are better at killing things off than anything else this earth has ever tried.

I think you could make the case that we are bad for this planet. And I didn't even talk about global warming.

If this is all there is and humans are only what I described above, then how can we say humans have rights? Nothing has a "right" to do anything. There is only what one person, group, species can do in order to survive. And if you can't do what it takes to survive then you don't get to pass on your genes and humanity is better for it because we weeded out some of the weak ones.

I hate to say this but who cares if a third of Africa is dying of AIDS? They don't affect my life at all. They weren't lucky enough to be born into a place that didn't have to deal with that. I will be able to survive and pass my genes on just fine without them. Plus, wouldn't it be better if there were a few less of us murderous humans running around?

And no, I don't care that it is people from my culture doing most of the murdering. My job is survival thank you very much.

Why is sex-slavery wrong? If anything, it is a brilliant way to force people to reproduce. Why do children have a right to a normal childhood? Why is it wrong to pay someone to have sex with a kid?

Tell me why it was wrong for those guys to fly a plane into the WTC? Tell me why anything is right or wrong.

The only thing that matters is survival and reproduction. The loss of a few thousand of us will not hurt our chances. There are over six billion of us. We are doing just fine.

That is, of course, if this is all there is.

Coming up in part 2: Why survival doesn't even matter

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