Sunday, September 5, 2010

If This Is All There Is: Part 2

This is the second part of some thoughts I have on the potential implications of atheism being true. I am not so much concerned with the logic of whether or not it is true, just the implications if it is.

In my last post I talked about just a few initial thoughts on the role of humans if we are not created in the image of God. One thing I said was that everything we do it based on the need for survival and reproduction.

I think there are a lot of things that make sense if we are concerned for our survival. We ought to take care of the planet. We ought to ensure that future generations are able to have the same, if not better chances for survival than we do.

But that is assuming that the survival of humanity, or any other life on earth, matters.

What does the universe lose if we go extinct? What does it lose if our sun destroys our solar system? Well, given the sheer volume of stars and galaxies in the universe, I would say that it doesn't lose much.

The universe doesn't care about us. It is unfeeling and indifferent. And eventually it will run out of energy and everything will stop. At that point, there will be no one to care that we are gone or that we ever existed.

The universe, the planet, and human history aren't working toward anything. There is no goal. There is no story being told. It is just a bunch of materials spinning around and crashing into each other.

What is the ultimate hope of all our endeavors? There isn't one and there can never be one unless we can figure out a way to outlast the universe.

If we bring it home to a personal level, how much can one person possibly matter in this universe? Not at all I would guess. How many billions of people have lived and died and now have no one to remember them. They aren't any better than the flies that hatched from the dead rat that filled my room a few years ago. They were here and now they are gone. I may remember them but I will be gone one day and that will be it.

Everyone will be forgotten. It doesn't matter what they do in their lives. Even the most famous of us: Julius Caesar, Jesus, King Tut, William the Conqueror, Leonardo Da Vinci, Ben Franklin, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth, William Shakespeare, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Hitler, and Mother Theresa will all be forgotten at some point. Nothing they did will matter. What hope do I have?

So why does it matter how I live my life? Why does it even matter if I don't pass my genes on? I doesn't matter at all. My life, my existence is utterly meaningless.

When people argue so vehemently for atheism, I think they are actually arguing for the meaninglessness of existence. That is depressing.

I mean, if I died right now, sure, some people would be sad. But who cares? They don't matter. How they feel about things doesn't matter. They will eventually move on and get on with their meaningless lives.

Everything we do is meaningless. Every thought we have is just chemicals reacting to stimuli. There is no such thing as truth, only what helps us survive. And survival is not concerned with truth. Deer don't care that I don't want to hurt them, but they run away. Why? Because it helps them survive.

People say we invented God to explain things we couldn't understand. But the same brain that invented God also invented rationality. Even this whole ramble I have been on is nothing more than popping and fizzing in my brain because it thinks it will help it survive.

But who cares if it does or not? I think the only animals who would miss us if we were gone would be dogs. But they would get over it.

Basically, I think that when someone argues for a purely naturalistic universe, they never carry the weight of their argument to its full conclusion. And the reason for that is they would inevitably end up in total despair.

And so they (and we?) keep deceiving ourselves. Thinking that anything we do has any purpose that matters. That sucks.

If this is all there is.

(Note: As mentioned in my last post, I might be totally wrong about this stuff. There are smarter people than me thinking through it. If you are one of them, please let me know.)

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