Join Date: Jul 2009
I am a secular humanist, and unfortunately I am often called a "bigot" by critics of my anti-religious activism. You see, I have no problem with people believing what they want to believe in private. I, myself am an atheist. I just don't like how religion, interpreted literally is the promotion of "faith" or ignorance, and saying "God did it" is not very satisfying at all. I think the real beauty of the universe is not "God", but rather the perfectness of everything. How all universal constants are just so perfect as to allow us to survive. How all mechanisms of physics, biology, chemistry, and mathematics all work symbiotically to form this stable universe. God is the embodiment of Occam's Razor, i.e. God is the simplest, shortest answer to all problems. Want to find out how the universe began? Well, obviously advanced physics and applications of mathematics won't get you there. Instead, rely on a book written hundreds if not thousand of years ago, by people with little to no knowledge of modern science and mathematical advancements.
As an atheist, I am not afraid of dying. In fact, I don't want to be granted "eternal life" or "72 virgins" or whatever. Imagine eternity! I mean, the first hundred billion years would be fun, but what about the next hundred billion? The next trillion? The next centillion years? No matter how spiced up heaven is, it sounds very unpleasing. I think it enough that we, humans, are part of this vast universe. 93 billion light years long, 13 billion years old. Even if we are just a blink of an eye on the grand scale of things. A good analogy used by Richard Dawkins: "Extend your arm fully to the side. Your arm represents 4 and a half billion years of Earth. From your tie to your wrist, that is the time in which all life on Earth was bacteria. Then, the dinosaurs come in at about your palm. All mammals on Earth come from a common ancestor, which would be at the very tip of your finger. And all of human history: the Mesopotamians, Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Babylonians, Vikings, Chinese, all humans, they are all in the dust that falls from one stroke of a nail file." This shows how truly insignificant we are, on both the scale of the Earth, and the universe itself. And yet, in just that tiny amount of time, on Earth, we have conquered evolution. We are above it. We invented modern medicine. We doubled the human life expectancy. We have invented the television, the radio, the automobile, the plane, the computer, and the phone. All of this from just one species on Earth. No other life, ever, on Earth has accomplished such feats, nevermind within a timeframe of 10,000 years.
I feel proud to be alive, not because of an all-powerful deity who controls our actions, but because of how far we've come, how much we've created using a brain that was meant to be used for survival. We live in a vast universe, just waiting to be explored by us, intelligent life. It may not happen in my lifetime, but I am still enthralled to see the advances in science and technology which may, years from now, enable our descendants to explore our galaxy. We are all made of stars. We are made of the dense material created when stars died and went supernova. I am not afraid to die, simply because when I do die, I won't even *know* that I died, and all of my consciousness: the electrical impulses that travel through neurons that stimulate centers in my brain, will become one with the universe. Once again, I will be completely subject to all of the driving forces in nature. I will be invincible, according to the law of conservation of energy. Who knows, when I'm dead, where I will go. Will I be swept away when the Sun dies, billions of years from now? Will I travel through space, on and on and on, until I finally become part of the material that creates new life, in another galaxy? Time can only tell what will happen to me when I'm dead, but I know for sure that it will be as exciting as when I am alive. You do not need religion to have reassurance for an afterlife. You only need see the amazingness of the universe itself. Devote yourself to the betterment of the human race, the advance of modern technology and science, to understanding why and how the universe works.
That, sir, is why I am not afraid to die.
Last edited by Isaac Clarke; 07-17-2013 at 04:18 PM.