Monday, March 29, 2010

Warning: seriousness

Despite watching a lot of youtube videos that talk about morality, religion, atheism, etc.  I don't post them here that often. This blog isn't about heady topics that actually matter.  Don't worry, my next post is sure to be an amusing annecdote about children and kitchen remodeling.  But I had to post this one (which is long, just watch it), because this guy is singing my song:
While I don't claim to have all the answers, I've always been annoyed by the "my opinion is as good as yours" philosophy.  Some people are clearly wrong.  Like this guy. Or these guys.  And unlike apparently everyone else, I care what the truth is. 

I was talking to my mother today, not about morality, but about an aquaintance who had recently passed away.  Now I don't believe in heaven (shocking), and Mom seems to be preoccupied with this.  She said was asking where the comfort was in believing that there's nothing after death (I'm paraphrasing here).  I think my response was "It's not my fault that heaven doesn't exist."  What I meant was that an afterlife either exists or it doesn't.  When deciding whether I think there's an afterlife, I didn't really consider what would be most comforting.  Comfort doesn't cause things to exist.  I care what the truth is (see how I tied that in there).

Anyway heaven, or lack thereof, is not all that important to me.  I sometimes get the feeling that my mother is worried that I'm miserable worrying about death and nothingness.  I honestly don't think about it that much. Life is too joyous and wonderful to be sitting around thinking about death all the time. I spend much more time watching TED talks on youtube. 

4 comments:

Sylvia McNicoll said...

Right now you are in a wonderful stage of life. Okay perhaps you become overwhelmed with the demands of raising kids and running a household.

But, you are not in a period where you are suffering loss.

I worry that when this period comes( everyone has death in his or her life eventually and there are other unfortunate shades of loss that can be worse) you will have the coping tools to continue. Religion is just one of them and I'll admit perhaps not the best.

The arts are another.

In the death of this young person in particular, I would like to find a reason or purpose. Maybe even if it's just organ donation. I'd like to think her energy continues more happily in some capacity as well.

Super Happy Jen said...

I got a server error the first time I typed this comment, and I’m struggling to remember what I said:

Fair enough, I have yet to experience any real loss or hardship. Perhaps when I do I’ll be wish that I’d lied to myself every day be subscribing to a religion. But doing so would add a little misery to each day. And I’d have the anguish of trying to find purpose where there is none.

I actually find comfort in the lack of a Devine plan. It’s hard to say how I’d be if the person lost had been someone I knew well, and loved. I don’t think anybody can really say how they’d deal with a situation before they’re faced with it. In the case of this particular death, senseless, pointless, and way too soon, I know that if there were a God, it would never have happened. If I believed, I think I would feel a lot of anger. Without belief, I understand that sometimes things happen without purpose and I can move on with my life. Not too say that death isn’t sad, and loss isn’t hard. But how does pretending fairy tales are real truly help? Seems to me that this is a delusion that would get in the way of healing (but of course I’m no expert, I’m just thinking logically). Unless there really is a God, but I don’t think you really believe that, do you?

Cara said...

I watched this TED talk last night and thought it was interesting and intellectual. I see the appeal.

Richard said...

Sylvia,
I think there is a tendency to indulge in a lot of self-pity when there is a major catastrophe. People that tend to indulge in self-pity tend to create these things to placate themselves. Yes, I have dealt closely with death a number of times.
What I don't think you understand is there is a lot of solace in understanding that death is the end.
First, knowing that suffering is over and there is no everlasting torment to be worrying about.
Second, is knowing that the value of life is not in some made up "next life" but in life lived now.
Third, losing someone is hard, when you understand that in the big game anything can happen and doesn't need a reason or justification, it's easier to accept bad shit happens. It is only when you indulge in needing to find a reason in a random universe that these placebo's are required.
An individual atheist, that's my take on it.

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