Showing posts with label life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life. Show all posts

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Stephen Hawking on the afterlife.


"I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first," he said. 

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," he added.

I sometimes find myself struck silent by the musings of seemingly intelligent people about the possibilities of an afterlife.

I think the realization that such a thing was not possible occurred to me quite young, and my research and musings since have only reinforced the obviousness of that realization.

Our consciousness is really only a collection of our memories and experiences, that are contained within the computer housed within our skulls.

Once that amazing machine is rendered inoperable our memories, our consciousness, our soul if you will, are also gone forever.

This would seem as obvious as the realization that once the heart stops pumping blood our bodies no longer function, and yet the opposite is held so dear by so many of us that to suggest the lack of a life following this is considered heretical even by many of those who consider themselves non-religious. 

I often think of it in terms of a USB flash drive.

Though it may be fairly bulging with documents, and pictures, and video of a person's life, if there are no more computers left to read the information it essentially does not exist. And it is as if the life contained within was never lived.

That is why I always stress the importance of experiencing all this life has to offer. Rather than mourn the loss of eternity, instead we should embrace and squeeze joy out of the one life that we have.

Every kiss should be savored, every laugh echoed by our own, and every moment of pain respected for the lesson that it teaches.

In that way we will touch the lives of those around us in a fashion which carries some small part of us forward. And as they touch the lives of others as well, perhaps our brief life will have an impact that lives past our final breath.

(Source)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The real difference between the Atheist and the Theist.

Essentially at its core the difference is that the religious are concerned with life after death, while the non-religious are focused on the one before.

We live our lives as if it is our only one, because it is.

Therefore we enjoy it for the opportunity that it provides to live, laugh, and love without the fear that living too fully, laughing too long, or loving too much will deny us access to the more rewarding life that some have convinced themselves follows this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

The purpose of life is to nurture and protect those that follow our own.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson challenges Abrahamic religions head on.

For some time I have been under the impression that Professor Tyson is subtly trolling the Creationists, with the stories he tells, and research he reveals, on the show Cosmos.

He has rubbed Fundamentalist noses in evolution in the second episode, helped to explain the workings of the universe in an episode aptly named "When Knowledge Conquered Fear," and last night he took on one of the most famous of all Biblical stories.

Noah's Ark.

Only Tyson does not relate the version we are all most familiar with, he shares the one related in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a thousand years earlier. 

Of course those of you who are fans of IM, know that we dealt with the stories that proceeded Noah earlier this year. Of course that is the kind of thing I like to explore here on this blog.

However having the story transmitted into American households by such a popular new show is definitely going to cause bigger shock waves than anything we do here.

And if suggesting that one of the most famous Biblical stories was the result of plagiarism were not enough, then Professor Tyson went on to suggest that life on this planet may not have been the result of a supreme being suddenly snapping his fingers but instead simply the result of microbes hitching a ride on an asteroid.

In other words he opened the door for Panspermia, the idea that life on this planet originated elsewhere and then hitched a ride here on meteorites.

I think there is very little doubt that the producers of Cosmos and Professor Tyson are purposefully goading the Fundamentalists and Creationists into responding, and that they are prepared to continue challenging Christian mythologies moving forward, in what I would assume is an attempt to address the attacks on science, and public education, in this country by religious zealots. 

So far I have found no response online from the Creationists. But since they have demonstrated an overwhelming need to refute the facts shared on this show in the past, I have to imagine they are typing their fingers to the bone in response to this one.

Have I mentioned before how much I love this show? Because I most certainly do!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The View of Life. A matter of perspective.

I am interested in your feedback to this brilliant graphic.

I read it the first time from the top to the bottom, and did not think too much of it, but after rereading it the other direction I was struck by how deftly it represents the two disparate views of God.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Humility.

I always find it laughable when religious people refer to Atheists as arrogant.

We are anything but. We openly admit how little we know and how willing we are to have our minds changed by new information.

All that we know for certain is that the answer to the great mysteries of life were absolutely not answered thousands of years ago by primitive desert dwellers.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Neil Degrasse Tyson answers mankind's most pressing question.

One of my pet peeves in life is the idea that we must find purpose with why things exist, and by definition why WE exist.

This idea irritates me to no end.

Only a true megalomaniac feels the need to have their existence justified.

As far as you are aware, leaving Descartes out of this, you do exist. To be honest that should be good enough.

However I know that for most people it is not, so here let me help you.

To be brutally honest, as far as the planet is concerned, you really have only one purpose. To procreate. To pass along your genetic material onto the next generation.

That is what all who came before you in your ancestral lineage managed to do, and now they have passed the procreation baton to you. So don't just stand there start fucking!

This is referred to as your biological imperative, and seriously as far as the planet and universe is concerned you can die just as soon as you have raised your kids and your job has been accomplished. If you need a further purpose beyond that you need to find it for yourself.

The universe owes you nothing.

And yet it gave you the chance to exist. So don't waste it worshiping false deities, worrying about your mortality, or following rules that strip all of the fun out of life's journey.

Now that is NOT to say that you cannot create a purpose for your life without asking God or the universe to do it for you. Personally I have always been grateful that I was born and have tried to give back at least as much as I have been given. My goal before I get to the last chapter of my story is to have had a lot of fun, loved a lot of people, and made the most positive impact possible for a grumpy old fart like me.

And then I get to die. And even THAT is gift, because before one gets to die, one gets to live.

So thank you universe. I'll take it from here.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Why I wish Woody Allen was in charge. Update!

Man that is SO much better than the order that things happen now.

Update: Well this is embarrassing

So I guess my next question is does the quote seem more palatable now that we know it is NOT attributed to Woody Allen?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My favorite Catholic priest Father Guido Sarducci explains life and heaven, and for the first time it actually makes sense to me.

Okay now this almost makes me wish there was a heaven. I totally understand the whole pay your own way system.

I am just happy the penalty for masturbation seems so reasonable.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Final thought for the day.

I often think about how incredible our existence is, and then of course how miraculous it is that I am here as well. If you think about that long enough you feel overwhelmed, but if you think about it even longer you become inspired.

P,S, In case it does not enlarge enough for you to read it, click here.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The word of the month for February is "Duck!"

Courtesy of Yahoo News:  

An asteroid half the size of a football field will give Earth the ultimate close shave this month, passing closer than many satellites when it whizzes by, but it won't hit the planet, NASA scientists say. 

The asteroid 2012 DA14 will fly by Earth on Feb. 15 and zip within 17,200 miles (27, 680 kilometers) of the planet during the cosmic close encounter. The asteroid will approach much closer to Earth than the moon, and well inside the paths of navigation and communications satellites. "This is a record-setting close approach," Don Yeomans, the head of NASA's asteroid-tracking program, said in a statement. "Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, we've never seen an object this big get so close to Earth." 

"2012 DA14 will definitely not hit Earth. The orbit of the asteroid is known well enough to rule out an impact," Yeomans, who heads the Near-Earth Object Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. He added that the odds it will slam into a satellite are "extremely remote."

Yeah that's what they told the dinosaurs!

Okay well may THIS catastrophe will be avoided, but let's face it our time on this wonderful planet is limited. And it shouldn't take a falling rock from the heavens to remind us of how precious our lives truly are, as well as how important it is too spend them giving and receiving love, providing comfort and allowing ourselves to be comforted, and learning something new while overcoming a past superstition every day.

We may, or may not, have very long, but remember it is the life in your days that matter, not the days in your life.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Final humbling thought for the day.

My daughter posted this on Facebook today.

But you know the truth is that few of us actually recognize the precariousness of our situation, instead believing that we are somehow protected by more than just a thin layer of gases that surrounds the Earth.

Personally I find the idea that we are hanging in space, surrounded by a life giving bubble, and orbiting a giant ball of fire kind of exhilarating. Looking at it from that perspective sort of changes us from boring humans comfortably living out our lives on a mother earth, to courageous cosmonauts hurtling through space at blinding speeds, surrounded by potentially deadly planetary bodies, and with nobody at the helm.

Oh yeah, that is TOTALLY how I am going to think of us from now on!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Does the universe have purpose? Here let Neil deGrasse explain why that's kind of a stupid question.

This represents one of my pet peeves, the idea that there has to be a "Why" to existence.

Why are we here? What does it all mean? What is our purpose?

How arrogant to believe that everything has to have a purpose just to satisfy OUR desire to make information conform to our limited ability to understand it. And then to simply create a purpose in our fertile imaginations, while demanding that everybody accept it as fact, is even more egregious.

Perhaps things simply are, they just exist, with no definable purpose except that they can.

Then wouldn't it be up to each individual sentient being to determine their own purpose for themselves? Or is that simply TOO much responsibility for most people?

And while we're on the subject of understanding, just what is it about human beings that makes them feel entitled to an eternal life?

Everything we see, and touch, and experience has a shelf life. All of it, at least on this planet, is finite and has both a beginning and an end.

Yet as a species we have created an alternative possibility for ourselves that includes the possibility that after we take our last breath we simply move on to some other plane of existence.

But why do we feel that we deserve this "Get out of Death Free" card?

Is it that we feel that we are somehow better and more deserving than the other creatures that share our planet? Or are we just so arrogant that we simply cannot imagine a universe without our presence?

Personally I feel that it is the very brevity of our existence which provides the impetus to do something of value with it. To provide love to others. To create something that will last past your final hours. To make a small or profound positive change that will better the lives of those around you.

How would we know how precious life is, if it was eternal?

I am just honored to have had the opportunity to live, when so many others were denied that choice. And can only hope that I have left laughter in my wake, created light in the darkness, and loved often and without restraint.

Really what more do I deserve, what more could I want?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

My hands down favorite quote of all time. And a great note on which to start our day.

I was a huge philosophy geek in high school and college, and absolutely devoured all of the writings by Plato and Socrates.

Ultimately I realized that while Philosophy helped to define the questions, it would never provide the answers.

Those I would find elsewhere.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Final thought of the day.

I think we already know the answer to this question.

Don't we?

(Click here to visit their Facebook page and join the conversation.)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The difference in case you were wondering.

Of course that does not describe EVERYBODY on either side, but still it IS a pretty good base line.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pro-Life logic 101

One has to wonder how much good could be done in this country if the people who are so aggressive about protecting every fetus in America were suddenly to actually BECOME "pro-life" and take that energy to apply it to the ending of poverty, and hunger, and war?

Just imagine how many lives could be saved, and the increase in the quality of each of those lives as well.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Neil DeGrasse Tyson reveals the most astounding fact about the universe.

I just thought this was a very beautiful and enlightening way to start our Tuesday morning.

I shared something similar in January, but I just thought that this video did a really profound job of reminding us that we are all connected to everything around us.

I can't decide if this makes me feel insignificant or Godlike.