a reply to: Akragon
I think if we were able to be certain that life does end with death...as in, you wink out like a candle flame and cease to exist...the way we view
life would be drastically different altogether. When you consider the fact that many people only aspire to live a "good" life because they think
they're saving up for some reward in the end, it kind of brings a different perspective to the whole thing for me.
If we knew for absolute certain that no matter what, when we leave this place we're going to a better one; that nothing, either good or bad, that we
do makes any difference at all with regard to that outcome, how many people would simply decide to give into their darkest desires and throw "being
good" to the wind? I'm betting a whole hell of a lot. Which is truly sad.
Now...how much higher would those numbers be if it were proven that physical death is the end of the line; there is no afterlife, no second chance, no
reward...and conversely, no punishment either? Now, I know a lot of people who would say in that case, they would try to live the best life possible;
accomplish things, do good works, leave a legacy that will live on long after they leave this place...and I believe most of them really would.
However, I think there would be far more who would simply do whatever they wanted, as much and as often as they wanted, without regard to the impact
it would have on other living beings. What would they have to lose by giving in to anarchy, to chaos?
Every single book, movie, TV show, video game out there with a dystopian theme shares one very significant common denominator: when the rule book is
destroyed, the rules go with it. Some rise up and become tyrants and murderers and rapists and thieves, looting and killing and plundering; taking
everything for themselves because there is no one around to assign consequences to their actions.
My favorite example of this is in the movie Zombieland, where they're at the Native tourist emporium and end up trashing the place. They did it to
blow off steam; it was meant to be cathartic, but what enabled them to put aside their moral and ethical inhibitions and destroy thousands of dollars
in merchandise that did not belong to them? The fact that it didn't matter anymore. The owners of the business, along with almost everyone else on the
planet, were either dead or undead by that point. There were no cops or judges or courts of law, therefore they could not be held accountable for any
If we were to learn, beyond any doubt, that when we die we simply cease to exist, I think that for myself, the way I conduct my life would not be very
much different than it is now. I can say that I believe we do carry on, and even list the many reasons why I believe that, but the simple and
irrefutable truth is that I don't know
it to be a fact, because here I am talking about it. So I would say that, for whatever reason, I
personally am hard-wired to place an intrinsic value on being a decent human being and knowing we have an actual expiration date probably would not
change that simple truth about who I am.
I think, however, that humanity as a whole strives for something greater simply because of that uncertainty; the possibility of some paradise or
reward or ascension gives us hope, and hope is what gives us the fortitude to keep trying and not give up. I think that for an overwhelming majority
of people, if that hope was suddenly gone, life would suddenly become a whole lot more self-centered and the needs of other people and animals, the
environment and other human concerns would matter far less to them. Look at how easily we are divided, how quick we are to turn on each other in
anger. It would be far worse if it were proven that this life is all we get.
edit on 31385America/ChicagoThu, 29 Dec 2016 05:38:47
-060031am31363America/Chicago by tigertatzen because: Not enough coffee yet
edit on 31415America/ChicagoThu, 29 Dec 2016 05:41:20
-060031am31363America/Chicago by tigertatzen because: Oh ffs!!