I Would be Hard Pressed…

I suppose, to be an atheist. I think I would find it a very difficult way of life.

The hardest part of it, for me, would be this. If I were to truly be an atheist it would behoove me to understand that everything I see around me and that which I sense within,  the things like love, beauty, truth, hope, faith, and more, have no connection to anything transcendent or trans rational either in the universe or myself but are simply illusions created in the wiring of my brain, biochemical reactions that billions of years of random mutations have given me for the sole cause of the continued reproduction of my species. Even the fact that I was aware of such things would be no more than a series of evolved electrical impulses.

That would seem, to me, to be an empty kind of life. Be born, do what’s needed to sustain and pass on my genetic material, and then return to nothingness. Just the realization that this is all there is and that nothing of the spirit, the arts, the beauty, the love, of the world is anything more than a highly evolved survival mechanism would seem to empty any sense of “life” from existence.

I presume, of course, that an atheist would beg to differ but I would be interested in discovering on what grounds? Hope, I suppose would be one answer, hope that  the random roll of the dice is still happening and that in some future moment the answers will come, the why of all of those things that seem to make us most human being revealed in a way that requires nothing or no one beyond ourselves. Still, that hope sounds a lot like faith, perhaps even religion.

 

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2 thoughts on “I Would be Hard Pressed…”

  1. I feel a lot of the same things as you do when it comes to appreciating my own existence (granted I’m agnostic and not atheist). I find it completely beautiful and amazing and dare I say, blessed, that the universe has evolved and given me life and self-awareness to appreciate these things. I see beauty, love, truth, happiness and everything else around me and the fact that all the little factors of chance brought me is incredibly intriguing. I like to think I appreciate life just the same as you, with just a different cause, and a different end.

    1. The question, for me, is “why” do we, as humans, experience these things? If all we are is a fortunate drawing of the evolutionary lottery what evolutionary purpose would be served by even the idea of anything beyond ourselves like love, eternity, or, for that matter God? Why would evolution’s processes even need to do those things when from a strictly naturalistic point of view they aren’t required for the bare bones survival of any species? I don’t think its unreasonable to ponder whether these things are with, and in, us because there really are things beyond us, the transcendent and the trans rational, for which we were designed to be aware and, perhaps, in relationship with as well. I can see why people may say “I’m not sure where these things come from and be open to the possibility of a non materialist or non empirical explanation. I find it harder to conceptualize that someone would say “All of this is merely evolutionary biology.”

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