A Letter to my Future Self

Dear Idiot,

I am writing this, in the off-chance I will need to read it 50-100 years from now on my death-bed (if death even still occurs) and I have somehow become religious, as many a person has claimed I will eventually be in my old age. As I’m sure you remember, your 27-year-old self is an atheist, and I write this in the hope that you are too.

People have a habit of finding ‘God’ later on in their lives, in a recently released survey of my time, here in 2012; the older one was, the more likely they were to believe in a religious interpretation of God. In a separate study, the belief in that silly theory ‘Intelligent Design’ was linked to one’s own mortality. Even those who did not initially believe in intelligent design, were more likely to accept it when reminded of their mortality, clear proof not in the validity of ‘Intelligent design’ of which it has none, nor in God but in the self-serving delusions our brains create for us. Then there is again a study that showed that those with religious views had more of a need for closure.

We are easily fooled Impressionists, with an illusion of separation between us and all else. It is this false dichotomy, this illness as referred too by many great minds, mine not included, that is the foundation of that religious meaning that feeds on our self-contrived feelings, convincing us we are special, have meaning and that we entered this world with a purpose, and will leave with the fulfilment of that purpose, but these are clearly distorted belief systems, abused, twisted and designed to exploit our evolutionary purpose of groupthink that a few exploit at the expense of the rest.

Morale of the story, once an atheist, always an atheist. Anything else you’re telling yourself is a self-derived delusion, maybe it’s helpful delusion as I’m sure it is for many people, but a delusion none the less, and we are all born atheists. For me at this age, I prefer to live by the creed of Carl Sagan, and I hope that has not changed.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

Carl Sagan

-A Younger Prettier You

Wouldn’t Heaven be Boring? [Random Rationality Chapter]

Heaven

[Free Chapter]

Lets pretend that the Abrahamic god does exist, and that depending upon your Earthly actions, you will be met with a heavenly eternity, or perhaps a fiery one, like myself and perhaps even those 93% of scientists who selfishly work to improve the human quality of life developing new medicines, knowledge and insights into the Universe expanding the tools we have at our disposal.

You lead a good life, you help the poor, you follow the 613 commandments and so on; and upon your Fortunate death you are received at the pearly gates.

How will you spend your first year in heaven? Re-connecting with loved ones perhaps.

How about your first decade? Long walks on cloud 9 picking the brains of Jesus, Abraham, Mohammed, Einstein, Elvis, and perhaps even the big G himself, exploring the vast sanctum of his infinite knowledge using the heavenly version of our own big G; Google.

God = Google? I’m just throwing it out there and seeing what sticks.

How about the first century? Trying all the experiences you were too scared to do while you were a lowly mortal, only to find out the thrill is gone now that Death no longer lingers close by.

What about the next thousand years, and the million after? And then the trillion after that, and the next 10 trillion years after your first big T party? Now what?

I guarantee you one day, you’re going to want to not be there. What could possibly make eternity fun?

If you have ever eaten more than 5 chocolate bars in a row, then you probably know what heaven will feel like it. The first one tastes amazing; by the second your taste buds are a bit desensitized, but it still tastes good, ditto with the third and fourth, until you finally try on a 5th one for size, and it tastes like nothing, just a bland paste while your mouth goes through the motions.

We all had this feeling as kids, and perhaps as teens for the sweeter toothed among us, and even now for myself. But take that feeling, multiply it by a really large number and you’ll get a taste about how boring heaven would eventually get. One day, it will be no different from death.

Does the eternal darkness seem so scary now?

This is chapter 4 from my eBook Random Rationality: A Rational Guide to an Irrational World available on Kindle and Paperback.