Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for October 22, 2010

A Conversation between Two Atheists

Written with help of discussion from Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, and Bill Nye.

A Conversation between Two Atheists

“Excuse me, master.”

“Yes?”

“Are you busy? I don’t want to interrupt.”

“No, I’m not busy at the moment. Please come in. What is it you need to discuss?”

“Race.”

“Race?”

“What is it? Does it truly exist?”

“Of course it does. Not that it should truly hold a stake in so many people’s beliefs like it does. Why do you ask?”

“I was discussing gender with a middle easterner and this would-be Christian interrupted us to discuss race. He says chemically we’re all the same. Race doesn’t exist. That we all evolved from the same species, and race is merely a figment of human consciousness.”

“Doesn’t sound very Christian.”

“That’s what I tried to tell him, yet he still preaches Catholicism.”

“And what else did . . . he?”

“Yes, it was a man.”

“Alright, what else did he tell you?”

“That nothing disappears and that I’ll always be in existence, which by the way, was his definition for God.”

“Existence?”

“Yeah. He defined ‘God’ as ‘existence.'”

“So …”

“So he described himself as God, me as God, his pack of cigarettes as God … pretty much everything is God. I asked him to give me a concise, accurate definition of the word ‘God,’ and he said that God is all, nothing, and in between.”

“And he is a church-goer?”

“Actually, no.”

“Well, I would hope not. With as strong of pagan beliefs as that, I’d think he’d be excommunicated.”

“He said that I would always be in existence.”

“You will?”

“My anatomy, the atoms that make up my body will always be in existence. Those atoms are what I call me, hence I’ll always be in existence.”

“But is that really you?”

“Of course. I look in the mirror, and I see me.”

“You can’t see yourself in a mirror.”

“I can’t?”

“Well, you can see your physical representation, but that’s not you. You’re not your body.”

“Well, he didn’t believe in human consciousness either.”

“He didn’t believe in race or human consciousness?”

“Yes, he only believes in what’s physical.”

“Which I suppose explains his ideology of what God is, but race is certainly physical. We can see physical differences between races.”

“But we can’t see it under a microscope, so how do we know it’s real?”

“Well …”

“I mean, here we are refuting Christian beliefs because they cannot be proven in science. How can we say race is real when we can’t see it with a scientific eye?”

“A decade or so ago, emotions was relegated to the fringes of science because scientific researchers lacked the necessary instruments, and what’s more, most scientists didn’t recognize the far-ranging and long-lasting effects emotions can have on peoples’ health. Just because we can’t prove something to be true doesn’t mean it’s not real.”

“What? This idea is the basis of my beliefs. What is proven in science is real, what is not is not real.”

“But you see, just because we can’t see it now, doesn’t mean there won’t be scientific advances in the future that will enable us to see what we can’t now.”

“More reason for theists to continue believing what they do.”

“Well, the same can be said about a teapot orbiting Saturn. It’s impossible to prove it untrue, so, we use both science and logic in scrutinizing between what is real and what isn’t.”

“Right.”

“There is still much to be learned. Nature’s imagination is so much greater than man’s. She’s never going to let us stop learning and just relax because we know it’s all connected. We are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the rest of the universe atomically.  So, to know nature in its entirety is to know ourselves.”

“I know that the molecules in my body are traceable to phenomena in the cosmos, which makes me want to grab people in the street and say, ‘have you heard this?!'”

“The cosmos is definitely within us, we’re made of star stuff, afterall! We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”

“Going back to emotions, I wonder if most people realize its uselessness.”

“Uselessness?”

“Why feel sadness? Why feel any emotional pain at all? There is no sense in feeling sadness. Why feel anything? It doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things. Why does sadness truly matter? It’ll end and then I won’t feel anything. I won’t have sadness-”

“But you won’t have happiness either.”

“I won’t have anything because I’ll be nothing. My feelings don’t truly matter to how I end up. Loneliness is permanent. I will go out of life the same way I came in, alone, and it won’t truly matter that I’m alone then, nothing will. Why struggle to find happiness and succeed when the day you leave this earth, it all disappears as if we hadn’t battled and strived our entire life to get it. The stress and the pain of actually living won’t pay off in the end because our end leaves us with nothing.”

“But our striving and battling does pay off. We work hard to leave our mark on this world, to leave a lasting impression through our children, our friends, and our work. If we so much as touch one individual’s life then our life-”

“Short-lived life.”

“Our short-lived life, as short as it may be, is somehow meaningful. We don’t have to leave a mark through material possessions. It can be through the gift of compassion to the human race.”

“I’m this guy standing on a planet, but really I’m just a speck. Compared with a star, the planet is just another speck. To think about all of this … to think about the vast emptiness of space … these billions and billions of stars, billions and billions of specks. If I compare my short-lived life to the earth’s lifespan, or even the universe’s, I find that I’m a small, miniscule, insignificant part of it. We all are. How tiny we all truly are terrifies me to no end. Think about just how tiny the human race is in comparison to just our solar system-”

“I’d have to say the Human race is a pretty big thing in our solar system. We have satellites and space shuttles all over our solar system. I’d say that the Human Race is quite a big deal in our solar system.”

“But what kind of impression is that on the entire universe? If the universe is infinite, doesn’t that make our impression on one solar system of hundreds of solar systems in one galaxy of millions of galaxies throughout the entire universe so unbelievably insignificant?”

“But you can’t think of it like that.”

“How can I not? This is the truth. This is what’s real. Not their iconic, controversial God who is sometimes blood thirsty and sadistic, while other times, He’s a compassionate forgiving God. It’s so contradictory.”

“But you don’t see the point of religion.”

“I do. It is a mind control game. It was birthed by a people that wished to seize control of the entire Human Race. To make people do what they want them to. To make people believe what they want them to believe.”

“No, these questions you have about the link between nature and human beings are not present in the Christian mindset because, to them, it’s already been answered. Religion was to keep our focus on what’s important: Life here and now.”

“I think you’re giving them too much credit. They’re rather fixated with this whole rapture and heaven and hell thing. That’s certainly not what’s right here, right now.”

“People who are religious don’t have the self-battles that you and I do. They believe in one thing, and it works for them, and in some ways that’s better. Perhaps they’re wrong, but who cares? They are doing what should be done.”

“What? Preaching hatred, breeding hostility, and loathing all those who do not agree with their outrageous claims? Religion is nothing more than ignorant naivté in a seemingly meaningless universe.”

“We can bring meaning to it though.”

“How?”

“Like I said before. Through our kin, our friends, and our hard work.”

“But what does that matter if we leave it all behind?”

“We don’t really leave it behind. If we leave a mark on the world, we can in a sense, live on forever.”

“Not when the person on whom we left an impression dies. We die then too.”

“No, that individual will have passed on knowledge that we had instilled in him or her to another person. Don’t you see? It lives on. Our morals live on.”

“But that’s common throughout all of mankind. Most morals are the same. Who’s to say that it was my morality that was passed on?”

“I don’t think I understand what you mean.”

“My morality is similar to yours, yes?”

“Huh?”

“We both value hard work, believe in love; we both consider theft, vandalism, and murder crimes. We both do not claim religious beliefs …”

“Right …”

“Well, who’s to say that those values are mine if they’re instilled through my compassion.

“If they’re instilled into others through your compassion, then those are your morals.”

“Okay, that’s not what I meant to say, then. I mean there’s no way of telling if common morals between another person and I are because of my instillation.”

“Well, I know there is one value or moral that I have that you don’t.”

“Uh, what’s that?”

“The perspective that life is productive. I mean whoever said that this life was about you?

“It’s my life, so I say it.”

“That’s why it’s wrong.”

“Because I believe that my life should be my own?”

“But you don’t really believe that it is since you loose it after you die.”

“Everyone does.”

“So, in a sense, everyone’s life is not their own.”

“Well, if you want to put logic into it. Alright, if they are not our own lives, whose lives are they?”

“The race’s. The only reason you or I are here is to further the human race. If that weren’t true, you and I wouldn’t be here. Think about it. Other animals, other species, plants, viruses, bacteria … any one individual’s goal is to continue living. Why? To buy more time to reproduce. Every hour longer gives more time to conceive and reproduce.”

“Furthering your species …”

“Exactly.”

“I think I get it now.”

“Good. Now, go home and rest well. You have a big day ahead of you tomorrow.”

Advertisements

Tag Cloud