there must be more to life than this


When I’m a little bored of lurking round random spots, one of my favourite places to revisit is any old post by John Zande. If you don’t have the Superstitious Naked Ape on your reader, I would recommend doing so. If you do, I would recommend dipping in and out of his posts to see how the comment discussions progress. Because unlike many other blogs, the fun doesn’t stop on publication day.

John’s latest post is a humdinger. In Death Cult Christianity we are treated to an astounding list of Christian leaders who were salivating for the second coming of their man-god and the accompanying armageddon, all wrapped up in an linguistic nugget of entertainment gold. But, as always, the fun continues down below. If you can navigate your way past some of the more sycophantic comments from JZ’s mindless admirers, there are always interesting divergences and a selection of chatty Christians, eager to defend their faith from fact and evidence.

Here’s my favourite from this post:

But tell me, do you believe in no God whatsoever? Forget for a moment the Christian God. Think of all of the improbable and infinite accidents that had to happen exactly right from the big bang until now for you to exist as an aware thinking being. Do you believe that no greater intelligence directed those events? Do you not even believe in good luck? No rabbit’s foot for you. Is your existence a series of random historical events? Then when you leave this physical plane there really was no point to your life.

Part of me thinks this is a ridiculous comment, but I have to concede that this is huge problem for all of us humans. Personally, I am now reconciled to the fact that ultimately there is no point to my life, beyond that it is something that I get to experience, and perhaps I’ll impact on a handful of lives of other beings who have to experience it as well. But it would be disingenuous of me to pretend there isn’t a part of me that hopes there is more to life than this. However, it’s the part of me that hopes that I have magic powers and the part of me that hopes that dragons really do exist. My innate desire for more to life in the form of invisible, untapped powers, mythical creatures or eternal life, doesn’t for one second mean that any of this exists. And it certainly doesn’t mean I’ll believe in any of the many man-made superstitions or organised religions that have developed in our world – because, just like my magical powers and dragons, there’s no evidence they actually exist.

In the spirit of preparing ourselves for realistic events, I think it’s important that we all mentally accept that there really is no evidence to suggest that life has any meaning beyond what we see. Then when we realise that bits of our body might be in trees or birds when we die, it’s really rather comforting. Much nicer than the idea of an eternity worshipping a god who once drowned its entire creation in a fit of pique.