|Oh, Great Noodley One!|
Regular readers know by now that Uncle P was, until recently, an agnostic. They also know that a few years ago, I became an avowed Secular Humanist. And while I suppose that belief in an eternal life rewarded for being a good person is nice, it's probably better (and certainly more rewarding) to be a good person just for the sake of being a good person. And honestly, should I believe in stories that are not only thousands of years old, but which have also been re-translated and mistranslated from dead languages who knows how many times, or should I go with empirical scientific evidence to the contrary? Truth be told, I'm placing my money on Science.
Earlier today, I shared a Humanist message on Facebook which read: "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Give a man religion and he will starve, praying for a fish." I had no idea that this would start such a war of words between my humanist and religious friends. The thread had grown close to 30 comments before I shut it down and deleted the post.
Here's the thing: believe what you want. I don't care. Whatever gets you through the night. And while I would like to think that my consciousness will go on after I've passed away, I seriously doubt that it will. Whether it's in "heaven" or on another plane or in another incarnation, I just don't think (like millions of others) that it will. Dead is dead, baby. And that makes every day I live all that more meaningful to me. My late jackass of a father (who would have been 74, today) often told me that "Life is it's own reward." As I have gotten older (and hopefully wiser), I've come to realize that those words are true. Enjoy and embrace each day you are alive. And know that it's like will never be repeated. Like live theatre, no performance is the same as the one that came before, nor will it be like the one that comes after. Every day is a gift to be cherished for what it is. Every moment is one that will never be again. Embrace and it enjoy it, for it's like will not be seen again.
I truly believe that if every person on the planet shared this view, there would be less violence; less hatred; less jealousy and less fear. Do away with religion (the single biggest reason for hate, war, murder and separatism in history) and we are all the same.
Wow. Between yesterday and today, I've really gone off on all the world's ills, haven't I? But I can't keep quiet when I see corporations, governments and religious leaders supporting discrimination and hatred based on superstition and fear.
Love who and how you love. Be kind to one another; obey the law and do what you know in your heart is right. Don't judge; don't hate; don't discriminate. Admit that differences of opinion don't equal right or wrong. Embrace diversity. Don't fear differences in color; race; sexuality or ethnicity. Know that we are all human, and as such, are equally flawed and equally valid. Stop comparing yourselves to one another and accept your individuality. In the end, we all have the same fate: rich; poor; famous; anonymous; healthy; sick; beautiful; ugly... we're all much more alike than we are different and we all end the same.
Yikes! I once again find myself pontificating. I think I need a massage and a sauna. Or something.
The Pythons seem to have gotten it right, anyway:
"There's bugger all down here on Earth!"