I am of the opinion that people believe in an afterlife—and, in many instances, God—as a method of protection.

Without an aftermath to our aftermath, we’re exposed for what we probably are: Meaningless nothings. All our work and dedication and determination and time and effort may well be the accumulation of otherwise worthless existences. I mean, I’m not saying existence is worthless. Certainly, it has worth. But if there’s no God, one can argue there’s no larger meaning. And, without larger meaning, what difference does any of this make?

That’s why, I think, we have religion. To supply meaning.

But here’s what I often ask myself: What’s so terrible about applying our own meaning to our own lives, sans God or Jesus or Moses or Mary? Perhaps my meaning is to have fun. Or to help people. Or to have fun and help people. Why is that wrong, or—really—meaningless? Why do I need a God to supply meaning?

Because, if the Godly are honest with themselves, meaning=afterlife. In other words, when they speak of their religion providing a basis for their existences, they’re speaking of their religion offering the dangling carrot (or cucumber, if you must) of an eternity alongside God. No pain. No problems. Just God and you, sipping lattes. Ah …

But, as Christopher Hitchens has written, who the f^%$ wants an eternity of anything? Seriously, does eternity sound nice? I mean, let’s say—best-case scenario (for me), heaven is an eternal game of pick-up basketball. And I can slam. And my teammates are Kareem, Magic, Bird, Jordan and Louie Orr. And I’m the best dude on the court. And, at halftime, we all eat banana splits. Great! For an hour! For a day! For, eh, a week. For … eternity? No.

Eternity would suck. Our heads would explode, our minds would melt. As badly as I crave eternity, in my I-don’t-wanna-die moments, I’m repulsed by the actuality of eternity. In other words, it sounds dreadful.

Death might be an end, but at least it’s an end.

I’ll take it.

8 thoughts on “Protection”

  1. Jeff, I’m sure I’ve said this in your blog before, so forgive me for the repetition. But why not spend 30 days and pray to “God” if he is in fact out there. Ask him all the questions you want, regardless of how pointed they are. If there is a God, no question should be too big. So often Religious folks are afraid to answer the big questions, and say “just because”, but it shouldn’t be like that. I’m a firm believer that questions can be answered. But seriously, find a quiet and private place, and ask “him”. It wouldn’t hurt to lose 30 days would it? Before you scoff at my suggestion, think about it.

  2. Jeff,

    Why 30 days? Because I said so 🙂 Just for consistency sake. It can’t just be “one and done”! Didn’t Morgan Spurlock do that “Super Size Me” in 30 days?

  3. “We’re all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices. Some are on a grand scale; most of these choices are on lesser points. But we define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly, human happiness does not seem to be included in the design of creation. It is only we, with our capacity to love that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying and even try to find joy from simple things, like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more.”

    From Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).

  4. A. It reads as if you’re not repulsed by eternity as much as you’re repulsed by the man-made version of eternity.

    B. If Christopher Hitchens is so sure that there is no afterlife, perhaps he should have made an effort to be less of an insufferable tool in this life.

  5. I can’t speak for everybody but that sure isn’t my thought process.
    I had great joy in life when I was an Atheist, New Age Reincarnationist, and a Christian. At no time have I ever thought my life was worthless.
    I think people that speak out against religion are jealous and hurt that God doesn’t seem to care about them.
    Now that we have gotten the worthless and meaningless generalities out of the way.
    To be in heaven means God has made you into an entirely different kind of creature than someone that would find pleasure in worldly things such as playing with a ball.
    The bible says that this earth will be destroyed and God will create a new heaven and a new earth. Boredom is a result of being in a fallen state. It is the result of having a corrupt mind. When resurrected that sin filled man exists no more.
    Since there is no time there is no boredom. Boredom is a result of time keeping.
    Does that make any sense at all? I think I could have said it better but in a bit of a rush.

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