Thursday, October 7, 2010

The End.

Reading through comments on the blog of Michael Behe's son, I came across this one from sherkaner that struck a chord with me:
Strangely the most disturbing thing to me being brought up devoutly Christian was the concept of Heaven. Hell made sense; eternal suffering. Suffering happens on earth and Hell just offers lots of that forever. Fine, I'll avoid that.
But then I started pondering the idea of eternal existence without pain or sin. Rather than more of something we have on earth, Heaven removes something. What would that "world" look like? What would I do for eternity without even the threat of the pain of failure to drive achievement? What would it be like to know somebody I loved was in hell without the ability to feel anguish? Heaven started to sound like torture -- an inhuman, lobotomized existence without end.
And I was like 10 years old here. Sh** was traumatic.
FeepingCreature follows up with:

Heaven is worse than torture.
Not only would you be effectively lobotomized, you wouldn't even be capable of noticing this, since doing so would detract from your perfect permabliss. It's not far above brain death. Some afterlife.
I suppose it depends on whether you really think ignorance is bliss. Would you rather be willfully ignorant and completely unable to feel concern for anyone you cared about? Some of the best feelings (relief that a loved one is safe, satisfaction at mastering a task, joy at an unexpected surprise) are only possible if contrasted by the negative feelings (conversely, fear for one's safety, frustration at failing and disappointment or boredom with the status quo).

As simple as it sounds, even the fulfillment that comes from getting a good night's rest in a warm comfy bed is much less meaningful without ever having experienced sleep deprivation or falling asleep in a chair.

What about food? I love eating. I love the contentedly-full feeling that comes after an especially delicious meal, savoring a special dessert, sneaking a salty snack. Kind of hard to do without a body. Or, if I had a body, I would overeat, miss meals, sweat, urinate, defecate, get upset stomachs and gas. Alternatively, I suppose I could just remember what it was like to eat.

The arguments could go one forever, but it boils down to this for me:

I don't want to be a mindless, numb, dumb, lump. I'm very much at peace with the idea that when my body expires, so will my brain, and all the emotions and thoughts it processed. With any luck, I'll be missed by my family and friends, but I won't be here, or anywhere, anymore.

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