Seeker of Truth

Ruminations of One Suspended between Catholic Christianity and Scientific Utopianism

Location: Washington, United States

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Purpose of Life

Believing in God, in heaven, in an afterlife all would seem to make for a significantly different outlook on life than a rational-materialistic view of things:Medicine would be the most important technological issue for the non-believer, as it adds precious days and years to his otherwise limited existence. That and safety, from accidents, from violence, war, natural disaster. At virtually any price. At the expense of any value, of friendship, honor, marital or family bond. Note, that many atheists/materialists may disagree with that assessment, and may indeed practice a different way of life. My point is, that from a purely objective/rational perspective, none of these alternatives are justifiable, and are in fact inconsistent with the premise that there is no higher reality.Pleasure, in the form of material riches, entertainment, mind-altering drugs, is easy to justify and consistent with the atheist world-view. Hedonism and egotism are logical and the norm; cooperation with others would be instituted according to principles of game theory and similar scientific constructs.True elitism ought to flourish: A minority would coalesce into a cooperative by virtue of a simultaneous realization of the benefits of doing so, and a lack of scruples. Those 1 or 10 per cent of the populace would ‘domesticate’ the rest, maintaining in this so-formed ‘herd’ the illusion of the old value system. They would encourage a work ethic, honesty, and above all, pacifism and obedience to authority - namely to them who rule. I am not sure that we do not already have such a system in at least its early stages - note the number of cultural icons whose status is completely unchallenged by the people. One can be as undeservingly rich and wanton as one wants to be, as long as it is as an actor, singer, athlete or the like. A celebrity, in other words. Of course one has to pay lip service to ‘leftist’ beliefs, pretend to fight for the people, but words have always been cheap, and action is not really required.For the believer in God and the life after death, there really is no sense or meaning in technological progress, whether medical or otherwise. Death is an opportunity to ascend into the heavenly realm, sickness a temporary inconvenience compared to the timeframe of eternity, and earthly luxury can only be a pale imitation of paradise.As a child, growing up in a catholic milieu, I never understood why people would be so upset about the death of a loved one, especially if the person was of an age where people tend to die. I was rebuked by my family that I was too young to understand then. I guess I am still too young, and my charge remains: People who overly mourn death while professing to a belief in an afterlife are hypocrites. The same sentiment goes for all those who hoard money, who indulge in carnal pleasures, and so on...By the way, it is not scientific evidence, but anecdotal, yet I see very few grossly obese people in catholic church, far fewer than at the secular government agency where I work. Proof of my theories?Living consistently with one’s values would be the most important thing to do for the believer. Misery and death ought to be preferred over ethical compromise. Not an easy route, compared with the ‘hedonistic conspiracy’ scenario outlined above.


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