Insignificance and Atheism
As many know, and others will soon understand, I’m an atheist. Apart from that, I tend to have issues with many religions. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate on them because they believe something that I don’t. In some ways, I even envy them, but I’ll get to that later. My main issue with them is that they believe every little thing on our planet and in their lives is controlled and orchestrated by this being. This seems pretty conceited, especially given the actual size of our “known” universe. Let’s have a little lesson in perspective, whaddya say?!
In this video, it zooms out to the known observable universe. You can also check this website for a demonstration of the scale of the universe from smallest particle to the observable universe. Just to throw a few numbers out there, our galaxy has an estimated 100 BILLION stars in it. Our sun is one such star, and the sun has close to 10 planet class satellites orbiting it. We can’t see planets outside of our solar system, since they only reflect light and don’t create it.
Now, according to scientists, there are an estimated 100 BILLION galaxies in the KNOWN universe, each containing roughly the same number of stars. Each of those stars could be parts of systems containing planets that could support life.
Please keep in mind that this is only theobservable universe. The reason we literally cannot see further is this: The universe is thought to be ~14 Billion years old. The farthest object in space that we can see is thus 14 billion light years away, and the light getting to us now from these stars is from the big bang era, when the universe was very young. We cannot see more deeply into space because, with the universe being only 14 billion years old, the light they generate has not had enough time to reach us yet. Pretty mind blowing shit, if you ask me.
So, considering how unperceivably enormous the known universe is, any all powerful creator would thus need to be mindful of every minor happening on every world, and in every creature’s life. Seems quite a bit ridiculous. Also, it seems rather conceited to say that a god would create US in it’s image and whatnot. Many of the statements by religions are just mostly that, conceited. Our race isn’t the center of the universe, but humanity is a bit too self important to think so.
Now I separate religions from those who believe in god, or gods, because you need not follow a religion to believe in something greater than yourself. Those who believe there’s an orchestrator, who fine tuned every minor detail with at least a four dimensional view of reality, is a stretch to me.
Finally, my jealousy. I’m jealous of those who are able to believe in such a thing, because I think it makes life easier, less frightening, and much more bearable. The biggest part for me is the afterlife. I don’t believe there is anything after death, since such a thing would be ridiculous, especially given the scope of the universe. I think it’s just part of the ecosystem, we are given life and consciousness by being bound to energy, and when we die that energy is recycled back into the universe. This isn’t the “afterlife” that I’d want. I don’t want my consciousness, my memories, my life, loves, thoughts, etc… to just cease to exist. The only thing I have to look forward to is nothingness. The cessation of who and what I am. I make no mystery of the fact that I wish I could believe differently, but I’d be lying to myself by doing so. The ramifications of this cause great pain, knowing I’ll never see passed on loved ones again, not spending eternity with those I love, not being able to look down upon my children and their children and see them be amazing people, silently supporting them through hardship and joy.
There is a slight upside to believing as such. I tend to make much more of my life than other people. So many people say that you should live each moment as if it’s your last, and appreciate being alive and live in the moment. I literally do this 90% of the time. Living like that means hardship, pain, and trial don’t bother or stress me as much, since going through such things reminds me constantly that I’m alive. It also just reinforces the good when it comes along. It’s such a bittersweet thing to not believe in a god or gods, or even an afterlife. On one hand, it enabled me to live a fuller life and truly enjoy what I have and the glorious world around me. On the other hand, it gave me only nothingness and a true loss of who I am to look forward to, which fills me with profound sadness and fear. All in all equally balanced, but it’d be nice to have my cake and eat it to.
Anyways, sorry for the existential blues, just in a very pensive mood today.