Saturday, March 1, 2014

Suicidal Atheists

The folly of many religious people is that they believe, not believe and not know, that us atheists are inherently suicidal. That makes as much sense as saying you are insane for not jumping off a cliff because you don't know how far down it goes. The reality of this is completely backwards, and this works for agnostics as well.

The notion of not knowing something will cause you to fear it, that is one of the instincts that have given humans the advantage over some other species, like lemmings. If we don't know what's after life, we will fear ending that life because of that lack of knowledge, so to those of us willing to admit we don't know, it would be illogical to assume we'd want to end our life. Even our strong curiosity cannot overcome this fear, because it's permanent, as far as we know.

However, that also means the inverse is true, those who know there is life after death would lose that fear, they would be willing to get there as soon as possible, even to the point of being suicidal. We do see this in many religious people, suicide bombers are the best example. They believe they know something so well that they are excited to get to that life after death, so excited that they are willing to blow themselves up. But if they admitted to themselves that they did not really know, they'd be to afraid to end this one chance to live so quickly.

This is one of the primary reasons religious people are so willing to kill, the fanatics at least, they believe they know that there is something after life so they do not see it as robbing a living organism of that life, they see it as a release. The question that comes to mind is: why don't they just end their own life?

The answer is more actually a perfect example of the hypocrisy that religion breeds, the one reason this delusion needs to be addressed more than all others. They have doubts. No matter how vehemently one claims to know there is a life after this, no matter how adamant they are that their god exists, deep down in their subconscious there is a doubt that prevents them from killing themselves. They know that they don't really know, that they are just buying some cookie cutter philosophy spoon-fed to them by someone else.

Deep down, everyone is an agnostic atheist, even those who are anti-religion. The problems arise when you deny that you don't know, that is when you create your own delusion, you have to be deluded to believe something without any supporting evidence that exists outside of your own perceptions. The scientific method has given us a way to test evidence, to ensure that the evidence holds true outside of our own perceptions by allowing others to test that evidence.

This is why religious people tend to hate real science. Yeah, I said "real" science. Anything can be called scientific, and who's to argue, however the scientific method is what separates real science from science fiction. Anything that exists in this reality can be tested, anything, that's a simple fact of the matter, one that cannot be denied by anyone with a functioning brain. That makes so-called miracles vanish, without even testing them, because for it to happen in this reality it would have to be tested.

That does not include things outside of this reality, but those cannot be tested within this reality, another simple, hard, and undeniable fact of the matter. We cannot cross the boundaries between realities to test what is outside of this one. That does not mean that other realities do not exist, nor that other possibilities are never played out, it just means this: What can be tested is reality, what cannot be tested is unknown.

It is that final fact that many of the new religious fanatics are perverting for their own ends, using it as a means to convince people that they know something more than they do. That is dishonest, for if you asked an atheist what's beyond this reality, an honest and true atheist would say: we don't know. But if you ask a religious person that same question, they will dishonestly attempt to convince you that they do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, making that not only a con, but also an outright lie. They have a doubt, lest they'd have gone there already and not be present to try to convince you of their lies.

That entire line of thought demonstrates the fact that a real atheist could never be suicidal, ever. Even when wracked with pain and suffering, and atheist will still fear the end, because as far as we know it means we cease to exist. Not existing anymore is even more frightening to the human mind than eternal torture, so much in fact that it is the only reason our species has survived long enough to extend our own lifespan.

For many years I did not worry about quitting smoking, to me it was something I'd get around to eventually but was not in any real hurry. I was raised religious, and even after leaving that religion, even after admitting to myself I did not know, I held to the hope that there may be something after this life. That one belief caused more damage than anything I knew. Recently I pondered what was after life, what it would be like to be dead, and I kept drawing a blank, literally. All I could imagine was simply not existing.

That scared me, it frightened me so bad that I actively started resisting the smoking addiction, paying attention to when I smoke, how much I smoke, and reducing it. That fear kept me awake at nights, I still wake with a start sometimes as my dreams will often feed on that fear now. When I think about being dead chills run through my body. The reason for this is that when I went for surgery recently, I got to experience not existing for several hours. When I woke I was in a panic, not because of the surgery itself, but because my mind knew there was something missing, time, sensory input.

The surgery had gone wrong, I was under far longer than I was suppose to have been. Recalling what it felt like, that absence, that moment of knowing that I did not exist for a short period of time, it frightened me. But instead of turning to religious nonsense, instead of running to the arms of some con artist with an easy answer for comfort, I started thinking about the entire matter logically. Now, I not only fear being dead, I also feel remorse for all that we have lost, the people who could have contributed so much to our species, their knowledge and wisdom being gone forever.

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