The Uninspired Manifesto

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Life, Death, And This Hot Chick At Chili's

So, there's quite a few things going on with me at the moment. Most pressing, though, is my upcoming trip to my mom's for a bit of in-between holiday celebration. (I'm timing it for exactly halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I won't get roped into celebrating either one with them.) This means a couple of things: First, I'll have to pack away my Dawkins and Hitchens books, as not to offend the fragile christian sensibilities of my mom's part of the family. And secondly, I'll have to sit through a lecture covering everything from my sporadic visitation (with longer intervals between each one) to my lack of faith, including - but not limited too - church attendance, prayer, and whatever seemingly intelligent questions they read in the latest pamphlet from some random christian publication that preaches combating the recent rise in secularism. I've always hated these little 'talks' (as they call them; though they do most of the talking, while I scroll through shows they've recorded on their DVR) but it seems that lately, they've become more hostile towards my responses. Granted, this could be mostly my fault, because as they become more hostile, I, in return, have become more sarcastic and begun to mock their beliefs more openly. It's not to the point that I call them stupid, but it's close.

For example, on my last visit, after a particularly heated back and forth, we all went out to a restaurant, and standing in front were a few volunteers for some christian charity that was sponsoring a blood drive. As we approached the front door, a young attractive blond woman wearing a powder blue t-shirt with something akin to 'Give Blood For Christ' on it, approached me in particular, reaching out with a flyer, which in retrospect, I should have read, and asked if I would like to donate. I'm not sure why she was directed to me in particular, (most likely the 'Coexist' t-shirt I wore that night) but without a moment's hesitation, I crumpled the piece of paper, thew it into a nearby wastebasket, replied, "Sorry, I'm HIV positive," and walked inside.

It's statements like that, that I find the most rewarding as an expression of humor, while my mother and step-father seem put-off by the fact that I would willingly and randomly announce to a group of complete strangers that I have AIDS. Of course, I don't.. I know that, they know that, but instead of seeing it for what it was, (attempting to make myself laugh) they became defensive by condemning me for lying and making both them and the 'oh so wonderful' jesuits uncomfortable.

So, after all that, we finally get to the point of my story. Upon leaving the restaurant, instead of conceding to my mother's complaining and apologizing, I handed the young woman a folded napkin that included my cell number, and the phrase 'Wanna Hook Up?' Later that night, I sat alone outside smoking a cigarette, thinking about life and death. What I would do if I knew I had only a short time left; who would I talk to? What would I say? This inevitably led me to think about what would happen when I did die. I'm very firm in my non-supernatural view, and I know that nothing will happen when I die. There will be no afterlife, no eternal suffering, (as so many loving christians are quick to point out) but that doesn't mean it's not a disturbing concept. Still, I've always maintained that this is the most important contention between theists and atheists; while atheists can accept there is no heaven or hell, and no consciousness after death, theists are held by this belief. I know this is probably an over-simplification, but almost every theist I've met to this point have been genuinely shocked that I don't believe in an afterlife.

F. Forrester Church once said:
Religion is the human response to being alive and having to die.


It's impossible to know what happens when a person dies, but given the information we currently have, it's a safe assumption that there's nothing out there for us. While most religious people would contend that we do, in fact, have a soul and it will continue on in some form long after our physical bodies have deteriorated. I don't believe in souls, only the majestic power of the human mind, continually evolving to help us understand the universe around us. While I was sitting there, smoking my cigarette and looking up into the night sky, imagining the possibilities that lay centuries ahead of my time on this planet, it pained me to think I wouldn't be around for that. To see our scientists map the farthest reaches of the Milky Way galaxy, and possibly discover alien life-forms...

As I finished my cigarette, putting it out in an ashtray next to me, I took one last look into space just in time to see a small comet fly across the sky, and the realization that it could all be over tomorrow brought me back to the present. There's a lot of things wrong with the world today, but at the same time, we're the proprietors of great scientific advancements, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else...
posted by Nick at 11:35 PM

2 Comments:

Brilliant, love the response to the blood drive girl. Can't stand that sort of prosylitizing.

Off to endure my own familial holiday torture.

My blog is feveredintellect.blogspot.com

December 21, 2007 at 1:24 PM  

You and I know there's a God. Why? First, because your soul's indelible and, second, because it? he? she? shall rise-up at death's hour to be Divinely Judged on what WE have done with your finite existence. Now that you're aware of a indelible soul, lemme give you a fantastic reality: FOUR!! blogs which tell of the exxxcitement of Heaven; we ROTE ‘{theeyebeam}’ to show a true story about sex in Heaven after we croak. C'mon, people. The Liar's a deceiver: ain't no sex in Hell, yet, puh-lenty of sex Upstairs for eternity. God bless you. Meet me Upstairs.

October 27, 2012 at 4:39 PM  

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