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Sunday, February 12, 2017

IT WILL BE OKAY EVEN IF THERE IS NO HEAVEN

I sermonize on many Sundays, not as an antidote to the norm, and certainly not to neutralize the sincere beliefs of others, but to gain a better personal understanding of concepts beyond my ken.  My death is coming, and the older I get, the more I fear the prospects of eternal gloom, which, in my present mind, is a kind of total darkness that lasts forever.  Hint:  I don't believe there is any kind of Heaven or Hell...yet.
However, earlier this week in the midst of golfing I happened to read (the second hole is a par-3, and the wait can sometimes last for more than half an hour) a column in Scientific American (my magazine of choice on golf courses) a column by noted skeptic, Michael Shermer, on Imagine No Universe.  He might have significantly helped me psychologically endure these final days, for his contention is that  you can't imagine nothing:

Imagine nothing. Go ahead. What do you see? I picture dark empty space devoid of galaxies, stars and planets. But not only would there be no matter, there would be no space or time either. Not even darkness. And no sentient life to observe the nothingness. Just … nothing. Picture that. You can’t.

What this mental exercise taught me is that I don't need to fear eternal gloom because I can't imagine what it will be anyway.  Thus, an overwhelming reason for having to believe in Heaven (I'm good enough to get into Purgatory, so don't need to worry about Hell--although the faith part could still be a problem) is no longer necessary.  If you follow this blog site, you know that I already live in a kind of Purgatory, also known as 15 Craigside.  That thin building in the background is Craigside, where I previously resided for 32 years, already close to pre-Nirvana.

Even Pascal's Wager about God becomes uncompelling.  Nearly half a millennium ago, this French scientist and philosopher, also became known for his Triangle, Law and Theorem.  The Wager, which should have been called a Belief, essentially argues that you might as well believe in God, even if He might not exist, because the potential benefits of believing are so vast that it would be stupid not to do so.

Shermer suggested two brand new books worthy of reading, The Mystery of Existence, by John Leslie and Robert Kuhn, available on February 22, and The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far, by Lawrence Krauss, to be released on March 17.  15 Craigside is giving all residents an i-Pad, so those will be my first two downloads, when I learn how to do that.  Finally from Shermer:

Nothing is nonsensical. It is impossible to conceptualize nothing—not only no space, time, matter, energy, light, darkness or conscious beings to perceive the nothingness but not even nothingness.

Not sure if I totally agree with that, but it's good enough for me for now.  I thus feel meaningfully secure and should better enjoy this terminating phase of my life from now into the forever.

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Master Sgp said...
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