On the afterlife, ET life, curiosity, and creationism.


As I’ve been getting a good amount of views from the US, Australia and Canada lately (and due to… aesthetic reasons), I decided to publish this one in English; I am also pondering whether to do the whole thing bilingually from now on.

While all evidence points against an afterlife and I’m also not sure whether I’d want to gain it, I still do hope that if such a thing exists, it’ll be an infinite amount of things to learn, an infinite amount of systems to understand and an infinite amount of time to do this. If not, I prefer an eternity of nonperception over an eternity amongst the rivers of milk and honey… by far! Any depiction of heaven could only be a much worse scenario than any depiction of hell in which you could still investigate the mess you have been put in. A most hopeless afterlife would be one in which there is nothing to investigate, nothing that raises any questions. Because once you’ve lost that – what could you still cling your hopes to? Questioning our surroundings, the raging wish to understand how everything we encounter works and what lies underneath all these things and connects them with each other and ourselves is the only thing that can truly give us hope; and the premise that Goddidit would only be a murderful suppression of all the rage and the eager angst that makes us human.  Because once you say that you can apply it to literally everything. Literally. Everything. You can move the goalpost back and forth just as you please and any evidence against a supernatural intervention could aswell be an intentional result of that intervention and once you’re there you cannot explain or describe anything; then anything is just depending on God’s own good will and then there’s nothing left to be considered as „known“, as „fact“ and even as „evidence“ because if any evidence you can get points to nowhere it isn’t evidence at all, it’s just a random collection of observations. And then there’s no reason to trust in all our neat technology because if God wants all our nice little machines to suddenly explode at once it will just happen against any claims of probability and then there’s not even any reason to trust in such a granted thing as gravity. God could switch it off once you blink and open your eyes again and then all the planets and all the stars explode in tiny fragments small enough only to be held together by electrical forces… which aswell could be switched of with a flick of a hand.

Sure, the fact that all of these events won’t feasibly happen is not proof against an omnipotent deity but it tells us at the very least that it’s not likely or even plausible that such a deity should have interfered with the principles of propability and thermodynamics on a level that life could have been put into the world exactly in those shapes we encounter today and in the fossil record while proponents of a creation mainly concentrate on macroscopic life anyway; if such an intervention had happened at all, it would have influenced other aspects of at least terran environment and there is no evidence suggesting such an influence. Plus, if there was any point even in OEC, which means there must have been several different creation events over the millions of years, we should be able to observe such creation events today. But wait… no such event today or in the recent past which is, in this case, the entirety of recorded history.

I thought these words to be necessary because as I read a lot of blogs about the topic there aren’t that many around addressing why exactly creationism is a dangerous world view and why there’s no way it could be consistent with evidence and observation. As I’m a layman there is of course no reason to assume I was a reliable source and I did most of this by reason and not so much by my knowledge of the fossil record. Still the things I addressed are to be considered by anyone claiming the act of a superior out-of-our-world intelligence had been the direct cause of our existence.

Two months ago I installed SETI@home on my laptop. I know it’s not very likely I could be The One(TM) to discover the first usable signal but still it accelerates procession of all that data. From my earliest childhood days on I was fascinated with the possibility of extraterrestrial life and its possible evolution. I used to be a stranger amongst humans and even though I don’t hope to find a related mind there is still some consolation in the prospect of a lifeform whose psychology might differ from ours in ways we can hardly think of. Somehow I’d feel familiar as it might not likely be that different – after all, they will have discovered radioastronomy and communication via radio. Maybe they’re even in range, hardly further than about fifteen lightyears which might still give us the ability to communicate in timely manners.

I do believe in human curiosity; it is the only thing that can still keep my trust in mankind. We are humans, we are curious, and as long as we’re curious we will be able to solve our problems. Maybe we’ll be suffering because this curiosity will not be satisfied over a long time; but over time it will and as long as we never give in to simple answers that don’t actually solve a problem but are only a means to silence eager minds and/or our own raging wish to understand everything there is, we will once find answers to any question there will still be coming up. But we shouldn’t even be afraid of that: Humans as a species and even our descendants will never survive long enough we’ll run out of questions; and as long as there’s questions there’s a reason to hold on, a reason to keep on living, a reason to know why we’re alive. I’m not sure if a person devoid of the will to question their surroundings, environment, and themselves will have these reasons and I’d negate that; but maybe that’s only because for me it’s inconceivable to never wonder and always to be satisfied with the answers we’re supposed to learn in school, learn them by heart without ever having asked the questions that may lead to these answers only to spit them out in the occasional tests and the final examinations and then forget the topic even exists.

And I am ashamed there was a time when I wasn’t curious; it was a time when I was terribly ill and my brain didn’t work the way it was supposed to and I’m happy this is no longer the case; however it’s still the most depressing thing that could occur to me that it happened exactly in the time when I’d needed my curiosity most. And I just can never recover from that; even though the disease itself will almost be forgotten once in the future.

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