Atheist Realist and Religion

Atheist Realist and Religion

Kevin Smith is on the board of directors for the centre for Inquiry, Canada’s premier venue for humanists, skeptics and freethinkers.

Woody Allen once mused, “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.” I too would love to hide from the grim reaper forever, but unlike every non-human species, I do know that one day he’ll come knocking on my door.

Religion provides for a warm and fuzzy death, a perfect reason for it’s long shelf life, but I don’t buy it. As one who has grave doubts about life post-death, I cherish my time pre-death. Certainly we need to deal with the business side of our future non-existence. Wills, prearranged funerals and picking choice real estate for our mortal remains are helpful to those left behind. It also makes us realize we will, sometime in the future, take a final breath. Full stop.

So in the reality that death will become me, I prefer Rousseau’s sentiments; we’ve forgotten how to die because we don’t know how to live. Many people slumber through life, walking the walk of routine. And then we die. At that point, when we return to the state whence we were born, every fear of failure, every ambition we’ve ever had, ceases. That’s why we must embrace our existence and never hold back from discovering life, the only one we’ll know.

As I get older, it’s clear: the basic human needs of shelter, security and family are more important than material possessions. You can’t take it with you, but you can leave behind positive memories.

When we reflect on our past, affirming a life well lived, we must accept the inevitable and allow ourselves to embark towards eternal rest — in peace.

And let others rest as well.

Religious Opinion

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