For those of you who aren’t aware of this fact then you either aren’t paying attention to my writing or you’re extremely slow on the uptake: I am atheist. I am 100% atheist at that. In no way am I religious or even agnostic. I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in the afterlife. I don’t believe in fate, destiny, or of any other divine power guiding us through life. I don’t believe in ghosts or supernatural beings. I don’t believe humans have souls, auras, or any of that stuff.
I think we are here by chance because evolution made it so. I think we are the one species that got lucky and was able to evolve to the point that we developed consciousness in a way that no other species has. I think we’re born, we live, and then we die. There’s nothing more to it than that. Once the body dies, everything dies. It all stops. The only way in which we live on is in the memories of those who cared for us or possibly immortalised in art, literature, video, etc., and our bodies gradually returning to the constituent atoms that comprise their makeup.
Despite these beliefs, that in no way means I’m not respectful of the beliefs of others. Nor does it mean that I’m not prepared to discuss what they believe and expand my mind. They won’t change the way I think, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to listen to what they have to tell me. I’ve met many folks who firmly believe in ghosts and a ‘great beyond’ of some description; I enjoy listening to the stories they have to tell that justify their reasons for believing what they do. In no way does that mean I think anyone has to justify themselves to me; they don’t. I’m glad when they do though because I find their stories fascinating.
It’s my opinion that we only truly learn anything about this world from those of an opposing mindset to us. Those who already think along the same lines as us may fill in blanks in our knowledge; other than that, all we’re doing is agreeing with what they say. It’s those who think differently to us that will truly teach us something.
I find myself drawn in by the stories people have to tell about the supernatural especially. They intrigue me because the idea of the spirits of dead people inhabiting a world that we can’t see yet exists all around us is thought-provoking at the very least, even if I don’t think it’s feasible. I’ve never had any experiences of an otherworldly variety, so how could I possibly think it’s true? The same goes with the idea of God. I have never had any kind of… well, anything to suggest to me that there might be an almighty omniscient out there watching over us all. I can’t just believe something using only blind faith as my reason for doing so.
You could argue that I blindly believe the Big Bang created everything and blindly believe in evolution, etc. That would be to miss the point somewhat as I don’t believe in these things. I think they’re the most feasible theorems put forth and the most likely to be true. I leave myself open to other ideas that may seem more feasible should I ever hear them. That’s how science works in general. Take Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (General and Special); it’s accepted in scientific circles as the most likely explanation for everything—until someone can think of something that supersedes it. Science isn’t about proving itself right; science is about experimenting, gathering results, and then trying to get a better, more accurate result from further experiments. That is why I back science above and beyond religion, the latter being something that’s built entirely on blind faith and not really questioning anything.
I suppose another reason I back science is because I’m not really looking or even hoping for answers to questions that other people seem to ponder a lot. I don’t really care what the meaning of life is as it won’t change anything if I know or not (plus I don’t think there is a meaning; not really). I don’t fear being dead, so I don’t need the comfort of knowing Heaven awaits me when I kick the bucket. When something a little odd happens I’m positive there’s always a scientific and physical reason for it. The forces at work that we can’t see aren’t mystical or spiritual in my mind. Take gravity; we all know it’s there because it was proven to exist. That’s an invisible force that we can’t see and nobody, to the best of my knowledge, thinks anything more of gravity than the fact that it’s gravity—an object of great mass, the earth, having the gravitational pull enough to keep things rooted to it. So, if gravity exists and we can’t see it, does that not mean there could be other forces at work that we can’t see and are as yet unexplained? Like dark energy for example, which is a big bone of contention in scientific circles.
I’d love to believe that the spirits of people like my cousin, my nan, my friend, and so many others whom sadly lost their lives are congregated somewhere and awaiting my arrival in an ethereal world I can’t see. Trust me; I’d be delighted to be proved wrong and get to see long-lost people I care about again. The fact is that I don’t believe it and I never will. That doesn’t sadden me though. I can’t get sad over something that’s just a fact of life. I hate the cliché, but it is what it is. Those people will hold a special place in my heart and mind for as long as I live. I won’t see them again after I die. I’ll be dead and that’s all there is to it.
In conclusion, my take on the ethereal and omnipresent is that neither exist; end of story! Like with anything, I’m happy to be proven wrong and would always urge anyone with evidence that opposes my beliefs to step forwards and present it to me. Just don’t be frustrated if and when I still haven’t been convinced afterwards. And to those who might say I lack open-mindedness, I say this: if you open your mind too much your brain will fall out.