If (when) you listen to my diatribe, be sure to read the quote I found on the liner notes of the 7-CD collection of George Carlin called "The Little David Years" - the CD versions of all the comedy albums that made him famous (Including the Supreme Court case)
I write this post on the weekend when J.D. Salinger and Howard Zinn have both died, and after reading Salinger's words from the only interview he ever granted,
There is some confusion about "bringing people back to life" and "bringing planets back to health"; Avatar was not solely what I was thinking about when I screamed that; I was thinking about all the other movies that allow mere mortals to commune with their dead loved ones, or bring them back to life, and there was that one moment here with the "spirit" that enveloped the Navi.
My point is that only in a stone-cold atheists world do we realize that IF there is no "G"od or gods to repair the damage we've done, or bring our loved ones back to life (or who is harboring them for us to be with when we die) - then this moment -
- this planet -
- this life -
- this one chance is all we've got.
And if we fuck it up, we fuck it up. Too late after that.
I was inspired by a woman I met in 2006, a very nice woman and devout Christian who said she believed in God because she just "could not take the chance" that the stories of Hell might be true; therefore, because the stories of what Hell is like as told in the Bible MIGHT be true, she could not risk thinking otherwise, and therefore must seek God and obey his commands.
I had a very pleasant conversation with this woman, and I even apologized to her husband for occupying his wife as we sat at the bar eating dinner in this restaurant; he almost seemed indifferent as he really did not miss talking to her for that one meal.
But the point is that if a person is willing to play "what if" games with existentialism and religion, why not take the opposite view? "What if" it really is only humans, the rocks, and the trees? What if there is no God coming to save us? What if the battle of Armageddon is not inevitable, and such catastrophic death and destruction are merely the wanton hubris of mortal men who don't know enough to think that their side might lose - or that both sides might lose even if one side thinks they "won"?
What if there really is no "G"od?
The aliens who find the Earth after we blow it all up thinking that is what "G"od wanted us to do because it was written in the book of Revelation are going to have to call on their own Shakespeare and Funk and Wagnals to re-christen the meaning of the word "tragedy" -
"Here lies Humanity. They had everything they needed to live in peace, and to sustain themselves - including the knowledge to know when they did the wrong thing and to correct their path - and because they were seeking answers in the ether from a God who was not there; because they did not have the courage to own up to their own errors and failures and had invented this "G"od to forgive them (and such forgiveness was only in their own individual minds), all the planet was lost.
All the humanity is gone.
All the other lives have had to pay the price.
We've seen that movie before too - "The Day The Earth Stood Still" (2009).
I first had this thought when I saw "Independence Day" (2005) - President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) has some kind of mind-meld with the aliens and he says,
"I saw what they're planning to do. They're like locusts - they move from planet to planet; after the consume all the natural resources, they move on"
Hey - President Whitmore - News Flash! Humankind is doing that all by itself!
Why are we afraid of aliens who might take it from us by force, but we're utterly indignant and outraged if any mere mortal human suggests we might be doing just as much damage (with no hope to save ourselves) all on our own.
So the aliens will arive and leave this epitath on the tombstone they erect on the dead, empty Earth:
"Here lies humankind. The fantastic randomness of the universe delivered life to this planet. They grew intelligent enough to understand the consequences of their actions, but in their desperation to invent some larger purpose for their own existence, they denied their own hubris and lack of courage to take responsibility for what they were doing.
Here lies humankind. Smart enough to understand what was happening, too proud and arrogant to admit to themselves what they must do to save themselves, and they took the whole planet with them.
May other forms of life learn from this tragedy and never repeat these most tragic and egregious failures of conscience and responsibility."