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Re: Depression, Evolution...

Posted by Elizabeth on November 12, 1999, at 13:39:41

In reply to Depression, Evolution..., posted by Adam on November 10, 1999, at 22:30:02


I didn't get from Bob's post that he was angry at you. I think it was intended to be humour. (I certainly laughed at both Bob's and Phil's posts. Thanks, guys.)

From a "serious" POV, this is an interesting topic, too.

> I always thought Pascal's wager (the idea that it was in fact rational
> to believe in God because the stakes were so high-to be pious and wrong
> is to have lost a finite span of amoral licenteousness, to be athiest
> and wrong is to face eternal damnation) could be turned on its ear as
> an argument against faith: to reward a life's span with eternal bliss
> or affliction is unjust in either case because to reward or punish any
> finite thing with an infinite thing is to make something out of nothing.

I think the flaw (well, a flaw) in Pascal's wager is that it assumes that faith is something you can just switch on or off. I honestly don't think I could believe in the supernatural even if I wanted to.

> It occurred to me that even if there was a God, there could be no heaven
> or hell, no afterlife really, and no reason to pray.
> There is reason to live, though, because life, bad or good, is all I
> had.

I have some number of years to be alive and conscious, and for me that is enough. To tell the truth, eternal bliss sounds like it could be a bit dull. (How does the saying go - "heaven for the climate, hell for the company?")

Also - I had a discussion with my roommate about this recently - I'm not afraid of death. I think this might be the one thing that depression has given me: I have thought of death (obsessively, almost) so much that the idea just doesn't scare me anymore. (I think this is a home-grown variation of what they call "systematic desensitization," yes?)

> It is impossible
> for me to imagine a state of being nothing at all, and this inspires
> more awe and fear and wonder in me than any concept of an afterlife ever
> could.

Why do you need to be able to imagine it?




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