Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
I remember when I learned this poem in the 8th grade. And I remember when Family Guy made a joke about Bob Dylan being the author. More recently, it was featured in Interstellar. Although I enjoyed Interstellar, I do not agree with one of its main themes: humanity will be able to save itself from extinction.
Now, you may think “wait Armin, you believe humanity will go extinct?” Well no, no I don’t; I just believe that it won’t be humanity that saves humanity. It will be God.
I mean, the odds of us being here are so slim they are not worth considering, meaning the only explanation is a creator (unless you want to conceive other universes for which there are no evidence for) ((Of course, I suppose you can assume that we are just extraordinarily lucky to be here by chance, but then why are you so desperate to not believe in God? It’s like God asking you to go on a date and you instead decide to go to a casino and roll a nearly infinite sided dice with the chance of increasing your money a little bit, but only if it lands on the side with the number one. But anyway, back to survival)). Since the possibility of us being here is so small, is not the possibility of us remaining also small? What’s to stop a massive extinction or asteroid or some other disaster to happen? If God doesn’t exist, we don’t have a chance of saving the earth. If God does, we’re chill. I hear people often talk about how we are so small in the universe, but they never consider what that means. If we’re so small, then how can we change anything? How can tiny people on this tiny earth stop the sun from burning out? Thinking of things in the more foreseeable future, I often hear humanists (those who believe humanity will save itself) often lament the possibility of World War III that would destroy us all. If we’re so capable of destroying ourselves, what makes us the best candidate for future survival or stopping our eventual destruction? If on this very day we’re trying to kill each other, when will we band together and figure out how to deal with a solar collapse?
But regardless of all this, if God does not exist, then it does not matter how long humanity survives. At least, it does not matter in an absolute sense. Sure people can have their own opinions on the meaning of life, but once they die, these opinions die with them. But even while they are alive, one man’s opinion cannot change the eternal laws of the cosmos. All your opinions about meaning exist only as brain chemistry in your mind. It’s just in your head.
A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”
Without God, all of humanity is fated to die out. The ultimate state of the universe is scheduled to be heat death, where everything just breaks down into leptons and no more work will be able to be done. Ultimately, all things will come to an end. Imagine for a moment, you have died and if there is no afterlife, you now cease to exist. Your accomplishments on earth no longer have any affect on you. All your suffering cannot touch you, nor can your pleasures. As for the rest of humanity, whether they now think positively about you or not, it cannot affect you nor can you know it. One day all of them will die out too. Then all the people who consider humanity worth any value will be dead. There will be no one alive still to say “life is valuable!” Everyone you have ever hurt or loved, will be nothing, regardless of whether you helped or harmed them. They all fall into the same state. The richest man to the poorest. Animal and Human. The best life and the worst life. Nothing.
Unless, of course, God exists. And maybe you’re not sure that he exists. But if he does, then he has something to say about your existence and about your purpose and the purpose of the universe. But again, you’re not sure… but wait, look at the options. If God does not exist, then whether you seek him or not, ultimately it won’t matter. You’ll still be nothing and you won’t be able to take anything with you when you die. But if He does exist, you have the chance of knowing the most wonderful being that there ever was! Why not take this life to seek him? If He can’t be found, you don’t lose anything; but if He can, oh what a reward that will be. So why not take the chance of searching for an incredible gift when you have absolutely nothing to lose? It’s kind of like being stuck in an underground mine that caved in and you have two options: go deeper into the mine in hope that there is an exit, or stay where you are and wait to die. Why not just try?