Sunday, January 22, 2017

“I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.”

Bertrand Russell, What I Believe

Reading this 12-13 years ago or so is when I first realized Bertrand Russell was an atheist, and it had a tremendous emotional impact on me.

I believe that when I die I shall rot, but I am also inclined to believe that something will survive of my ego. Something devoid of my memories and personality, devoid of what identifies me as me in this current existence, but something of me nonetheless. I realize this statement by itself is likely only causes confusion rather than clarification, but I'll defer further explanation to the future. Despite these philosophical inclinations, I am not afraid of annihilation. I would be fine with annihilation, if that is indeed our ultimate end. I aim to live my life as if it has intrinsic value, independent of what happens after death,

1 comments:

nameless being said...

"...but I am also inclined to believe that something will survive of my ego. Something devoid of my memories and personality, devoid of what identifies me as me in this current existence, but something of me nonetheless."
I personally think that the fear of annihilation is very deeply ingrained somewhere in the nether reaches of our ego. I often think about the allegory of the flame; before it is extinguished by the wind it sways here and there briefly as if trying to dodge the fatal blow of death! Likewise, confronted with the possibility of annihilation, the ego cannot grasp what it means to be dead, they die but how can it die?

 

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