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I'm a confused atheist who's searching for answers to the universe.  If you want to help me find them, leave comments on my blog posts!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Faith in the Face of Impending Doom?

Here's one of the big stinkers out there that bothers me and my belief in God, and it's the fact that we know, getting to the point here, that we're screwed.

1.) The Rock

Statistically, every couple of million years an asteroid falls from the sky and does terrible damage to some area of the earth, and every several million years, one rock falls that undoes everything.  The dinosaurs?  Undone.  The mammal-like reptiles before them?  Also undone.  Granted, each and every step of these undoings led to the eventual evolution of US, humans, but that's almost another argument in it's entirity.  Even THEN, we know that WE, people, were almost undone because genetic testing traces us back to only a couple of thousand people living in east Africa.  What happened here?  Is this the work of God?

2.) The Hourglass

The sun is our life source here on Earth.  Without it, not much of anything can live here.  Unfortunately, we know that in about 5 billion years time (if we survive that long), the sun's going to run out of gas.  When that happens, stars of our's size puffs up and become bigger before going nova.  Long story short, Earth will become an ember engulfed by the sun.  Besides, long before that, the sun is just going to heat up anyway, so we'll all roast if we're not off this rock by then.

3.) The Big Bummer

We know that the Big Bang happened because we essentially have the smoking gun for it -- the cosmic microwave background, which is noise... a left over faint heat signature ... from 15 billion years ago with the big bang originally happened.  The RESULT of this is that we know the universe is expanding, and we can now tell from modern tests that its not only CONTINUING to expand, but its expanding faster than it was yesterday.  The problem with this is that its going to get to a point where the universe will be so large that all the gasses will burn up, nothing will be able to recaccumulate, all the stars will die out, and the universe will grow cold.  It may happen in an infathomably long time away from now, but the point of the matter is that even if we somehow devise space travel and colonize other planets, all life in the universe is doomed eventually.

Does this suddenly seem unfair?  It seems unfair to me, because I've grown this reservoir of scientific knowledge like this that makes me question the whole POINT of life here on Earth, and I have nothing to combat it with.  WHY is it here if it's all subject to entropy and falling apart?  How can we continue to live our lives, and to live for our children and hopefully even their children, when we know that ultimately, some day, all of us will kick the bucket (and maybe sooner rather than later)?  What is the purpose of life, and us, then?

Does anyone have any input?


Hi, I'd like to introduce myself and the purpose of this blog.  My name is Heath, and I'm a 22 year old who has been on quite the religious rollercoaster.

I grew up and was raised protestant Christian, and thought little of that because it was just "the answer" to the question of what it's all about.  When it came time for me to go to highschool, my parents... worried about my ADHD, enrolled me into what they considered to be a smaller highschool... a christian highschool.  This school taught me a lot of things... including things that might not be entirely accurate.  To make a long story short, I became a very "hardcore" Christian.  You would call me a young earth creationist.  I not only thoroughly believed this stuff, but I was FIGHTING MAD whenever the concept of evolution came up.  To me, it was the scientists who were lying to us to promote their atheist worldview of evil.

When I graduated from that place and moved on to college, I took biological anthropology and had evolution, in depth, taught to me PROPERLY for the first time.  This created a problem for me, because I began to see that they were right.  Evolution was correct, which meant the earth was billions of years old... which meant that the story of Genesis and young earth creationism were wrong.  And it threw into doubt my entire concept of Christianity.

However, I was still iffy.  Even if the book had got it wrong in some places, doesn't mean "God" doesn't exist.  So by that point you could call me a "theistic agnostic".  I didn't know WHO was right, but I knew someone HAD to be out there pulling the strings.

However, as time went on, I began to read further and further about scientific concepts and cutting edge ideas.  I got smarter, more knowledgeable... and I began to see that science had a semi-decent explanation for the universe without the need of God.  I had come to it... atheism.  And I was content with it... and I was not only content with it, I was CONFIDENT in it.  Religion was the source of a lot of the evil in the world, and we didn't need it anymore.  If EVERYONE were atheist, we could all notice how insignificant we are on this stupid rock and start to live our lives correctly.

Then, shortly after this revelation, I had a dream.  In this dream, I had decided that for some reason, I had done everything I ever wanted to do in life.  So I decided to end it... by going skydiving without a parachute.  I jumped out of the plane, and on the way down told my friends I wouldn't be seeing them at the bottom... they were depressed of course... and as the ground came upon me quickly, I conceptualized death, and not just dying, but what it WAS to die.  The end of everything... we cease to exist, according to the atheistic perspective.  I suddenly decided ... that stunk!  And I woke up abruptly.  But the idea was seeded into my mind, and as I drifted back to sleep and awoke the next day, and the day after that, the idea continued to brew and fester.

The meaning of it all?  There was no meaning of it all, all of a sudden.  Life was COMPLETELY, UTTERLY, meaningless.  I looked for atheistic answers, I did, but all of the answers I discovered were "you want to live after death?  What else, you want to have your cake and eat it too?" or "Life isn't meaningless, that's the beautiful thing about not having God... you get to chose why your life has meaning!" but none of that cut it for me.  It just DIDN'T MAKE SENSE.  All of a sudden the universe, the reason we're all here... crumbled before me.

I laid on the couch for days, literally.  I played no video games, I didn't talk to anyone on the computer... I simply laid around, in a constant state of depression.  The only thing I could bring myself to do was research the question of death, and every answer was unsatisfactory.

All of a sudden I was that guy, the one I had mocked only a few days before.  I had seen a local television commercial for a church, which showed a man staring out the window to his house in depression as Christmas passed him by.  The end of the commercial said "Do you need something to believe in this Christmas?  Come to _____ Church...".  It had always agitated me, because I felt that church, like all churches, were preying on the weak and stupid, to fill them with unneeded religious dogma.  And now, in the ultimate twist of irony, I was that guy in the commercial.

It was at this time that I stumbled across Conversion Diary, the blog by Jennifer Fulwiler.  Here was a woman who had gone in the opposite direction of me -- a lifelong atheist and scientific thinker who had found God, and not just God I should say, but Catholicism -- probably behind ONLY Mormonism in how screwy I considered it's interpretation of Christianity.  And yet here she was, living this life with a kind of happiness I longed for.  I still don't have answers, or even understand her reasoning, but reading her posts made me high in spirits enough to get off the couch and do something... play a game or two ... and ultimately, start my own blog in search of my own answers.  For anyone and everyone reading who thinks they may have them, please comment.