Freethinking for Dummies

Skepticism, secular humanism, social issues

The True Miracle of Life

I’ve tried to express here on many occasions why I feel that we need to live this life to the fullest and not waste our time expecting any kind of afterlife.  I have tried to describe why this is important, but it seemed that my words could just not express the beauty of this life and what we can experience in it.

Fortunately, I’ve found someone who can.

“When my husband died, because he was so famous & known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me — it still sometimes happens — & ask me if Carl changed at the end & converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage & never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief & precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive & we were together was miraculous — not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous & so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space & the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me & it’s much more meaningful…
The way he treated me & the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other & our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.“

- Ann Druyan, talking about her husband, Carl Sagan

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October 4, 2011 - Posted by | Atheism, Religion, Skepticism | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Life is a very precious thing made even moreso by knowing that we only have a finite amount of time here. Our job is to squeeze every last drop of juice from this sweet and bitter fruit, leaving only the pulp and using those seeds to plant the future that we will leave behind for those who follow after.

    I don’t think there is an afterlife. there is no testable, scientific evidence to support the existence of one. It really is up to us to make the absolute most that we can of the life we have. It is our job to make an indelible mark on this world so that we will be remembered long after we are gone. THAT is out immortality. It isn’t some golden palace in the sky. Immorality is in what we leave behind and how we are remembered.

    Comment by Maria Myrback | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  2. I expect to be quiet sad if I know that my end is near. I will think of all that I will miss not sharing life with my friends and family any longer. What I will not do is “find god” on my death bed.

    I have long believed religion is the human means of denying death. I accept it as the inevitble conclusion to life. If you don’t want to die when your body does I suggest that people either live a wonderful life or a life of unspeakable evil. People tend to remember those people.

    I will be pleased if I know that my wife and children and my friends will speak well of me for a few years after I go. That is all any of us can rightly hope for but we will never know.

    Comment by jonesys | October 9, 2011 | Reply


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