The universe is god. The universe created us and could easily destroy us. The universe is unkind and unjust, oblivious to all our mortal toil. The idea that god loves us was born from human superstition and ignorance, we were scared so we invented gods to look out for us.
As our knowledge expanded our fear shrank and we slowly came to realise that god is a comforting lie. The light of knowledge illuminated the ignorant darkness in which the gods hid. This is especially true today in the developed world. Religion has decreased in popularity and influence in the developed world, in a sense we are killing the gods.
There are two ways for people to react to the death of the gods. The first is easy: to give up. The first option leads to depression, apathy and hedonism. You just seek to enjoy yourself as much as possible while ignoring and forestalling your inevitable death. Failure is scary and achievement is hard, that’s why this response is so attractive. However this response is a dead end.
The second option is to accept that our lives are meaningless but then create our own meaning. When you have your own meaning you then have motivation to achieve. These people have the strength to realise that the universe does not love them, the will to achieve what they see as a greater good and the courage to not be afraid of failure. Of these three qualities the will is most important, the will to achieve. The will is everything that separates the great from the small.
Social, intellectual and physical achievement is what will advance the human race. Like hamlet we must have the scholars, courtiers, soldiers, eye, tongue and sword. Those who are adaptive, who seek to achieve in multiple areas, they are more likely to survive in the worst case scenario. Those that survive will continue the fight to kill god and conquer the universe.
And it is right that we should kill god. God gave us disease, we created medicine. God made food scarce, we made agriculture. God made us ignorant, we invented schooling. God made storms, we built houses. God made us violent, we made diplomacy. God made us compete; we harnessed that competition in sport, capitalism and democracy. God put us on earth and we flew into space. We have the power to bend the universe to our will and we should.
But we are still fragile. One well-placed rock at the right speed and nobody would ever know we were here. In that sense we are demi-gods, little gods with immense potential. To unlock our potential we must first accept that the universe does not love us. Secondly we must not let this knowledge tempt us into apathy and hedonism. Finally we must strive to improve ourselves, our countries, our world and eventually the planets and the cosmos. We cannot be afraid of failure. The history of human progress is a bloody one, littered with the bodies and ruins of failed dreams, hopes and ideals. Without ambition, without pain, without failure, we would have nothing.
One day when humans number 3 or 4 billion, when we have no more poverty or pollution, no more war or disease. When we can freely travel across earth and across the terra-formed planets without fear, then the universe will have true gods.
© Copyright 2016 cmcdonogh. All rights reserved.
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