The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser
One Man's Journey From Eternity to Here
Bruce Gerencser May 21, 2015 5 Comments
Death, Social Media
Graphics, Memes, Quotes, and Comments I’ve spotted on Facebook or Twitter. Today’s quote comes from Facebook. I think it accurately describes how I want my family to act when I am no longer numbered among the living.
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I just couldn’t swallow the penultimate sentence. Otherwise, kinda nice, except I see it as basically an exercise in denialism. Death. You are gone. Something big has happened.
No matter my religious beliefs, when my parents and nephew died I believed that they were with me. Not in a metaphysical way, but because they exist on in my memories. And no one can take those away.
I think this is a beautiful little written piece with deep emotional connection. That said, I think there is probably no afterlife. I really hope that there is, but I disagree with asserting it in the affirmative as if anyone actually has any good (notice, I said good) evidence to support such an assertion. My rebuttal is that very few people, perhaps none, could make a rational assertion for the existence of the afterlife, simply because of our obvious ignorance and lack of evidence on the issue. Now, I admit I am speculating here, but if an afterlife does exist, it stands to reason it would be nothing like the current life at all, if for no other reason, that whatever “essence” of our selves continues to exist would do so without a physical body and any of its sensory inputs, and without a physical brain to think with. I can concede the possibility that science may never fully understand the reality in which we live, but I consider that to be a very low probability assuming the continued existence of the human species, and if there is a supernatural reality of some kind, it could not be scientifically tested or verified so certainty and especially arrogance is completely uncalled for. Most likely this life is it, I suppose. I sure hope not. But that’s what the evidence I know about seems to indicate.
My parents have a rich afterlife. I chat about them with people that knew them. I consult with my dad about my garden, which he renovated in the last couple of years before his death. I celebrate cooking successes with my mother. They are remembered lovingly. I don’t believe there is another afterlife, one beyond living memories. But as Richard Dawkins (I think) likes to point out, we were all incredibly lucky to have been born in the first place. Isn’t winning the lottery once enough?
I like to quote Marcus Aurelius on the subject of life and afterlife. He was that rare thing, a Roman emperor whose subjects thought was a really good guy. He was also a philosopher. He is supposed to have said,
The Marcus Aurelius quote, try 2:
“Live a good life. If there are Gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are Gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no Gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”