This website typically does not write about breaking news, but in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and the ongoing conflict with ISIS and the many players involved in battles across Syria and the Middle East, it seemed impossible to ignore this time. It’s not that ISIS has finally gone “too far” – they crossed that line long ago – it’s that we are, as Sam Harris so eloquently puts it, “sleepwalking towards Armageddon.” We are afraid to address the issue at hand: that a religious ideology rewards martyrdom, paradise, and jihad-ism. And that until the ideology changes (is that even possible?), then we will be in this conflict for many, many years to come.
It seems fitting that we are reminded of Carl Sagan’s words, when he spoke about the magnificence of life. Perhaps, if we all thought about life like he did, the world would be a more peaceful place.
I would love to believe that when I die, I will live again…. that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.