Chapter 32 - The future of the human race|
From that insight you can derive a great many others. The most important of them is this: You are a mortal being. There is no heaven, and there is no hell. You are on earth for 80 years or so, and then you vanish forever. See Chapter 27 for details.
A common philosophical question is, "Why do we exist?" Given these two insights, we can now answer the question definitively: There is no "reason" for our existence. The fact is that we do exist. Through an evolutionary process, nature has created rational creatures called human beings.
The question that we should be asking ourselves is the more profound one: "Given that we do exist, what are we going to accomplish with our existence?" Right now, we are largely squandering our existence because we never ask ourselves this question as a species.
What is our situation? We find that we are a race of approximately six billion people. We inhabit a chunk of iron, rock and water that is floating though the vacuum of space. The universe we exist within has a volume of perhaps 3,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic light years. To our knowledge there are no other intelligent, conscious beings in this universe. Even if there are, they may be millions or billions of light years away, making them completely unreachable for the time being.
The question that we should be asking ourselves is simple: What is our goal as a species? We are, potentially, the only intelligent species in the entire universe. What are we going to do with our existence?
Have you ever considered it? Have you ever thought about the goals of the human race?
Heaven on earth
I would like to make a suggestion. Here is one thing that I believe we should be doing with our existence: we should create Heaven on EarthTM for every human being on the planet.
That's right: Heaven on EarthTM. Since God is imaginary, there is no "afterlife" and no "heaven" in the religious sense. Therefore, we should begin to build Heaven on Earth.
Why is this important? Because right now, for a majority of people on this planet, what we have created is Hell on Earth. As discussed in Chapter 22:
One thing that you quickly realize, if you allow yourself to think about it, is that the number of people living in abject poverty on this planet is staggering. A "fifth of the world’s people" is more than a billion people. You also realize that $1 a day means that these people are living in hopeless, wretched conditions. Think about how little food you can buy for $1. Now consider the fact that the $1 is spent on that little bit of food, so there is no money left for housing, clean water, restroom facilities, clothing, shoes, health care, education, infrastructure, etc. etc. Disease runs rampant. Starvation is common. This level of poverty is nearly unimaginable to most people in the United States, yet more than a billion people live this way today.
Now consider the fact that, if you raise the bar to $3 a day -- still an extremely meager amount -- half of the people on the planet are living at that level of poverty. More than three billion people. As discussed in Chapter 5, 10 million children die every year as a result of abject poverty.
What would Heaven on EarthTM look like? We would take many of the common conceptions from the imaginary heaven and attempt to create them here in reality. For example:
There are a number of different ways that we can create Heaven on Earth. For example, we may be able to use capitalism to get there. It's not clear, however, that capitalism is up to the task. After all:
If we design our economy properly, the advent of robots, nanotech and other advanced technologies will give us the opportunity to create Heaven on Earth in the very near future. In the process we should be able to completely eliminate poverty, raise the standard of living for everyone and give each person on the planet true economic freedom.
But that will happen only if we make the conscious decision to do it, and then we follow through.
It is time for the human race to grow up and embrace reality. It is time for us to discard our imaginary gods and move to the next level of our intellectual evolution. It is time to understand our place in the universe and take control of our destiny. It is time to create Heaven on Earth for everyone. There is no God, and there are so many good things that we can accomplish as a species. Let's make the most of the opportunity that the universe has given us.
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