The Open Sea

The history of the human race to date contains a lengthy and dreary record of the ongoing and absolutely non-nonsensical disputes between religious beliefs, a pervasive and debilitating process – often pursued to the point of self-destruction – that continues to thrive into the present, and the surest indication that the human race is truly lost unless it finds some way to get back to its senses. But how will we ever save ourselves from this neurosis: an obsessive-compulsive disease of the mind around the need to hold beliefs about unseen and powerful supernatural beings in charge of the world, and – in the most extreme case – being compelled to kill or be killed for them.

The sad thing is that it only takes a modicum of common sense to realize that there is no god or deity or any other entity of the metaphysical kind out there. We can no longer believe in such things because we have left the age of innocence as a species a long time ago, when we climbed to the top of Mount Olympus, but Zeus was nowhere to be found.

And since coming of age, we now know why: no god was ever there, or anywhere else for that matter. No longer are we able to blindly accept the existence of such entities without a shred of evidence, by simply being told about this or having read a book. A figment of our imagination is all he ever was, and the truth is that we made him up – Man created God – when he first opened his eyes on this planet as a sentient being with the innate need to know how he and the world came about and why he was there.

These questions are intrinsic to our being, and life is about pursuing the answers to them – nothing more and nothing less. And as opposed to seeking the answers outside or beyond ourselves, e.g., by postulating supernatural beings within the realm of metaphysics – or by peering into the furthest corners of time and space with evermore sophisticated technology – we need to look only within ourselves to find the answers since the essence of the cosmos lies within each and every particle of our being, and that would include all its rhyme and reason.

And so the meaning and purpose of the world are there for us to be found if we have the courage to discover what we are from ourselves. This as opposed to what the powers of religion want us be for them: the subservient underlings of their paternalistic institutions that forbid you to think for yourself, ostensibly for your own protection and spiritual well being, but in reality a means to keep their theocratic hierarchies in power.

But once we remove the blindfold of religious dogma our species can focus ahead once again towards a much different future – as without religion (as Sartre pointed out) we will actually have a future! And not only will this new future created by ourselves not be dominated by superstition and its associated murder or mayhem, but also be without the relentless and mindless greed and exploitation of the few over the many; instead – we might be able to celebrate such enlightened qualities as consideration, compassion, sharing, conservation and the arts.

If that is a supremely naive objective in light of what we know about human nature – so be it! But it is nevertheless the only one that would allow us to flourish as a species in the long run – as all other paths will lead to our eventual self-destruction and demise! That the road ahead will be difficult goes without saying, but as Nietzsche put it at the occasion of his famous “God is Dead” statement:

At long last the horizon appears free to us again, even if it should not be bright; at long last our ships may venture out again, venture out to face any danger; all the daring of the lover of knowledge is permitted again; the sea, our sea, lies open again; perhaps there has never yet been such an “open sea”