No person should be allowed the luxury of holding a belief while ignoring its implications. Why? Because the implications of today’s prevalent beliefs shape the ethos of the next generation. For instance, suppose I had been born into a culture which had been largely shaped by the belief that the ability to overcome a rival tribe was conferred on me through a rite of manhood. Obviously, I would go through that rite. After several defeats I might come to question the effectiveness of the manhood ritual. I might come to believe that the rival tribe’s practice of cannibalism made them more powerful. Since cannibalism had not been part of my cultural ethos, I would probably find the idea of eating another human to be distasteful (pardon the pun). For me, eating another person would be hard, but propagating my ideas would be easy. Suppose I convince others in the tribe of my position and after another defeat at which I get killed, they decide to eat a couple of the felled rival warriors. What if after that, my tribe won the next battle? My tribe would most likely continue to dabble in cannibalism. Within two generations the buffet would be open.
Lately, I’ve encountered some pretty aggressive anti-theists. The messages coming from that camp are fraught with what I would label, “ideological dissonance.” So, just to do my part to help everyone come into personal harmony, I present this atheistic ontological syllogism for review:
P1- Meaning is an interpretive construct of a sentient mind.
P2- Sentience requires interplay between evaluative consciousness and memory.
P3- Consciousness and memory are products of chemical processes in the human brain.
P4- When the brain is destroyed, consciousness ends and memories are erased.
C1- Relative to the deceased individual, regardless of the details or duration, the life that he or she lived becomes retroactively meaningless.
P5- At some point, all brains and their products will be destroyed.
C2- Human life, regardless of the details or duration, is utterly meaningless.
P6- Resources invested in something which is utterly meaningless are wasted.
C3- The attempt to survive or accomplish anything is a total waste.
If you disagree, please tell me why. If you agree but still choose not to commit suicide, then it’s because you fear the only certainty of your existence. In short, your life isn’t advancing the human condition or accomplishing anything noble; you are just procrastinating. So, the most consistent atheist ethic would be “die today” or “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.”
If you are living in the West, then you were probably raised with a value system which says that you should value human life. The basis of that value is, “all men were created equal” or some similar formulation. Your heart is trying to retain a borrowed ethic the basis of which your mind and mouth deny. So, feel free to keep going where you’re going, just please admit that you are going there.