I’m pretty much an atheist. I think the whole notion of the afterlife is inconsistent with anything we see about how the universe works. It absolutely relies on a “specialness” of homo sapiens — that the universe is here just for us. This is absurd on every practical level. It is also true that, even if there is no afterlife, creatures like us homo sapiens would certainly invent one to insulate us from the horror of death. We’d all be nuts not to hope that when we die all sorts of cool stuff happens. That would be great.
But we can set aside the afterlife question and go one deeper, the question we all ask: why are we here? Yes, Big Bang nucleosynthesis and accretion disks and all this can explain it from the Big Bang forward, but why a Big Bang? Or better — whence a Big Bang? Where the fuck did all of this come from?
I agree with the likes of Carl Sagan who said something to the effect of, saying God did it but we don’t know where God came from is rather the same as saying we don’t know where the universe came from in the first place. You’ve only pushed the unknown one step further out. Maybe God did do it, no one knows for sure. But saying God did it does not advance our understanding, it’s just made-up words.
But still — how the fuck did we get here? I write, you read, we are fucking here, dammit, and I want to know why! Science cannot answer this. NO ONE can answer this, as far as we know. It is unanswerable.
So although I agree with the atheists, I say “pretty much an atheist” because to me, acknowledgment that we can’t explain why we are here or what created the matter/energy that started it all, means to me that those answers could be profound, profound in ways that we can’t conceive of. Imagine knowing where it all came from? What does that answer look like?
Does dying provide answers? That’s hard for me to believe. Can I say it is impossible? No. Can anyone? No. Yes, improbable as all fuck, but impossible, no.
We came from somewhere.