It is eating up because you are a good person and I bet you have felt the pain of religous stupidity against you. I feel the pain more now than before everything that happened to me in the BORG. Because I become awake and so have you. You are better for this.
Senseless death is getting to me
I am struck by this too. I do believe in God, but I still do not understand.
In a city close to us a man just decided to kill his whole family. WIfe and three daughters under the age of 10. Strangled them one at a time. Then called the cops and waited on the porch for them to arrive and arrest him. A few days later he was implicated in the abduction and murder of a 10 year old from his neighborhood [a friend of the family no less].
It is all senseless. Leaves one feeling empty.
It is because of senseless death and mistreatment of people that I came to believe the Deist way. God or someone started the process then moved on to leave us to find our own way, there is no god helping us. I suppose it is along the lines of atheism though it leaves the door open if I can feel like I've found a caring god out there somewhere.
Is not humanity all equally valuable or valueless?
As a JW, death meant little to me. "They'll be resurrected" Even senseless, early death was just a moment's sleep before paradise. I believed then and I believe now that all men are equal. Not in "god's sight" or anyone else's sight. They are just intrinsically equal.
Are not all deaths equally meaningful or meaningless?
Hmmmm... not so sure about that one. I don't want anyone to die, and if they invent a pill that makes people live forever I'll be all over funding universal access to it. But there is currently an acceptable kind of death. I can accept death from cancer, since we can't cure it. It's a shame, but it's going to happen to some people and when it does, it does. There's no malice or intent or negligence behind it. I can accept death by old age. The meaningless deaths are the ones brought about by human intent, or gross human negligence. In my opinion.
Andi, I agree with you 100%. I actually don't have that much in the way of stuff, and even what I do have is an encumberance to me. The things -- actual physical things -- that I treasure and would not want to wake up tomorrow to find missing and irreplaceable are very few. I don't have any sentimental things in that category, they are utility items.
I felt the same way when I heard the news about the death of Michael Vale.
He was the voice of Dunkin Donuts with his bleary-eyed "time to make the donuts." He passed away this week.
I will think about him every time I have a donut and coffee.
Rub a Dub
But what if death is just a door to something more beautiful than our little earthly brains can comprehend? What if the painful situation that you go through to get there is forgotten once you're there? Like when a woman gives birth...even after a terrible labor, she'd go through it a million times if it meant having her newborn alive and breathing and well. Or all of us exiting from the bOrg. It was painful as hell for most of us (and still is for many of us), but would you ever NOT go through it now that you've tasted freedom?
Just thinking out loud here...
I've always been aware of this stuff, why is it eating me up now?
Dave, I understand the molten hot eruptions of psychological pain upon opening to the suffering around us. Something is very wrong and there is a message here, but we know not what it is; and beliefs in god separate and full of empty promises is of little help.
For thousands of years we have looked outside ourselves for a saviour, a healing elixir to end the suffering; and we need but look around to see it has been to no avail.
If we feel the agony of suffering deeply enough, we may be motivated to question the very validity of the wounded reality we have up to now unquestionably believed to be true. We may be motivated to shift attention from outward, to within into the silent pool of our own being to inquire what is true? What is at the core of this pain which is haunting me and calling me to it?
But what if death is just a door to something more beautiful
It sounds nice, but in reality many senseless deaths are brought about by people with that very concept in mind.
"If I kill my children, they will be in heaven."
"If I blow myself up, I'll be in paradise."
"If my baby dies from refusing this transfusion, at least Jehovah will remember her in paradise."
This is not to say that any faith in an afterlife naturally leads to murder and/or suicide, just that it is this sort of belief that empowers people to do these things.
If we could pick and choose what was true and what wasn't, I would happily pick the idea that we live forever. Surely I could find SOMETHING to do! :-)
But if we can't, and if we find that in reality this life is all we get, then I'd honestly rather see people acknowledge it and get what they can for themselves and those around them in THIS life. Rather than accept a belief that will surely lead some to end their own or someone else's life prematurely.
(Sorry if I sound bitter, Andi. I'm a victim of my own success. I asked Gina for "The End of Faith" by Sam Harris for Christmas. And I got it.)
What is at the core of this pain which is haunting me and calling me to it?
I can honestly say, I am afraid of what that pain that is haunting me wants of me. I am genuinely afraid to know what it is calling me about.
This is weird. I haven't feared acquisition of any knowledge of any kind for well over a year now. So freaking weird.
"Everyone in general, but nobody in particular." ...When we think of death happening to masses, it's oddly easy. And this is understandable, because the weight of each individual's pain and injustice would crush us if we lingered over it long. When it is somebody in particular (learning names, ages, faces, connections), brings the statistics to be more unbearable, and that is what they should be.
...Is malice a real thing, even if it is not, itself, physical? I think of malice and evil intent as the "evidences" of a spiritual dimension. Likewise, I think the yearning for justice (or just to justify ourselves) is also the evidence of this dimension. Just because we can't take slice up a piece of malice doesn't mean that such a thing is not Real.
I think that we are all special. We are all significant. That is why I think that in one great sense, all death is equally unbearable.
Sorry to sound preachy... I'm just thinking aloud here. You have a good topic, Dave.