I do not believe in an afterlife and for a long time that was that. It still is but for several months now I have been thinking about what if there was life after death. A lot of religions and belief systems teach us that it is so, mostly to ensure, I believe, to tie us to those religions and belief systems so that we can secure eternal happiness for our souls, consciousness or whatever entity our departed selves may adopt. Of course, to not believe would condemn that entity to eternal damnation and horrors beyond imagination. And that is where it ends.
In a recent discussion with a friend, on the issue of the U.S. national debt, we talked about how to best solve the problem. Being of the liberal mindset, I, of course, talked about raising taxes, specifically, ending the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy (those households making over $250,000 per year), which would result in increased tax revenue for the government.
I wonder if one were given the option to be born, to live as a mortal, would one choose life? I think not. Of course, for it to be a valid choice, one would need to know what life is. To be born is to suffer. That is the default state of being. We suffer from hunger, the need for shelter and companionship. We, then, try to spend the rest of our lives to ease that suffering, knowing that life will end, and with it, all that suffering. At the same time we are mostly fearful of that end. Why one would deliberately want to go through this torment is beyond reason.
Like many liberals, I was a very strong supporter of Barack Obama in 2008. In fact, when hearing him speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I thought to myself, "this man ought to run for president." I had fully and faithfully drank his "hope and change" Kool-Aid. I even defended some of his cowardice in the first year of his presidency, thinking that he was compromising now to build a coalition to get more done on the serious stuff, down the road.
Let me start with something completely unrelated and see if I can tie it into the title in a meaningful way. A couple of years ago I went skydiving. I always kept telling my wife how much I would love to go skydiving except I never did anything about it since I am scared, I mean, crazy scared of heights. Being the wonderful wife she is, she decides to get me a skydiving gift certificate... one with an expiration date. One thing I dislike more than heights is wasting money. I am, after all, Indian.