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Sunday 17 April 2005

Do Ants go to Heaven? [Houmous]

I was recently having a discussion on what we had to do to die happy – a reconciled death so to speak. I presented my case enthusiastically, speaking about the positive effect of life experiences as opposed to material wealth, and waxed lyrical about motorbikes, diving on the Great Barrier Reef, snowboarding off the top of mountains and having sex in airplane toilets etc etc.
My colleague however started to talk about what happens to us after death and what experiences may await us there, which rather caught me unawares. Despite a personal backdrop of having been closely involved in religion in my thirties (I was confirmed when I was 35 but drifted away from religion after I got divorced) I realised, in a blinding flash of clarity, that at no point in my life had I ever seriously thought any thing actually happened to us after our deaths – we just, you know, burnt or rotted.
This is despite believing, in my own way, in God, which perhaps can be neatly summarised by Richard Burton's response to a question on this subject, in his role as Alec Leamas in The Spy who came in from the Cold - "Well I believe that a 91 bus will get me to Chiswick but I dont believe Santa Claus will be driving it" (actually I think he used a different bus route - but I cant find my copy of the book - apologies :-) )
So am I alone in my views or are you all looking forward to popping your clogs so you can get to play Half Life 3 in 3400 x 2400 res on a 9Ghz PC?


  1. Nah, the whole paradise-after-you-die is a control mechanism concocted as a means of rewarding a virtuous life by ancient civilisations. I've seen no evidence to suggest there is a life after death, that the human spirit is anything other than a curious collection of chemical reactions. Maybe if people stopped thinking about their forthcoming eternity in paradise or the harem of virgins that is their due, then living in the existence we know to be real would be a lot nicer.

  2. I agree with dave in sentiment but I'm not sure if the notion of an afterlife was concocted as a mechanism of control. Surely organised religion was but I think our predisposition to religion is essentially down to a peculiar quirk of evolution. We're just smart enough to be sentient but not smart enough to come to every conclusion by logic and reason. Our minds are designed to solve problems to get what we want and that means the process of how you get to A to B is often lacking; to put it another way, we generally have an idea of what we want to be true and then fill in the blanks.
    That's what the afterlife is at the end of the day. The barely-sentient mind crying out "I think, therefore I am but I don't want to just vanish when I die!". We want oh so very much to believe there's something after death but of course, if you put in the hard work and look at the reality of the situation - there simply isn't a scrap of evidence to suggest that's case.
    It sucks of course but that's the way it is. So once you've got over that, it leads you to go down another train of thought. What can I do to ensure people remember me when I'm gone.
    The only comforting fact here, if you can embrace it, is that it really doesn't matter if you're remembered. Someone, sometime in the past, probably had a 'better' life than you, in any sense you care to imagine, and no one remembers them any more either.
    The thing that amazes me even more, about the human condition, is that you can understand all this and yet still manage not to quite realise how precious and wonderful every day is and take advantage of it.

  3. Remember what it was like before you were born? Thats what its going to be like after you're dead. Quite simple really

  4. I disagree Billox. There is clearly life after death. You've been fucking haunting us for over two years :)

  5. i just want know
    How do ants go to the toilet?????

  6. What the fuck do you mean? Are you so mind bendingly stupid that you consider this to be some bon mot or humourous diversion? An ant, like all living organisms both consumes and excretes. Why the fuck wouldn't it? There's no joke or "funny thing" there - you just sound really fucking stupid. Maybe if I talk to you like Yoda it might connect with your 12 year old brain. So - How enormously depressing use of mental processing power (seriously impeded) yours is.

  7. Am! You're letting the plankton get to YOU this time :-)

  8. I know I know. I've gone with it zen-like while the neck-veins of my clannies have popped in righteous indignation but but BUT JESUS WEPT SOMEONE SOMEWHERE MUST BE IN CHARGE OF ELIMINATING THE FUCKTARDARY OF THE GENERAL POPULACE>!>!>!>!>!!!!!!111