john rah essay

Imagine no Religion
Okay John, let's imagine nothing matters. Impossible, one would think. Let's start with the beginning of the universe. They tell us that 14 billion years ago there was infinite nothing. Absolutely everything was in non existence. A place infinitely small.

No one can imagine a place, everything in one spot that ain't even big enough to be a point. Such a place may seem stable but it is the exact opposite. Nothing is impossible. It is like zero. It holds the dividing line. The line so thin, it is not big enough to take up space.

It does its existence in less than an instant.

It is real though; everything that wasn't and now is, had to get through that infinitesimally small nothing.

Things got bigger awful fast in our universe. Not very intricate though. A virgin universe has simple elements and great reserves of energy. Energy is almost all that the matter is. The building of an atom was the foundation of stable miniature universes. Or, shall we say, solar systems. A proton, concentrated energy, with an electron flying around it at super solar speeds on a fixed course.

First major impossibility becoming an inevitability.

And with that refinement to the matter bursting from non existence into existence, into the building material for everything that can be.

In half a billion years the universe created atoms. Hydrogen and Helium reigned a quarter billion years before stars exploded to create heavier atoms. Billions of years of exploding suns until we got to such a state that a star, our sun, could spit out a mixture of matter. Gas giants like Jupiter and hot magma, like Earth.

Less than a billion years and rock was created. Formed, came to be. Cooled. Floated atop the magma.

Shortly after Earths billionth birthday, very simple forms of self animated and procreated beings. Life.

But nobody noticed.

It took less than a billion years to come to something as intricate as a jelly fish. The forefathers of the creatures to have brains.

Brains went on a rampage. Not half a billion years and there was a creature that could hold a stick.

Suddenly, with about 13.2 billion years of universe, we get to our forefathers. Half a billion years to go.

Staring at their feet wondering anything they could get their thoughts around.

That's where the trouble started. A creature well beyond a rock. A creature that could take rock and build great monuments.

With language, meanings could be decided upon and propagated.

The language creature had forgotten the billions of years. It set out to shut out the shocking universe and put the last minutes into the official history books. With murder, pomp and generations of ignorance, the most amazing life form beings had become slaves to hate religions, worshippers of consumer madness and lovers of pop technology and pills.


Live long enough to create an intelligent killing machine.

To perceive the universe.

Without life. With nothing to feel or love.

Of course meaning is a relative thing. Mostly it relates to us. It's one of the things we try to create. Something a brain apparently longs for. Communion with other beings. Love. Everything that helps us survive. And perceive. Perceiving to increase survival chances.

Perhaps this hardly explains that everyone is religious.

Maybe that isn't even a problem. Ultimately it isn't matter. When we are dead, our beliefs will be gone too.

And the universe will go on. Maybe somewhere else, the ultimate brain creature doesn't adapt religious madness. And get's over the urge to destroy what took nearly 14 billion years to become.

Or, we might wake up and understand that we might be it. The part of it that makes meaning out of matter.

Up till now, we haven't much to make sense of.

We can certainly make a circus out of it.

An alliance with artificial life so that we can see more than a singularity. Nothing is a singularity. Artificial intelligence without us would be an abandonment of the billions of years to make the life that makes the machine.

The days of the science fiction machine are history.

If we are to become the gods, we have to abandon our garden of eden ignorance. The story is for us to write.

We need not believe. We need not worship.

We can do and become whatever we can.

Either we follow the dinosaurs or we take the matter into our own hands and mold the heaven we happened into.