LIFE AFTER DEATH
(hard questions) (life after death)
—“Is there life after death?”—
Do socrates, Alexander, and Jefferson still live? Do your ancestors still live? Our current understanding of the universe is that it is constructed of information (differences in state). We certainly live on as information. We certainly live on as information in both genes, words, deeds, and the debt we pass on to our ancestors.
But does that information in any way exist such that our memories can be accessed, our experiences revisited, new experiences felt, or new memories formed? No.
Of this we are scientifically certain I’m afraid – although I won’t go into the completeness we see today. There is no room in the universe for information that can interact with any information we are capable of sensing.
Conversely can the fragments of our genes, words, deeds, be assembled in ‘gists’ in the minds of those that follow us? Of course. How many of us have been in an ancient place and felt the generations, centuries, millennia, aeons pass? How many of us can ‘feel’ the lives of the generations that have lived in a medieval house? A gothic church? A roman ruin? An oak grove.
We make marks upon genetic, physical, and informational existence. And as such we make marks on our perception of eternity, just as surely as a craftsman leaves a mark on stone, an author ink on parchment, a philosopher or scientist on man, a mother and father on the generations to follow.
The greatest mark we can make is a war of liberty, conquest, or genocide. It’s these marks we make as a people. But it is those marks we leave in genetics, in our arts and letters, and in knowledge, that live forever.
So is there a life after death? Of course not. It was a lie told to those in exchange for obedience – a novel form of cheap slavery. An addictive drug for the weak and ignorant. One of the great lies of history – a lie that violates reciprocity because it cannot be warrantied.
But do we persist after death?
Only in the capital we create that persists after us.
Bear young. Live well. Speak the truth. And exit this life having made works that leave the world better for your having lived in it.
This is the promise of our people.