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Human Life is Precious

May 7th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

How many times have I heard people say something to the effect i.e. “If there is no God, then life is meaningless. “This assertion has always left me scratching my head and utterly perplexed. “Why bother raising a family if they’re all going to perish and die someday… ” This sort of illogical thinking has reinforced my belief that man is a strange species indeed; smarter yes, but stranger than any other primate is. I hear this time and time again from Christian fundamentalists who make the claim that if we don’t live for eternity and there is no afterlife then life ceases to matter. One might argue that since our time is limited, then  life ought to be all the more important.
I’ve written  before about how living forever would be a Kafkaesque nightmare, and I now want to just touch upon how foolishly inane this notion of thinking that a life that goes on and on and on and on – forever and ever without end is the only existence that would render life important and meaningful. This is just nonsense. The fact that we will one day no longer exist should not nullify or marginalize our life one iota, no matter how long or short of a time we live.
I must admit that I have been guilty of this sort of wrong-headed thinking when I was in college after a friend of mine had died at a young age. That semester and the semester after that , my grades dropped precipitously. “What is the point of studying and getting good grades if we’re going to die someday?” I suppose the fact that my friend’s death was unexpected and premature – he died way too young; was really the cause of my angst. The real issue at hand was that anyone of us can die at any time, but since I was 20 years old, wasn’t diagnosed with a terminal disease, and dying from an accident or mishap was remote, my emotional response was inappropriate. There are no guarantees as to when and how long we live but the fact that we are going to die doesn’t make life meaningless. Having stated the aforementioned, I personally think that most people do however die too soon; life is so ineffably rich and beautiful (often – it can be awful and ugly too)that I can envision myself living for centuries (this is science fiction here but ..) even thousands of years without getting bored, as long as my body held up.
But, even if I died tomorrow, and there was no afterlife,etc. I would still be full of gratitude and would consider myself an incredibly lucky person to be born and had had a life at all.
I’m going to conclude this blog with a little something that Shelly Kagan from Yale put together to illustrate and put into perspective how mind-bogglingly amazing it is that you and I are here alive. Here we go – If there are 5 billion people in the world today and roughly  2.5 billion are men and 2.5 billion are women the potential birth algorithm would be calculated as follows: 2.5 billion women x 30 years of childbearing years x 12 eggs x 2.5 billion men x 50 sperm producing years x the unbelievable average of 40 million spermatozoa per ejaculation the number you end up with is 1.5 million, billion, billion, billion potential births and after this generation gives birth you would then end up with more potential people than all the particles in the known universe.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Just think if your great, great, great, great grandmother had a headache and perhaps had sex 5 minutes later, you would not be here.

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One Response to “Human Life is Precious”

  1. Michael Tabor Says:

    Cceck out the photo of the millions of spermatozoa trying to penetrate the ovum. Now if the little guy that made it in to your mom’s egg to make you – you @ the point of conception didn’t successfully make it and instead your sperm buddy to the right got in then you would never have existed. Yes that’s right, it would be a sibling of yours. And keep in mind, you only have this one shot for all eternity to make it in – 1 in 40,000,000 chance to be born just at the moment of conception. Note: this is cartoonishly simple, the stongest sperm makes it all the way to the egg, most sperm don’t even make it up the vaginal canal – but you get the point. If you are alive now and HEALTHY – rejoice and be happy.

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