Richard Dawkins, head of fundamentalist atheism, has today admitted that his belief in a bleak godless existence is all a preposterous lie founded on a fear of the afterlife. He says people simply cannot accept that their eternal soul is going to live on indefinitely, even after their physical bodies wither and rot.
“I’ve seen kids as young as five, who simply cannot sleep because they’re terrified that they and everyone they love will eventually live forever. Even by then they can see what a Sisyphean chore it is we are all clearly headed for. They’re already getting bored of basic bodily functions, and the thought of doing them twice a day for infinity doesn’t bare thinking about.”
“They can’t cope with the idea that this is it. That all they will ever do is be conscious for an eternity. It’s just too long. So we started reassuring them there is something more: that eventually they will die and their bodies will be nothing but worm's meat. Look, even if we have to pretend to them there are no intrinsic moral demands on them, no ludicrously specific routines they must go through each day, no one waiting patiently to damn them forever for doing something fun, the psychological damage this is bound to cause is clearly far preferable to the truth.”
“If life lasts for infinity then nothing means anything,” he explains. “Why make plans? Why bother trying to succeed? You’ll get to do it all eventually anyway; you’re not exactly short of time. And what’s more, in some theorists’ view, infinity can only exist non-linearly, and therefore all things must be happening at the same time. So anything you aren’t doing you actually are doing somewhere anyway.”
Dawkins admits it has always been a rather far-fetched crock. “How could anything as complex and beautiful as the science which purports to disprove the afterlife be created by anything other than a supernatural omniscient deity who loves us? It’s preposterous.”
“It may seem silly to we rational grownups,” he admits, “but if we get them young enough and train them brutally, they become programmed to just have hilariously misguided faith in it. Hey, whatever they need to get through infinity, right?”