Earth is a pretty nice planet, and it’s especially nice to be alive right now. Antibiotics keep us from dying of minor problems like tooth abscesses; cars are pretty affordable for the average American family; we’re not engaged in a fratricidal war. At least, not in the western hemisphere. We have some very stunning things on this planet to see, and airplane travel makes it possible to see many of them. In short, Earth is a nifty planet and it’s a good time to be alive.
So why would anyone need an afterlife?
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that in an afterlife there is no time, no human emotion of any kind, no sickness, no death. What the fuck? Who calls that an afterlife? Boring is what I call it. Okay, so there’s no boredom. Let’s accept what the religious say when they speak rapturously about eternal life (or, when they want to get fancy about it, “life eternal.”) When I die and go to heaven, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced here on Earth. It’s total joy, complete happiness, forever and forever.
I’m really not interested in that. I’m so in love with this planet that I’m like a person in a Victorian novel whose lover dies: I dress in black for 50 years, remain reclusive and alone, because there was only that one love.
I have the right to reject my reservation in Paradise. I’m so nostalgic a person that I wouldn’t stop looking back at my Earthly life. And if nostalgia was, like emotion, not present, then where am I in this Paradise picture? If my details are not there, the who of me, then what does it matter if I’m there or not?
Oh, yeah, and I bet there’s no weather in Paradise. Wha. Talk about not being the place for me.