Wednesday, November 07, 2007
An early draft of Dr. Richard Dawkins' children's book has been given exclusively to Inside the Hotdog Factory:
The most important thing Jimmy needed to know about life was that he would one day die. Depending on where he lived, his chances of being sexually molested and killed at the hands of his tormentor might be slightly higher or lower than the national average. But, no matter what, he was going to die one day, and rot. All people die.
The second most important thing Jimmy needed to know about life was that his mummy and daddy were going to die. Not today and probably not tomorrow, but they would some day. All people die. No one had been born, yet, who had cheated death.
Jimmy's little puppy, Bilsby, would one day die, too.
Although Jimmy would be taught by his parents and teachers and society that there was God in the sky watching his every move -- even when he went to the bathroom -- these were all lies told to him by stupid, simpleminded people who were intellectually dishonest and prejudiced to the core. When people die, they are done. There is no human soul, there is no heaven and there is no God. If someone truly loved Jimmy, they would teach him this. But nobody really loves Jimmy. He's just the culmination of his parents' egotism and their shallow desire to perpetuate their shallow, ignorant egos. They wanted to have a newer, smaller version of themselves to pamper and coddle and fill with their prejudices and ignorance so that he might, one day, marry a shallow, materialistic Christian girl who will share all of his societal and religious prejudices.
So, the lesson for Jimmy -- and for everyone -- is that the meaning of life is death. When Jimmy gets older, though, he will have to understand that the universe does not owe him, or anyone, meaning. He will find meaning in television, Internet pornography, shopping, washing his car, and a myriad other ways; believing the most primitive, idiotic fictions; floating in a seamless cloud of ignorance. Not only will none of that be meaningful meaning, it will be all the meaning he'll ever know because that's all there is. He'll live then he'll die and that'll be it.
Posted by Whetam Gnauckweirst at 4:48 PM