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Sometimes it is helpful to see what life looks like on the other side of faith, that is, for those who believe that God does not exist. Bertrand Russell, the renowned philosopher and avowed atheist, had this to say about humanity from the perspective of an atheist:

His origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms . . . No fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave… All the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system. . . The whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins.”

For those who choose to believe we are merely a collection of atoms, this is the stark reality of life: once it is over, it is completely over.

Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man’s Worship” in The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell, eds., Robert E. Egner and Lester E. Denonn, Simon and Schuster.

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