Goddamn Dementia

Chances are dementia will kill you. That’s if you live past 2050. With the advances in medical science, we’re able to keep the rest of the machine running longer and better than ever before. But the brain is king, and if you live long enough, dementia is the force that’ll bring you down. It’s a sickening, abhorrent way to die. The fog will drift in, memories and recognition will fade, eventually vanishing forever. It will steal your dignity and then your life.

Dementia is cruel and evil. Pure, absolute evil. That is to say it would be evil, if it was an invention. If something had created it. If this universe had an architect that not only allowed the disease to exist, but had actively willed it into existence.

A sentient organism capable of compassion can’t honestly justify the existence of both a loving god and dementia. Nor can they honestly justify both a loving god and the many and varied forms of cancer that plague humanity.

Childhood leukaemia is unjustifiable.

To believe in, and worship an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful being that is watching this aggregate of misery unfold is extraordinary. To pray to them is absurd. To be clear, the god I’m talking about is an interventionist god. There’s no reason to worship a god that isn’t capable of intervention.

The Abrahamic god, the god of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is an interventionist god, and one of two things is happening when we talk about a disease like leukaemia. Either they created the universe and along with that there just happened to be leukaemia, its existence condoned, or as they were making the universe, they willed leukaemia into existence, along with stillbirths and births that kill both mother and infant. I could substitute these tragedies with a hundred different others, as there are far more maladies than the hundreds of ancient gods, remembered or forgotten.

All these afflictions are sanctioned. They must be sanctioned as they still exist. If you think about it, it’s absurd. That all this is part of a plan, that it all makes sense, if only we had the ability to understand?

It’s ridiculous.

But only if you think about it. The trick, obviously, is not to give it too much thought. Not to pull the loose thread on the sweater, because it’ll start to unravel. The argument of “He moves in mysterious ways” doesn’t cut it. If that’s the excuse you use for the way your god behaves, that’s not just ignorant, it’s disgraceful.

He doesn’t move in mysterious ways, because he’s not there.

She’s not there.

It’s not there.

There is nobody there. Which means it’s just us. And by “us” I don’t just mean the sentient creatures. I mean the plants and animals that really can’t change their fate. All the things that feel pain and pleasure. All here, on this planet. At the very least. Life could be on the literally billions of trillions of planets. Life could be everywhere.

Here on this planet, it’s time to open your eyes and see the truth, the tremendous fraud that’s been perpetrated upon us for thousands of years. There is a universe of questions waiting to be answered. You just need the strength and courage to shed your fantasies. The majesty of reality dwarfs the stories and myths that propagate religion.

The stories are good.

The truth is better.

Not just because it’s the truth, but because of where our new knowledge will take us over the coming millennia.

If we last that long.

It’s never wrong to point out a bad idea. The holy books are littered with bad ideas, written by mortals, and sold as the word of the almighty. When we discover the things we’ve held so dear to our hearts aren’t real, it is normal to be angry or upset.

Crying won’t help you, praying won’t do you no good.

At some stage you just have to wake up and reconcile the truth. Science is the pursuit of truth. That’s all it is. The truth isn’t always comforting. Sometimes it’s horrific, sometimes it’s harrowing. But tricking yourself into believing there’s an invisible, omnipotent sky-being doesn’t make it all better. It’s only through knowledge and the understanding of our own humanity that we’ll have a chance of a better tomorrow.

Dementia is the destruction of the most complex object in the known universe. This beautiful object bore every invention, every technical achievement, every song, every painting, every poem, every book, every film. Every human thought. Every human memory.

Every beautiful achievement we’ve made has not been delivered by divinity, but from within.

We stand here now as a proud species, capable of greatness. Dementia is our greatest enemy. God won’t defeat dementia, we will defeat dementia. Science will defeat dementia.

Not through prayer, but through action.

Doesn’t it feel good to know it’s all up to us?

Will Daly