Monday, 24 March 2008

The Monday Bit of Wisdom

In a new, and possibly regular (if I can get myself organised) feature - Monday is to play host, here at The View From the Pond, to a bit of wisdom from someone older and wiser than I.

In the essay On Suicide, David Hume, the 18th century Scottish philosopher and atheist, argues for a person's right to end their own life if they choose. I love this passage - it is very close to my own view and is startlingly modern.
"It is providence surely that has placed me at this present moment in this chamber: but may I not leave it when I think proper, without being liable to the imputation of having deserted my post or station? When I shall be dead, the principles of which I am composed will still perform their part in the universe, and will be equally useful in the grand fabric, as when they composed this individual creature. The difference to the whole will be no greater than betwixt my being in a chamber and in the open air. The one change is of more importance to me than the other; but not more so to the universe."

So elegant, so modest...and so true. That is one of the biggest challenges for the atheist, at least it is for this atheist - to accept that you are of no importance in the universe - no more than the chamber for all those particles, and yet to still find value in your life, even when things aren't going well. Still working on that one...


JennyB said...

I am too, an atheist and I too have contemplated my right to suicide, and I too, still look to what value I am and to what value my life is... Keep going Puddock... you keep me going!

reasonable robinson said...

whatever we choose we always provide lessons that others can learn from