Don’t Fear Death

I saw this on Twitter yesterday, and I found it very moving. You’ll probably need to click on the image to make it readable, but I think it’s worth the mouse click. Or you can just read the transcription below.

We are going to die and that makes us the lucky ones.

Most people are never going to die because they’re never going to be born.

The potential people who could have been here in my place, but who will, in fact, never see the light of day, outnumber the sand grains of Sahara.

Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton.

We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people.

In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.

We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state, from which the vast majority have never stirred.

This quote is from Richard Dawkins’ 1998 book, Unweaving the Rainbow.


Tags: , , ,

5 Responses to “Don’t Fear Death”

  1. terri jones Says:

    How dare we? Because we can conceive of an alternative.

  2. Richard Dawkins on mortality in Unweaving the Rainbow « skepgineering Says:

    […] via BioDork: […]

  3. George W. Says:

    One of my favorite Dawkins quotes from my favorite Dawkins book.
    UTR is a treasure trove of sublime meditations just like this one.

    Oh, and take it from someone who is a svelte supermodel with the brain of Stephen Hawking, it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Apparently the package comes with the humility of a Christian….

  4. breeze Says:

    Sounds like another new angle for the anti abortionists.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: