Last Thanksgiving, I posted about the death of my uncle in a car accident.
Well, last Friday brought another tragedy. Last Friday night, a friend of mine got in a car accident. In the accident, he hit his head in the exact wrong way, and it caused a very serious subdural hematoma. Aside from that, he had no other injuries whatsoever.
He was rushed to the hospital, and the doctors did scans and tests, and then determined that they needed to operate. They cut his head open and tried to fix the problem by relieving pressure and a few other things (I don't know all the details because I'm not a medical professional). Long story short, the operation did not work. My friend is now brain dead and on life support.
But the news gets worse. His chance of recovery is 0%. He is a vegetable. He will not wake up again, ever. The only reason he is still breathing is because a machine is pumping air into his lungs. His mom is probably going to pull the plug soon; the family has already had a priest and a nun stop by to give last rites (the family is Catholic).
This news has devastated me. Not only because he was a close friend, but also because it is the second fatal (or about to be fatal) accident of someone dear to me in only 2 months.
And to top it all off (as if it couldn't get any worse), my friend is only 22 years old. 22 years old!
His MySpace page is full of comments from friends and family, offering memories, support, wishes, and prayers. Actually, there are a lot of prayers in there with things like "God, hear this prayer!" and "I have faith that you will get through this." There is even one prayer in his comments section that actually says at the end "In Jesus' name, amen."
Many of my friends are religious, and I don't hold it against them. But these kinds of comments piss me off, and rightly so. Not because of their expressed desire for the guy to recover, but because of at least two other reasons. First off, it incorrectly places certainty where uncertainty is more appropriate. Secondly, it makes an appeal to the grand cosmic fuckhead who, if he did exist, was responsible for the accident in the first place! Why appeal to Him for a speedy recovery when this was part of His plan in the first place?
So like I was saying, the prayers piss me off. The best chance of recovery that my friend had was due to one thing and one thing only: the efforts and knowledge of our fellow man. The doctors, nurses, emergency personnel, etc. Those are the people who deserve the credit and the appeals, not some imaginary fucktard space ghost who has all the power in the universe yet fails 100% of the time to wield it properly.
Anyway, the prayers didn't work. The plug will be pulled. The priest gave his last rites. Maybe everyone should have prayed harder and stood on their heads while doing it. Maybe they should have performed sex magic. Maybe they should have drank chicken blood. But God forbid that anyone actually gives credit, trust, and responsibility where it is due! God forbid that anyone says "It's in the doctor's hands."
My friend will be no more. His consciousness will not go to another place. It will not go to a better place. It will not go any place whatsoever. It will simply be no more. To fail to recognize this is an insult to him, and a failure to recognize the severity of the situation. It does a huge disservice to fail to call a spade a spade in this situation. His consciousness will simply no longer exist.
Why do people always want to avoid the gravity of this kind of consequence? People would rather spare their feelings than learn from the reality of the situation. Well I say fuck that. My friend deserves better. He deserves truth between those who care about him.
The more that the afterlife gets killed, the less likely humans will be. This is because people will stop thinking that fatal accidents are a miraculous act of God and instead they will realize that accidents are preventable by our actions. They will realize that accidents can be prevented, and that by taking responsibility for ourselves, we can increase our chances of surviving and recovering from accidents. Putting it in God's hands prevents these things from happening. Putting the responsibility in God's lap retards our own progress.
I used to think that the afterlife was a shitty concept when I first started this blog. I'm surprised to realize that I feel even more strongly about this today. I don't think I have ever been so upset at the idea of making up silly childish afterlife myths as I am now. They are insidious. At first, an atheist may disregard them as silly or infantile. But that is not so. They are fatal. Truly fatal.
Kill The Afterlife. Save a friend's life.