I recently read an interesting article by one of my favourite historians, Yuval Noah Harari.
Yuval is the author of bestselling books such as Sapiens: Brief History of Humankind; Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow and his latest book, 21 Lessons of the 21st Century.
In his article I recently read, Yuval reflects on: The Meaning of Life in a World without Work, and he makes some interesting observations and predictions.
I share some of his predictions and I hold different views on some.
So here are some of the his observations:
“The crucial problem isn’t creating new jobs. The crucial problem is creating new jobs that humans perform better than algorithms. Consequently, by 2050 a new class of people might emerge, the useless class. People who are not just unemployed, but unemployable.”
It is true that the future of work is going to be totally different to what we know today.
Here is his other observation making reference to his observation that the new class of people, “the useless class” will preoccupy themselves with playing games:
“Consumerism too is a virtual reality game. You gain points by acquiring new cars, buying expensive brands and taking vacations abroad, and if you have more points than everybody else, you tell yourself you won the game.”
I share these sentiments on the article.
Here is where both roads [his and mine] departs and go on different directions:
What is a religion if not a big virtual reality game played by millions of people together? Religions such as Islam and Christianity invent imaginary laws, such as “don’t eat pork”, “repeat the same prayers a set number of times each day”, “don’t have sex with somebody from your own gender” and so forth. These laws exist only in the human imagination. No natural law requires the repetition of magical formulas, and no natural law forbids homosexuality or eating pork. Muslims and Christians go through life trying to gain points in their favorite virtual reality game. If you pray every day, you get points. If you forget to pray, you lose points. If by the end of your life you gain enough points, then after you die you go to the next level of the game (aka heaven).
Let’s assume that he is right.
Let’s assume that christianity or islam is all but a game.
Let’s assumes when I die, there is no heaven or hell.
What if there is no God.
What if when I die, and get to the next level of the game and realize that actually there is no next level [aka heaven]?
What I know is that if there is no God, and when I die and discover there is not next level [aka heaven], I would have lived my life here on earth with the values and principles that led me to live a good, meaningful life.
What I know is that if there is no God, I would have lived a life I’m proud of, a life made up of values and principles of love, empathy, generosity, and doing good.
I believe there is God, and I will continue to praise, worship and do His word.
If all this is a game, well it is a good game, a game worth playing.
Game or no game, living a life for God is a life worth living.
PS: I respect Yuval’s views and others who share his views, the same way I expect them to respect mine, even if they are different. As a person who is passionate about history, Yuval’s books have shaped how I view certain things about the world. However I have learned to smile and nod at certain views even that I hold a different view.