One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord, "You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?"
The Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, I was using my jetpack."
I like to believe that there is no god or devil. I believe that when i die I will simply stop exsisting, no heaven no hell and no thoughts. I think that the reason humans even came up with the idea of an afterlife is because human beings are incapable of imagining nothing.
It's not so much the incapability to "imagine" nothing but moreso the unwillingness to accept it. Of course, this is not true for every religion the same as it is not true of every individual of a given religion where the concept of nothingness is all but unacceptable.
As a Christian who gets phenomenally bored after 20 minutes of monotony, the concept of eternity fills me with dread. I have the interesting dilemma of believing strongly in an afterlife but really wishing I would just not have to have my own.
Zero is the number that represents the absence of any amount of what you are counting. It doesn't mean oblivion, or nothingness. It means nothing of that item.
And we can understand what the words mean, but we can't imagine them. In our lives we have never experienced anything like it, we have nothing we can compare it to. Humans cannot comprehend what a void would be like, we can only understand the meaning of it.
It is like examining an animal that sees the world in a different way to us. Look at spiders, they see the world through eight eyes. Can you imagine what that would be like? I can't, because I have nothing remotely like it in my life to compare it to.
I didn't necessarily say it meant oblivion, I simply was implying that for one example to prove true (of lack of understanding of...lackingness) it should disprove all others. If we cannot understand a nothing, or absence, then how could we have defined a symbol for it? There's at least a finite understanding of the concept for it to mean anything.
To be is different than "nothing". Mostly because one cannot be nothing, by mere conceptual paradox. That paradox driven by it is as well only understood by understanding to various degrees "zip".