Monday, 7 August 2017
The Halls Of Mandos
Do you believe in a hereafter? You are confident that, if you get into a plane going to London, then, barring accidents, you will arrive in London. Are you equally confident that, if you were to die now, then you would arrive in a hereafter? And, if so, which hereafter? Surely not one described in a work of fiction:
"...a long, long time in the Halls of Mandos."
-SM Stirling, Lord Of Mountains (New York, 2013), Chapter Five, p. 96.
I contrast this belief with Flandry's Prayer.
If a single, hand written copy of a diary, journal or Book of Shadows that no one else has read is burned to ashes, then the content of that document no longer exists. It is not recorded elsewhere and does not continue to exist in an immaterial realm. The author, if still alive, might remember some of what he wrote, might even have a photographic memory, but let us suppose that he has died before the book, locked in a safe and seen by no one else, is destroyed in a house fire. When a human brain ceases to function and, shortly afterwards, disintegrates, then surely its memories and sense of personal identity no longer exist? It is possible that they have been recorded elsewhere but that is a mere possibility and in any case would any recording last forever? Cosmically, entropy increases...