Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Douglas Adams Quote on the Afterlife

Leif was a huge fan of Douglas Adams, as I've posted before. Today I saw a Douglas Adams quote that Leif would have found profoundly amusing, at least in the time before he decided to kill himself, and knowing Leif, probably even then. He had a wonderful sense of humor and irony.

"He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife."

About this quote, Leif would have probably speculated about why the person quoted hoped there wasn't an afterlife . . . but more likely he would have known just what book it came from and why. Leif himself was an agnostic. Sometimes he said he was an atheist, but then would say he really was an agnostic. He said he liked to hope that there was a benevolent deity, but that he saw no evidence for it. There were quite a few women he dated who tried to convert him to fundamentalist Christianity and he did not appreciate their efforts to "save" him. He felt that if there was such a deity, he would not condemn people to eternal misery. Another one of his favorite quotes, which I've written about before, one that he used as a sig line on Zaon, was, "Maybe this planet is another planet's hell." by Aldous Huxley. I think Leif had some tiny hope that there was an afterlife, but not a belief.

I chose this photo of the family because it was taken about the time Leif became enamored of Douglas Adams, when he was in junior high school. Peter Anthony was a cadet at the Air Force Academy and took a science fiction literature class, where he was introduced to Douglas Adams. He was so taken with Adams work that he insisted the whole family had to read at least "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," and we all did. All of us except Peter W. read the entire series and we had a lot of fun talking about all the absurdity in the books.

The photo was taken in September 1987, right after Peter Anthony's first cadet summer, at the home of his Air Force sponsor, virtually the first time he was allowed off the Academy grounds to have a "normal" meal without all the cadet constraints. It was actually a little before he took the sci fi course, but the only photo I have of all of us together around that time. It was a good visit.

No comments:

Post a Comment