Microsoft Cathedral 2009 Office Edition

The thudding pulse of the cursor that invites opinion in Word is a welcome respite to the shrill sound of a Project Manager and his wants and the overall silence of people working away at bits of paper and discussions about whose job it is to fix what seemingly has gone wrong. The office is the new cathedral, quieter and more revered than any holy place I have ever been.

Has it become our generation’s battlefield? The men and woman of our past spent hundreds of years in the open wilderness, fighting for survival in the harshest areas of the world – and we, now, in the height of human intellect, we are stuck sitting down infront of a screen that shows up items and objects that we labour over and spend hours working on, until the sudden realisation that they are actual nothing – I mean, nothing of any weight. The internet is made of nothing but large hard drives and wires connecting everyone. It is a wonder when all I make a lists and drawings that I rarely engage with anything I work on.

The office is a place for thinking and for talking. It is almost as bad as a Sunday afternoon, so listless when you have nothing to do, and yet horrendous when we have everything to do in a short space of time. We can only stave off the feeling that to be honest… we are all just waiting to die – I mean, that we are literally dying, and the stuff we do between life and death is just an inconsequence really. The thing is that do we need anything more than the simple fact that in the end all that we amount to is someone else’s carbon?

I recently read somewhere a clever way of thinking about death – it is as metaphysical as an atheist will be allowed to get before being stung up and handed a Bible before being cast asunder to the Church. It is a simple fact that through the universe, if our laws are to be believed, we can’t create energy, nor can we destroy it – it is transferred into different types of energy. As I type my fingers are creating sound energy and kinetic energy, fuelled by the joints. They are being powered by blood and tendons, controlled by electricity created by my hearts’ pressure pumping blood to where it is needed. This energy comes from my food, which takes it’s energy from the sun who likes to change particle movement energy into extreme levels of nuclear solar energy. So when we die our energy goes to somewhere else – you will break up and break down and break away into million upon billions of bits of something… that will in later years become something else. That is a rather inspiring thought.

Why have I suddenly started thinking about all of this? Well, yesterday on my way home I happened upon a rather lovely and brilliant sight – a bus advert. It said:

“There is probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy life.”

An atheist bus advert is new to this country. I like it’s sentiments, and its intentions, but it might be going about things the wrong way – I mean, surely those who have faith are not worrying about meeting their maker… surely their imperative to be good is a deep seated human emotion, one that we don’t need to be scared into doing with the threat of eternal damnation? And surely, even if we have to be righteous and good to all, a person in a faith that restricts certain activities, say sex before marriage, do they really stop themselves enjoying life with the arbitrary rules of a God? If they wanted to do things they surely would, and then not worry about being struck down by their maker about it.

The above is what I find absurd about religion. I understand why people believe it – some have to. The thought of nothing after this life might scare some, but it exhilarates me – it makes me cherish what happens now more knowing that this is it. This makes logical sense, but making rules on what you can and can’t do personally is fine, that’s how things work. Don’t want to do it? Then don’t do it. If you want to, there should be no reason stop doing it (within reason) but the rules set down by a book from hundreds of years ago that in all probability is just exactly that – a set of rules? I find that quite an intriguing human aspect, and one I don’t understand.

However, everyone is different. In the same way I don’t believe in god, other do. Neither of us are right and wrong, which is why the atheist bus adverts might be rubbing me up a little wrong. Not everyone who is a religious person is worried all the time and is not enjoying life, and not all atheists are happy every moment and enjoying how things are going. I’ve never seen a Christian advert saying “Atheists need rules, so start worrying about eternal damnation.”

But what of my opening gambit – if we cannot destroy or create anything, how did everything get created in the first place? If the office is the new cathedral… then my only answer has to be Microsoft.