The majestic grandeur of hope and opportunity of the painted landscape was rendered down into navel-gazing eternity by Mark Rothko‘s landscapes of nothing. Without the background of the centuries of written word that these paintings have come to replace, our pop culture viewing the Western civilization Visual Cliffs Notes can imagine whatever meaning their shallow minds can conceive.
What, then, is the point of even continuing to exist? Why not get it over with and jump straight to the inevitable conclusion of every life? Or if some inner drive prevents us from doing that, why not blur the lines of a pointless reality, dull the crushing weight of life’s meaninglessness with whatever intoxicants we can?
A Christian would answer that this life is a gift, given by a powerful and awful Being, willing and capable of inflicting eternal torment if we fail to show appreciation for it. We must go on living, terrible as it is, to avoid the worse pain of punishment for trying to escape. We must do as our Creator bids, because we are owned, like toys, with no right to decide our fate. An atheist would assert that no such Creator exists, or would deserve worship if it did.