Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Death is Forever

I am heading into what I hope will be my final surgery to reconstruct my bone structure after the Christian man Mark Nigon nearly took my life while driving drunk last July.
As I prepare to go under the knife, I am forced to think about the permanence of death and how Christians seem to have absolutely no understanding of it. If you are interested in the accident please visit www.nomoredrunks.blogspot.com

I have discussed the detriments of how Christians live for the next life instead of living for the one that they are in here. The mindset that you are going to spend eternity in another world can only have a negative effect on how you treat the world that you are currently in. After all if this world means nothing compared to the next then what possible reason could there be for you to take care of it? I would like to discuss another danger of this type of thinking though. This involves the permanence of death.

Because Christians are living for the next life and not for this one they will likely miss out on what this life has to offer. The idea of living for the next life has been used effectively throughout history as a means to keep the masses under control. With this idea so embedded into the majority of the population though a new danger has come about. Christians genuinely believe that there is another life beyond this one. This belief leads to a general downward spiral that devalues human life, or any life for that matter.

Christians believe that when you die you will either go to Heaven
or Hell. Because of this belief mixed with the selfish nature of human beings, an utter disregard for life
will be created. If a human is “evil” or “wicked” and he is killed then he will go to hell and thus get what he/she deserves. If a person is “good” or “just” then he/she will go to heaven and yet again, will get what they deserve. Most people regardless of their religious affiliation are assumed to go to heaven because it is just much nicer for us to think of them in that way after they have departed. If you ever go to a funeral you will hear things like “He is in a better place” or “He is with God now.” The only people that are assumed to go to hell are criminals that are high profile in our media, or people that may have had very few others that cared about them.

Here is the problem. If there is no wrong in death because everyone that dies will get their “just desserts” then there is no wrong in taking a life by accident or through negligence. This gives people a free pass to be reckless with human life. A Christian man can drive drunk and nearly kill someone then go to the trial and say that they are praying for that person in an attempt to have the judge reduce their sentence based on their faith and good candor. A Christian might feel that they are doing God’s work by removing a non-believer from this world.

It is no secret that Christian belief is deadly in many areas. The interpretation of scriptures by different people can result in varying beliefs about the meaning of that scripture. This is dangerous because Christians feel that their laws are superior to the laws of the land even though countries that are more secular tend to be more progressive and humanitarian. In other words, if you injure or kill someone out of negligence or religious intentions, you will be punished in the same manner as if it was intentional. There is no way to reverse the damage that you do by ending someone’s life. They are gone, dead, finished. There is no heaven or hell or afterlife, however comforting you might find the thought. You must directly pay for your actions. So what is the answer for the person that is concerned that they might be caught in the crossfire, in the wrong place at the wrong time? Make better decisions, don’t be in bad places, and don’t hang with bad people. If you are putting yourself in situations that increase the possibility of you being involved in the harming of another human being then be prepared to accept responsibility.


Intergalactic Hussy said...

Not to mention how selfish the thought that some kid's grandma's eternal soul will always be with him because he can't bear the truth. If that were true, how many children are in the world again...

As an atheist who has a Zen life philosophy, Heaven and Hell are here and now. We have to make the best of life, improving the world for future generations so they can be proud of those who came before them.

People who believe in an afterlife are just weak and can't accept truths. Its just a crutch for having a personality... I think. LOL. But really, sorry about the accident :/ May Science see you through this and may you be a better person because of it.

Shawn Wilkinson said...

I agree that a strict legalistic approach to the Biblical teachings could make one easily lose sight of reality and hope for beterment or enrichment beyond this life.

However, I do have to protest some. The more "liberal" Christians (i.e. the ones who ae real and down to Earth) seem to care less about thei eternal salvation and more about the concerns of humanity. I don't think Christianity itself is absent of humanism; only specific approaches to Christianity is. The concept of loving ones neighbor and being good stewards or hosts is a very gran idea (and of course, not singularly Christian).

What happens is people of simplemindedness get off track with reality focusing on oly one aspect of a fairly dynamic religion. Christianity did not survive this long because of brute force alone. It is a very dynamic religion, one that can take on many faces. Some of these faces are brighter and better than others. Sadly, many are not.

I would be frustrated too if someone attempted to use religious persuasion to ease their own callousness or stupidity. Such an act is passing the blame of ones own failings. One day, maybe all of humanity will wake up and become enlightened to taking personal responsibility of ones own actions and address all implications and consequences of these actions. I don't hold my breath waiting for such a glorious time, but perhaps one day a "Golden Age" will become true once more.

Keep posting, my friend.

Aaron Kinney said...

Excellent analysis. Ive written extensively about the consequences of "life after death" myself, as you can imagine.

The less you have of a thing, the more valuable it is. To only have one life to live gives this life maximum value. But having an afterlife will reduce the value of this life.

tina said...

I have heard people say similar things about atheists. They think because we don't believe, that we have no morals and are free to do whatever we want,no one looking over our shoulders. I don't get it, if god created everything, he created atheists?

I hope you are feeling better soon.

Larro said...

I think I have gone beyond the whole argument about whether a god ever existed. Because you really can't convince anybody with faith to believe otherwise.

My truest concern lies with how our culture is affected. How our elected officials implement policy based on religious ideology that they may or not adhere to. As in lying to the public in order to garner votes from those who believe that they are casting a vote for a representative who represents their moral values. Do they? Hmmm...

Anyway. I dropped by and put my 2 cents in.

angelsdepart said...


I would agree with you. Our Fore Fathers knew very well what they were doing when they wrote the first amendment. I go into more detail about this topic here http://angelsdepart.blogspot.com/2007/01/what-is-dangerous-about-christians-why.html

Christians like to say that Atheist and Agnostics have no grounds for moral behavior because moral behavior is rooted in faith in a diety. The truth is moral behavior has been developed through our evolutionary history. It is evidenced in behaviors that make it the most likely for our species to survive in large groups. This is even witnessed in the animal kingdom on many levels. You are right in your assumption though. If God is perfect and all powerfull then why not set things right and make himself known. If God is real, then I want nothing to do with a being that is so evil and twisted that he would create imperfect creatures and then sentence them to hell for being imperfect. This is discussed in more detail here http://angelsdepart.blogspot.com/2007/01/on-complications-of-moral-absolutes-why.html

The Alpha said...

Great post. I think that belief in an afterlife has some negative effects in many religions. Another concern I have, however, is this religiously based nihilism that leads people to actually pray for the end of the world.

Here's a good article about the topic.